The proposed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act threatens nothing less than the dismantling of our national Medicaid program. Instead of a federal mandate, Medicaid will be passed on to the states. Under proposed repeal and replacement, the designation of mental health and drug treatment will be eliminated as an essential health benefit for a broad range of very low-income families and individuals. When the must compete for state funds, these services will be the first to go.
Among the relentless flow of President Trump’s executive orders over the past two weeks, the one instructing Congress to move toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, received comparatively little attention. Perhaps this is because, unlike banning immigrants from entering the country, it was far less obvious that revising health care eligibility for millions could happen with the stroke of a pen. But the debate in Congress will heat up soon enough, presumably with the confirmation of a Secretary of Human Services. When it does, we should all, especially clergy, enter the fray — and not just for the obvious reasons.
January 31, 2017 The Honorable Bruce Rauner Governor, State of Illinois 207 State House Springfield, IL 62706 Dear Governor Rauner: As you are aware, Republican leaders in Congress have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without enacting a simultaneous replacement plan. Nationwide, this strategy threatens to disrupt our entire healthcare system—subjecting patients, providers, hospitals, and insurers to chaos. As Governor of our state, we seek your input on how to improve our health care system and urge you to stand on the side of Illinoisans in opposing any action that would reduce coverage, increase costs, reduce the quality of health care, burden our providers, or harm our state’s economy.