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PHAN Statement on Passage of Tax Bill in the Senate

December 2, 2017

HARRISBURG, PA – Last night, the Senate passed a tax bill that – if it becomes law –will have significant and disastrous implications for our health system. Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network issued the following statement:

“The Senate Republican tax plan would provide enormous, permanent tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations while adding at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit. These cuts will be paid for my tax increase on middle-class families and increasing the number of uninsured Americans by 13 million and will later necessitate deep cuts to programs that benefit the most vulnerable, including Medicaid and Medicare.

Pennsylvanians do not support dismantling our health care system in order to fund a tax cut for the wealthiest. PHAN calls on our Representatives in the House to reject this harmful bill when it returns to the House for consideration.”

The Senate version of the Bill would do away with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, an action that amounts to repealing the ACA without a suitable replacement. The CBO estimates that the number of Americans without health insurance would increase by 13 million if the individual mandate were repealed. Those estimates are largely consistent with prior analyses from RAND, the Urban Institute, and Lewin. The savings from mandate repeal come entirely from these coverage losses. For example, fewer people would enroll in the ACA marketplaces and claim premium tax credits, reducing federal costs.
Both versions would add more than $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest. The budget passed earlier this year by Congress proposed to ultimately pay for the tax cuts with deep cuts to programs like Medicaid, Medicare, education and SNAP that would add to the pain families feel as a result of this bill.