NEW YORK (JTA) — A coalition of Jewish organizations led by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism urged members of the U.S. Senate to oppose the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
The letter sent to all 100 senators Tuesday, signed by 14 organizations, says that the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 would undercut Medicaid, the federal program that currently pays for half of all births in the United States and about 62 percent of seniors who are living in nursing homes.
The Senate bill would lower government spending on Medicaid by capping the per capita cost of serving various groups, such as children, adults, people with disabilities or the elderly. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Republican-backed bill would reduce projected Medicaid spending by $772 billion in the coming decade, and 15 million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid in 2026 than under the current law.
“Among other harmful provisions, transforming Medicaid into a per-capita cap system would not only take away health care from those who have benefited from the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, but would harm populations that have been covered by Medicaid since its inception,” according to the letter. “States will face impossible choices prioritizing among people with disabilities, low-income Americans, and children and will have no option but to slash services that are essential for the daily lives of millions.”
Signers of the letter include Bend the Arc-Jewish Action, Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of Jewish Women, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, and Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist groups.
Jewish Federations of North America estimates that the care providers affiliated with Jewish federations receive $6 billion from the Medicaid program annually.