WASHINGTON—The Republicans released a revised health care bill today to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new proposal maintains some of the ACA taxes on the wealthy, allows insurers to offer skimpier plans, and provides new financial support to buy health insurance.

First Focus President Bruce Lesley says:

“There is still not a single provision in this latest proposal that would improve the lives of children in America. Not one. And the latest version also does nothing to mitigate the harm that the legislation would have on kids. It’s time to abandon this futile exercise and strengthen–not weaken–protections for kids.

In our country, we have reached a point where 95 percent of children now have health coverage. Sadly, this bill will take us backwards through the imposition of $1 trillion or more in draconian cuts to our nation’s health care system. The cruel irony of its name – the Better Care Reconciliation Act – attempts to hide the fact that the bill would strip coverage and consumer protections from millions of children and families.

The assault on Medicaid is an historic bait-and-switch scam. Nobody who promised to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act said they would eviscerate Medicaid to the tune of more than $800 billion dollars. With more than 37 million children enrolled in Medicaid, compared to 1 million in Obamacare, this is a direct assault on children that nobody campaigned on. Sadly, the bill would impose more draconian and arbitrary cuts and per capita caps upon the Medicaid program than even the House bill, which President Trump himself referred to as ‘mean.’

There is no way to shield our nation’s most vulnerable children from Medicaid cuts of this magnitude. In fact, contrary to the President’s promise not to cut Medicaid and eliminate onerous regulations, the bill slashes Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars out of health coverage and gives states incentives to impose new bureaucracy and red tape barriers to coverage.

For cover, the “Better” Care draft bill attempts to include a few provisions to make the draconian bill appear less harmful to children and families. But, under scrutiny, they will do nothing to prevent the oncoming disaster this legislation would unleash.”