So-Called “Skinny” Repeal Just a New Name for Yesterday’s Failed Proposals

Experts

Director, Special Projects
Staff Attorney
Health Policy Analyst
Sr. Media Relations Associate

Thursday, July 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, today urged Senators to oppose new efforts to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Senate leaders are now reportedly eyeing a proposal that would repeal the individual and employer mandate in an effort to ultimately go to conference and use the House’s hugely-unpopular American Health Care Act as a basis for negotiating. This is the latest attempt to find a backdoor to the same harmful proposals that have repeatedly failed to garner a simple majority in the Senate.

Betsy Imholz, Special Projects Director for Consumers Union, said, “Rather than finding a new way forward to strengthen the insurance markets, Senate leaders are using smoke and mirrors to make it seem as if this latest proposal is somehow different or better than the ones just voted down in the Senate. Don’t be fooled. This so-called ‘skinny repeal’ would not only still leave millions uninsured, destabilize the insurance markets further, and trigger skyrocketing premiums, but is also an attempt to try to breathe new life into the harmful ideas in both the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act — both hugely unpopular proposals that have been rejected by Senators repeatedly.”

Imholz continued, “From the beginning, this secretive process has resulted in flawed legislation that would hurt consumers and our nation’s health system as a whole. Lawmakers need to know what they are voting on, and what the full impact the legislation would be, before being rushed into action. This issue is too important to American families, and the nation’s economy, to proceed in this broken process. It’s time for Senate leadership to stop stalling, return to normal order, and work constructively in a bipartisan way to strengthen the markets and protect consumers.”