The Wisconsin Gazette
By Lisa Neff

Republican senators, after a series of secret meetings to craft a health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act provisions, have produced the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

WiG is gathering reaction from progressive groups:

> Patriotic Millionaires Chair Morris Pearl: “This so-called health care bill is appalling. It is morally bankrupt. Not only that, it will result in countless Americans becoming literally bankrupt, unable to support themselves, participate in the economy, or afford basic medical care. Taking health care away from millions of people just to give millionaires, billionaires, and health insurance companies a huge tax cut is un-American and cruel.

“As wealthy Americans, we want nothing to do with a tax cut, one that we don’t need, that comes at the expense of millions of other Americans. If the members of the Senate are concerned about what is best for all of their constituents, not just their wealthy donors, they will do the right thing and reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act.”

> Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:“President Trump was right in calling the House Republican health care bill ‘mean,’ and the Senate Republican bill is no better. The details released today make it clear – this legislation, crafted in secret, would be devastating to the millions of Americans who rely on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.”

> Greenlining Institute health policy director Anthony Galace: “African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans all had disproportionately high uninsured rates before the Affordable Care Act, and made huge gains under the current law. Drastic cuts to Medicaid and cuts to subsidies that help low and moderate income Americans buy coverage would wipe out those gains, for no reason other than to fund a whopping tax cut for the wealthy.”

> American Civil Liberties Union national political director Faiz Shakir: “Heartless! Now we know why Senate Republicans have done everything they can to hide the contents of their health care repeal bill from the American people. By eviscerating Medicaid, this bill threatens the liberty of people with disabilities, who will be forced to live in nursing homes and institutions instead of their own homes. By defunding Planned Parenthood, this bill threatens the health of 2.5 million women and men in our country, many of whom rely on the health centers as their only source of care. And by throwing tens of millions of people off their insurance, this bill disproportionately impacts communities of color who will lose access to care and coverage.”

> League of Women Voters president Chris Carson: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act is even worse than the version we saw pass in the House of Representatives and is not worthy of this great nation. The cuts to Medicaid will be massive and will destroy the system that so many Americans rely on. This is a nasty bill that will hurt millions of Americans and we urge Senators to reject it.

It is not at all surprising that this bill is a terrible one. Legislation developed in secret and rushed to passage is usually trying to hide something. Like the House bill, the Senate plan will cut coverage and raise costs for millions of Americans while giving a huge tax break to the wealthiest individuals and large corporations. The Senators who wrote this bill should be ashamed of themselves.”

Emily Bass of Rise and Resist: “The Senate bill is every bit as immoral, lethal and inhumane as the House bill. With a massive tax cut for the wealthy, an end to Medicaid as an entitlement program and a complete defunding of Planned Parenthood this is nothing but a profiteering scheme that enriches billionaires from the bodies of the most vulnerable. Sens. Murkowski and Collins have indicated that they would not vote for a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. They must honor this commitment just as their fellow Senators honor their commitments to protect and serve all citizens, not the wealthy alone.”