The fight to save health care this week culminated in a dramatic series of events on the floor of the U.S. Senate last night. With just three Republican votes, the final attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or the “skinny repeal” bill, failed to muster the 50 votes needed to advance the bill. Senators Lisa Murkowsk (R-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the votes the Democrats needed to secure the bill’s failure.
In response to the vote and the other votes to repeal the ACA that were taken this week, UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía issued the following statement:
“Once again, the Republican Senate has failed in their inexplicable effort to move ahead with a plan to gut the Affordable Care Act,” said UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguia. “The bills they brought to a vote this week, which are among the worst pieces of domestic legislation to ever come before the Senate, would have left millions of Americans uninsured, slashed funding from the Medicaid program, and eliminated critical consumer protections. So-called ‘Trumpcare’ was so widely unpopular across this country, in fact, that only 13% of Americans supported it. We thank senators who voted based on the best interests of their constituencies and of the American people instead of caving in to political pressure.
Watch the moment John McCain delivered the decisive vote that killed the bill:
If you’re just waking up, this was the crucial moment when McCain — entering Senate floor — voted NO on bill, to gasps and quick applause. pic.twitter.com/JK6WEgrNFx
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) July 28, 2017
The gains in health coverage under the ACA have been historic and are undeniable, particularly for the Latino community. Latinos have had the highest un-insurance rates in our nation for far too long, but we have seen record improvements since the ACA was implemented. More than 4 million Latino adults and over 600,000 Latino children have gained coverage since 2013, more than half of whom today rely on Medicaid coverage. We are anxious to see insurance rates continue to rise within our community and for all Americans who still lack health coverage.
The bills this week are not the end of the attacks on the ACA. Senate leaders can reprise this effort at any moment and stand with President Trump in his efforts to salvage a political win despite the human toll. The president has advised lawmakers to ‘let Obamacare fail’ and he and his administration have the authority to undermine health care. Secretary Price and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must provide the funding and financial assistance necessary to maintain a stable marketplace, encourage people to enroll, and reduce the cost of premiums for those who qualify for assistance under the ACA. The remaining states that have yet to do so must expand their Medicaid programs.
Latino voters have told us that they support improving the ACA, not repealing it, and millions of other Americans agree. Congress should work in a bipartisan manner to develop policies that would improve our health system and cease their efforts to strip health coverage from those who need it most.
At UnidosUs, we have fought tirelessly to defend the health and well-being of our nation’s families, workers and children by protecting the critical gains made under the ACA. We must stay vigilant because it’s unlikely this battle is over. Whether it is through another attempt to repeal the ACA or a federal budget proposal that seeks to make massive cuts to Medicaid, the attacks will not stop. We will continue to do all we can to strengthen communities and strengthen our nation.”