Contact:
Kimberly N. Alleyne, kimberly.alleyne@seiu.org, 703/850-4435

Issued July 13, 2017

GOP leadership’s reheated healthcare bill little more than leftover version of their last bad bill

Still destroys Medicaid, still puts millions of lives at risk

WASHINGTON— In the face of overwhelming public opposition, Senate Republicans have released another bill that would rip healthcare away from millions of Americans, decimate Medicaid and increase healthcare costs for the majority of working families. While working people across the country  and their allies have been flooding Senator’s phone lines, Republican leadership took another stab at legislation that still badly misses the mark for everyone except the wealthiest, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

“This new version of the bill would still rip healthcare from Americans, and strand seniors, children, and people with disabilities without Medicaid,” said Service Employees International President Mary Kay Henry. “This stale attempt still falls terribly short of providing the kind of healthcare security and affordability that working families need. This healthcare repeal bill is little more than a tweak to the original Senate draft and in many ways is even worse than the version passed by the House. It would be disastrous for working people, disastrous in terms of job losses, and disastrous to our healthcare system as a whole.”

SEIU is the largest healthcare workers union in the country, with approximately one million members who work in the industry. As nurses, doctors, home care workers they know that access to a strong healthcare system is crucial for working people and for their patients and clients. Whether it’s a mom who needs to get their child a checkup before the school year starts, or the child who relies on Medicaid to care for their aging parents, SEIU members will continue to stand united against any legislation that fails working Americans.

"Senate Republicans are trying to put a bandaid on a bill that cannot be fixed,” said Ethel Turner, a nursing home worker from Huntington West Virginia. Turner traveled to Washington last month where she met with both her senators’ offices and urged them to reject this legislation. “It is a bad bill that will gut Medicaid and leave the nursing home residents I care for without a way to pay for their services and without access to care. The bill will also put me and millions of others at risk for losing our jobs. Congress should start from scratch and get it right. Millions of Americans are depending on them."

Because SEIU members are joined together in a union, they, along with their partners, have held more than 400 events and have made over 250,000 calls to Congress to stop this healthcare disaster. Nurses, doctors and home care workers have traveled to Washington DC to speak with House and Senate members directly about what's at stake. Over July recess, SEIU members held more than 75 events to stop healthcare repeal in its tracks and call for a bipartisan solution. SEIU members will continue the fight and hold members of Congress accountable if they persist in turning back the clock to days when healthcare was out of reach for working families.

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