Health Policy$ense

‘A Giant Step in the Wrong Direction’

Forty economists and health policy experts, including Dan Polsky and Zeke Emanuel, have signed a strongly worded letter opposing the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The letter is short and direct. It emphasizes that the BRCA will narrow coverage, drive healthy people from the market, and raise premiums for the people who remain. They estimated that the Senate bill, like the House bill before it, would cause about 23 million people to lose coverage.

"At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction...(t)he goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it."

The experts also note that the savings would go largely to tax cuts for upper income tax filers; the richest 0.1 percent of tax filers would receive tax cuts averaging more than $200,000 per return.

The letter was released hours before the Congressional Budget Office “scored” the BCRA, finding that over ten years, 22 million more people would be uninsured, compared to current law.