Senate Health Care Bill Is an Unfunded Mandate That Cities Can’t Afford

June 27, 2017 - (2 min read)

WASHINGTON — June 27, 2017 — Today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate leaders that he intends to delay a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) until after the July 4th recess. Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the bill, finding that it would leave 22 million Americans uninsured by 2026. In addition to costing millions of people their access to affordable health care, the bill would have imposed severe costs on local governments from uncompensated care in city-run emergency rooms and other health care facilities. In response, National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

“This week, city leaders sent a clear message to Congress: You can’t fix the American health care system by sticking local governments with the bill. The Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens the wellbeing of millions of Americans by reducing their access to health care — whether in our nation’s urban centers or throughout small-town America — leaving millions uninsured and decimating the programs that help families stay healthy in our communities.

“If the federal government pulls back on its commitment to health care, the burden of providing care will fall to cities, counties, states and local providers. Neither local governments nor everyday Americans have the resources to absorb an unfunded mandate of this magnitude.

“We urge the Senate to stand with cities and take this opportunity to work toward a health care system that promotes strong healthy communities without placing the financial burden on local governments.”


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.