September 20, 2017

Statement on Graham-Cassidy health reform bill

At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that changes to our nation’s health care laws should increase access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage for as many people as possible. The Graham-Cassidy bill does not meet any of those tests.

The block grant proposal in the bill would erode coverage of needed medical services and pose major issues for state budgets. Repealing the individual mandate without alternative incentives for enrollment will lead to fewer people enrolled and higher premiums.

In addition, we are disappointed by yesterday’s announcement that the recent effort in the Senate to find a bipartisan consensus for a limited effort to stabilize premiums for 2018 has been halted. The robust discussion and debates were encouraging and were on a path towards consensus.

Only a few changes are needed to stabilize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the millions who are dependent upon the law for their care and coverage. It is an urgent matter for policymakers to address right now, with big implications for families even in the next few months. We thank Senators Alexander and Murray for their leadership and encourage them to revive their efforts as soon as possible.

Moving forward, we strongly encourage policymakers to focus on the 30 million Americans currently without coverage as the priority for any additional proposals around health reform, and to ensure that any proposals maintain or expand coverage, provide incentives for high quality, and tackle affordability.