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NBJC Strongly Opposes the Senate Health Care Legislation: “… a prescription for more illness in our nation.”


Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, strongly opposes the recently introduced health care legislation, entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which was crafted in secret by Republican Leadership without any hearings before the committees with jurisdiction over health care issues. If passed into law, this measure would eliminate life-saving provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) like protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The legislation would further strip affordable, comprehensive coverage from working class and low-income Americans, implement massive cuts to essential services provided under the Medicaid program, and result in tens of millions losing their insurance. All of this while granting tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. With the Senate proposal threatening the stability of the health care system and overall health of the millions of Americans, including Black LGBTQ and same gender loving people, NBJC strongly opposes this bill.

“The so-called ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’ introduced last week by the Republican leadership in the US Senate is a shameful piece of legislation that will be disastrous for so many Americans who depend on the benefits provided under the ACA,” said Isaiah Wilson, NBJC Director of External Affairs. “We were promised a more humane proposal by Senate Republicans compared to the House-passed health care reform legislation. However, the bill put forward in the Senate continues the tragic attack on the most marginalized in our nation by cruelly ending Medicaid as we know it, leaving our children, elderly and people with disabilities unprotected. All people of good will must speak out immediately and demand that their Senators work across the political aisle in a transparent manner to develop a bill that actually addresses the real problems with our current health care system—not this legislation which is morally bankrupt from the onset.”

Because of the ACA, and specifically the expansion of the Medicaid program to increase health care access by creating new coverage options, Black communities, LGBTQ people, and other underserved populations have seen a significant increase in recent years of access to affordable health care insurance. For example, the uninsured rate of nonelderly African Americans has decreased by more than one-third between 2013 and 2016, from 18.9 percent to 11.7 percent. Additionally, a 2013 study found that nearly 390,000 uninsured LGBTQ/SGL individuals could qualify for Medicaid in states that planned to expand the program, while approximately 1.12 million uninsured LGBT individuals could receive subsidies to help with the cost of coverage in insurance marketplaces across the nation. If the current Senate proposal were signed into law, this uptick in access to health care access would immediately be undermined as the bill would permit states to restructure the Medicaid program using per capita or block grants, which would likely result in cuts to those receiving insurance via Medicaid.

Wilson added: “As a Black gay man living with HIV, I know firsthand that the proposed move to phase out Medicaid expansion and the essential health benefits guaranteed under the ACA is a prescription for more illness in our nation. We have made significant progress in recent years and though there is an urgent need to address problems with the current system, the answer is not to eliminate vital programs that provide access to health care for millions of Americans. At NBJC, we have been deeply troubled by both the lack of a constructive, public debate in Congress along with the recently introduced budget by the Trump Administration that will undoubtedly hurt the most vulnerable Americans. As the Senate begins this vital debate on the future of the health care system in our country, NBJC will engage its constituency and other allies to push their Senators to commit to passing a better, more equitable health care reform package. The lives of so many in our nation depend on it.”


Senate Proposed Health Care Legislation

Key Facts

  • Strips tens of millions of Americans access to health insurance.

  • Increases premiums and out-of-pocket costs like deductibles for millions, forcing families, the elderly, and other individuals to pay more for less coverage.

  • Caps and cuts Medicaid funding, ending the federal 50-plus year commitment to match state’s Medicaid cost.

  • Eliminates Medicaid expansion in 2023, and in the meantime rolls back pivotal protections for those enrolled in the expansion.

  • Decimates nationwide protections for the 1 in 2 people with pre-existing conditions in this nation by allowing states to eliminate essential health benefits standards that ensure plans cover the care people need like prescription drug coverage.

  • Defunds Planned Parenthood by blocking individuals enrolled in Medicaid from accessing critical health care services at Planned Parenthood health care centers for one year.

  • Provides massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and corporations. 

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.