Democratic House and Senate Leadership: “The cruelty of this bill is shocking.”

Democratic House and Senate Leadership: “The cruelty of this bill is shocking.”

In the wake of the U.S. Senate releasing details of its health care plan today, Idaho House and Senate Democratic Leadership called on the state’s U.S. Senators to reject the legislation, noting the devastating effect it would have on children and seniors living in rural Idaho.

“The cruelty of this bill is shocking,” Sen. Maryanne Jordan/(D-Boise) said. “If this legislation is enacted, thousands of rural Idahoan children and seniors will have nowhere to turn for healthcare. It’s heart-breaking even to think about it.”

Earlier, Idaho State House and Senate Leadership penned a joint letter to Senators Risch and Crapo
urging them not to vote on the secret legislation before it had a chance to be debated. The Senate plan was just released today after a last-minute announcement yesterday that it would be made public. Lawmakers will now await a “score” on the bill from the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) to see how many people will lose access to healthcare under the Senate proposal. Under the House version, an estimated 23 million people will lose coverage nationwide.

“The people who will be hurt the most by this health care bill live in Idaho’s rural communities. This is going to be devastating to the people living in those areas and the hospitals that serve them.” Jordan added. “If this legislation becomes law, hundreds of thousands of Idahoans could either lose coverage or be priced out of insurance. The effects could be catastrophic.”

Under the House health care bill, it is estimated that more than 130,000 Idahoans could lose healthcare coverage – including those who already receive health benefits from their jobs. A staggering 662,000 Idahoans with pre-existing conditions could also be impacted by the new law. That does not include the 78,000 Idahoans who are already in the “gap” population.