U.S. Mayors "Seriously Concerned" Over GOP Healthcare Plan

Wednesday, March 8th 2017, 7:40 am
By: News 9

House Republicans' new plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is getting both praise and criticism from both sides of the aisle and now non-partisan group led by Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett has come out in opposition to it.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors says they were left in the dark on the financial impact of the plan because the plan hasn't been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

They say "the bill slashes state funding for Medicaid and states will be forced to end coverage and eliminate health care services for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children, and working families."

While the mayor is president of the conference, his chief of staff told me that the mayor was not involved in the subcommittee that released this statement. When asked if the mayor has developed his own opinion on the proposed plan, News 9 was told he has not.

The latest numbers show over 819,000 Oklahomans are on Sooner Care and at least 140,000 are on Obamacare. Each one will be impacted by the debate now underway at the national and local level.

You can read the entire statement here.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today issued the following statement in response to the draft GOP’s measure to replace the current healthcare law:

Upon review of the recently released GOP Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement plan, we are very concerned that the new bill has been issued without knowing how much it will cost or how many people it will cover.  By skipping the major step of having the plan scored by the Congressional Budget Office before the committees begin their consideration, we are left in the dark as to how this plan will impact not only our residents, but also city budgets.

The nation's mayors have been clear and consistent in our call for a plan that maintains the patient protections that enjoy bipartisan support in the current healthcare law.  More than 130 mayors across the country from both sides of the political spectrum agree that Americans with insurance should not lose it and that those who want insurance should be able to afford it.

The effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be most heavily felt at the local level, so it is our responsibility to protect the citizens of our cities and metro areas. The new GOP plan is bad for cities, bad for people who live in cities and bad for people who provide healthcare in cities.

While we are pleased to see that many of the key provisions contained in our bipartisan letter to Congressional leaders are included in the bill, we remain opposed to restructuring Medicaid as a per-capita cap or block grant program.

The GOP bill proposes to keep the Medicaid expansion in place until 2020 and begins a process to phase out expansion completely.  The bill slashes state funding for Medicaid and strips away protections for the most vulnerable.  As a result, states will be forced to end coverage and eliminate health care services for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, children and working families. The overwhelming majority of these Americans live in our cities.

We maintain that healthcare is not a privilege; it is a human right.  We visited with lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week to share our concerns; and mayors urge  every member of Congress, both in the House and Senate, to take time to understand the impact that the current bill will have on millions of Americans and to guarantee that no American loses health coverage as a part of repeal and replacement.