NLIRH Condemns House Vote on Tax Bill, Urges Senators to Vote No
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thursday afternoon, House Republicans voted on a tax bill that will decimate Medicare, Medicaid, and programs that help millions of children with low-incomes without any hearings or a score from the Congressional Budget Office. Late Thursday night, the Senate Finance Committee passed their own version of the tax bill and the full Senate is set to vote on it after Thanksgiving recess. The Senate tax bill includes repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Individual Mandate, which would kick 13 million people off insurance and raise premiums by 10 percent or more.
The individual mandate reduces the cost of insurance coverage for everyone in the ACA marketplace by requiring all individuals to either purchase coverage or be subject to a fine. This year, 5.8 million people are qualified for ACA marketplace plans that are cheaper than the penalty and 4.5 million people can find plans with a $0 monthly plan.
Both the House and the Senate bills include a harmful provision that would require a social security number to claim the Child Tax Credit. Additionally, the House bill passed today would require a social Security number for the students to claim American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps students access higher education opportunities. Although the House and Senate bills are slightly different, they are both detrimental to communities of color and NLIRH urges the Senate to stop this legislation.
Nina Esperanza Serrianne, policy analyst for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed that the House has chosen to jeopardize the future of millions by passing this devastating bill and denying the nation quality, affordable healthcare. The Senate must fail to pass their harmful version of this bill. Eliminating the individual mandate is nothing short of catastrophic and it will specifically impact the health, safety, and well-being of the Latinx community. Because of the ACA, Latinxs have seen the largest decline of the uninsurance rate for any ethnic group. From 2013 to 2016, the percentage of uninsured Latinxs has dropped from 42.3 percent to 24.8 percent. However, Latinxs still continue to have the highest rates of uninsurance when compared to other groups in the U.S. and eliminating the individual mandate will further exacerbate health access inequality.
“At the end of the day, even without the individual mandate repeal included in this health bill, the House bill is an attack on Medicare and Medicaid. More than one quarter – 27 percent – of Latinas of reproductive age are enrolled in the Medicaid program and cuts to this program hurt the Latinx community. Without coverage, women of color will lose access to the types of services that combat pervasive health disparities, such as contraceptives, screening for breast and cervical cancer and well-woman visits. NLIRH asks the Senate to vote against a disastrous bill that would cut healthcare for millions as a way to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.”
For more information on NLIRH’s fight for health, dignity and justice, visit us at latinainstitute.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NLIRH.
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 28 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.