House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) from a vote this afternoon. The AHCA was designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), and replace it with a new system that would constrict and cap Medicaid spending, eliminate requirements for insurers to provide essential health benefits in plans and cut funding to local governments for wellness and prevention programs. In response to today’s announcement, National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:
“The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was simply a health care bill that cities and local governments could not afford. The AHCA was a flawed bill that would have placed the financial stress of reform on local governments, states and hospitals. We need a health care system that puts American families and communities first.
“The National League of Cities applauds the city leaders who took action and told their members of Congress to oppose the AHCA. We thank the members of Congress who stood with cities, challenged the bill and stood up for the 24 million Americans who would have lost health benefits under the AHCA.
“Congress must support and work toward a health care system that protects mental health and drug addiction services, maintains funding for preventative medicine and wellness programs, does not raise the total number of uninsured Americans, keeps requirements for essential health benefits and, most importantly, does not place an unfair burden on local governments.
“As Congress sets its sights on other priorities, now is the time to call on Congress to develop a budget plan focused on building prosperity, expanding opportunity and investing in the future of cities.”
More information regarding NLC’s policy positions on the health care policy can be found here.