By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, the Alabama Democratic Party released a statement in which they said that, “The Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson bill would sabotage our health care system, gut Medicaid, increase costs, and strip health care away from millions of Americans.”
“Democrats believe health care is a right, not a privilege,” Nancy Worley, chairwoman of the Alabama Democratic Party, said in a statement. “And as Republicans try to take health care away from working families, Alabamians will suffer under the Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson bill. This harmful bill will end Medicaid as we know it, cancel tax credits that help families afford health insurance, and eliminate subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for working families. Republicans need to listen to the Alabamians they represent and join Democrats in their efforts to improve our health care system.”
“Once again, Republicans in Congress are ignoring the millions of Americans who pressured them into dropping their last health care repeal effort,” The Alabama Democrats said. “While Republicans are pushing a bill to take health care away from working families, Democrats are working together to expand coverage for all Americans.”
“A look at a few of the ways Alabamians will suffer under the Cassidy-Graham-Heller bill,” the Alabama Democratic Party released.
“Ends Medicaid as we know it, hurting seniors, people with disabilities, and other communities across Alabama,” Worley said about the passage of the act. “Cancels tax credits that help 143,608 Alabama residents – 94 percent of Alabama marketplace enrollees – afford health insurance. Eliminates subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for 116,722 Alabama residents, which is 77 percent of the total marketplace enrollees in Alabama.” And it “Slashes billions in federal funding to states for expanding health insurance coverage and lowering costs.”
Worley spent more than 25 years as an educator in the Decatur Public School System. From 2003 to 2007, she was the Alabama secretary of state. She also is a former president of the Alabama Education Association. She was selected as vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party following the Republican landslide election in 2010. When Chairman Mark Kennedy resigned in April 2013, over differences in strategy with Alabama Democratic Conference head Joe Reed; Worley was elevated to chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.
The Cassidy-Graham-Heller bill is the latest Republican bill to repeal Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act of 2010. It was introduced recently by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La. According to original reporting by Politico, 49 senators, including Alabama’s Richard Shelby and Luther Strange, have signed off as supporting this legislation. With the vice president the deciding vote, the bill only needs one more vote in order to pass Cassidy-Graham-Heller. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has called it “Obamacare-lite,” but the bill appears to be gaining traction in the U.S. Senate where the GOP recently failed to pass three different repeal bills. The House has already passed a repeal bill and at this point is likely to pass almost anything that can pass the Senate. President Donald Trump has made ending the health care legislation one of his major first year legislative priorities.