Contact: Carrie Mumah, [email protected]org; 212-274-7294
NEW YORK - Today, millions of Americans breathed a sigh of relief as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that there will be no vote on the disastrous Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill. The bill was the worst piece of legislation for health care in a generation and would have been particularly devastating for New York.
Nearly 3 million New Yorkers would have been at risk of losing health insurance. The state would have lost $19 billion in Medicaid funding through block-granting by 2026, and could have seen a total of $52 billion less in federal health care funds between 2020 and 2026, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The legislation would have had a devastating impact on New York City’s public hospitals, in particular.
The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would have allowed insurance companies to no longer cover birth control, threatened maternity care for 13 million people, allowed insurance companies to charge more for preexisting conditions, left at least 32 million people without health insurance, and prevented millions of people from getting basic care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Statement from Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City:
“The Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill was a disastrous piece of legislation that would have decimated New York’s health care system—and put our communities at risk. More than half of the 60,000 patients Planned Parenthood of New York City sees every year rely on Medicaid to access health care.
“Over the last few months, hundreds of thousands of people across our city, state, and country have spoken out against the various versions of this dangerous bill. Opponents of reproductive health care bet on the American people being too tired to keep fighting — but they bet wrong. Planned Parenthood of New York City activists phone banked, rallied, wrote letters, organized nearly 300 events, and made multiple bus trips to Washington, D.C. to tell their stories.
“Because of the brave activists who fought this bill, 3 million New Yorkers will wake up tomorrow morning knowing they still have health care. More than 60,000 people a year will continue to walk through Planned Parenthood of New York City’s doors, still able to access the basic, preventive health care they rely on. Thirteen million people nationwide won’t have to worry about losing maternity care, breast cancer survivors will know they won’t be charged more for health insurance, and 57 million will still have access to birth control.
“While this is a huge, resounding victory, we know this fight is far from over. But instead of pushing legislation that would take health care away from millions, now is the time for Congress to work toward commonsense, bipartisan health care solutions that put people first. We won’t stop fighting for our communities in NYC—and nationwide—to have access to the care they need and deserve.”
The American people made it overwhelmingly clear that they didn’t want to see the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill passed into law in addition to major medical associations and major health insurance groups who also stood up to oppose the bill. In fact, the American Medical Association said they could not support the bill because it violated the medical oath to “first do no harm.”
The Senate should focus on productive bipartisan proposals such as the the Collins-Nelson market stabilization proposal and the Alexander-Murray discussions that were under way in the Senate HELP Committee.
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 60,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.