Federal, State, and City Leaders, Patient Advocates, NYC Hospital Associations Gather to Slam Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill

Sep 25, 2017
Press Release
Republican plan robs New York of $45 billion in healthcare funding, threatens coverage of more than 2 million New Yorkers, and raises healthcare costs

NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez   (NY-7), NYC Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson, and Patient Advocate Peter Morley gathered on the steps of City Hall to condemn the latest Senate Republican Healthcare plan, commonly known as Graham-Cassidy. They were joined by State Senator Liz Krueger; Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Rebecca Seawright; City Council Member Jumaane Williams; Dr. Sonia Angell, Deputy Commissioner of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Judith Cutchin, RN, of the New York State Nurses Association; John Jurenko, VP of NYC Health + Hospitals; and Mark Hannay, Director of Metro New York Health Care for All.

Under this latest bill, insurers could once again discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions; 32 million Americans will lose their insurance; out of pocket costs would skyrocket with premiums going up 20 percent; and older Americans would face a crushing age tax. Graham-Cassidy is particularly devastating for New York, robbing the state of $45 billion in healthcare funding and ripping away insurance from more than 2 million New Yorkers.

The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the bill today and Senate Republican leadership has said it plans to bring the bill for a vote this week.

“They call this latest ACA repeal bill Graham-Cassidy, and it is just as bad as its many predecessors,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “Our country, our state, our city, cannot afford this bill. It not only fails the Jimmy Kimmel test, it fails every moral test. This bill will bankrupt families and it will cost lives. John McCain has said he’s a no, so has Rand Paul, but we need one more Republican Senator to take a stand and join them to kill this bill. And we cannot stop until it is really and truly dead. This is the last week that Senate Republicans have to repeal the ACA. They are going to do everything possible to get this done. So far we have won the battles, but this is the time to win the war.”

"Let’s be clear –this is not an issue of economics, it is not a theoretical policy matter, it is not about political ideology or even about keeping campaign promises to your political base,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez   For many Americans this is a life or death issue.  We are not going to let Trumpcare harm our seniors. We are not going to make working families pay more in premiums.   And, most of all we are not going to let Trumpcare kill Americans with preexisting conditions.  We are going to drive a stake through the heart of this this bill – and finally stop Trumpcare, once and for all." 

“I have had 9 surgeries in 10 years. I have 17 different doctors that manage my care,” said Peter Morley, Patient Advocate. “I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011, and in 2013 was diagnosed with Lupus, which is now my primary health concern. Despite my health challenges, I have flourished under the continuity of care provided to me by the Affordable Care Act. I am Alive because of the ACA. I take 38 different medications yearly, 15 daily, and receive 12 life-saving infusions yearly for my Lupus. Without the ACA I could not afford to pay for these medications and would lose my team of doctors. If that happens my disease would progress and I would die. The Graham-Cassidy Bill, the latest in a series of attacks on our healthcare, is the most dangerous and vicious attack yet. But please don't let that scare you, I want that to inspire you to fight harder and stronger than ever before!”

"The dangerous, immoral Graham-Cassidy proposal is not dead," said NYC Council Health Committee Chair Corey Johnson. "The Republicans are pushing forward and are determined to succeed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. We must keep fighting. I want to thank Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and our entire Congressional delegation for their strong leadership during these pivotal times."

“In years past, millions were denied care because they could not afford it,” said Judith Cutchin, RN, President of New York State Nurses Association NYC Health + Hospitals Executive Council. “Nurses know how devastating that can be... care delayed or denied leads to serious acuities even death.  We have seen these serious conditions on the floors of the hospitals where we work every day.”

“Graham-Cassidy is the meanest, most ill-thought-out version of TrumpCare yet,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “It would be a financial and human disaster, leaving 32 million people without health insurance, and costing states billions of dollars. Responsible leaders should be figuring out ways to increase access to care, not putting hard working families at risk of destitution or death because they lack insurance. This bill is simply un-American, and it must be defeated.”

“The proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill is reckless and irresponsible, said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “It would terminate billions of dollars in healthcare funding in New York State alone and raise overall costs, decimating our health care system and jeopardizing vital state programs. It has long been one of the top priorities to relieve counties of their share of Medicaid costs, and in recent years, the state has taken over both the annual growth in Medicaid spending and the program’s administrative costs. Those changes have brought some relief to our local governments, and we cannot afford to move lose any funding. This is why I stand with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and other elected officials in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

“I’m glad Graham-Cassidy is nearly dead, along with all the other attempts by the Republicans to rob millions of Americans of their health insurance,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman. This latest effort at repeal and replace would end Medicaid, leave more than 2 million New Yorkers without coverage, and cause costs to skyrocket for everyone else. I’m extremely grateful to Congresswoman Maloney and healthcare advocates for leading the charge against repealing the ACA."

###