Missourians express hope and relief following defeat of Senate health care bill

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2017

Late Thursday night, the U.S. Senate voted 51-49 to defeat the third proposal to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. For now, Congressional efforts to advance legislation that dismantles the Affordable Care Act have failed.

Throughout the state, Missourians had been watching the debate closely, knowing that their health care and that of their loved ones was at stake.

Lucinda Cobb, whose daughter Laura receives care through a Health Insurance Marketplace plan for health conditions resulting from a collision with a drunk driver, was active in efforts to stop the bill. “Laura has made so much progress in the eight years since she was hit by a drunk driver at Washington University. The care she has received thanks the Affordable Care Act actually allowed her to finish her degree this year and secure a job. We’ve watched every step of this debate, knowing that a roll-back of the protections of the ACA would be devastating to her continued recovery. We will sleep more easily tonight knowing that health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions is safe for the moment.”

Lexi Amos, a Springfield mom whose two children rely on Medicaid, also expressed relief. “Medicaid keeps both my children healthy. It’s especially critical for my son, who has special needs. The care he gets through Medicaid helps him stay out of the hospital and in school. We’ve been very worried about what would happen to his care if Congress had passed a bill with huge cuts to Medicaid.”

Jen Bersdale, Executive Director of Missouri Health Care for All, credits the bill’s defeat to the many Americans who spoke out against it. “With Congressional leaders and a President committed to dismantling the Affordable Care Act, many people worried at the beginning of this year that there was nothing we could do to save our health care. This week, we proved once again that when ordinary people raise their voices, it makes a difference.”

Crystal Brigman Mahaney, Deputy Director of Missouri Health Care for All, notes that there will be more health care debates ahead. “Even as we celebrate the defeat of this health care bill, we know Congress is considering making deep cuts to Medicaid through its budget process. All those who care about access to health care should continue to speak up against cuts.”

Sarah Gentry, Policy Director of Missouri Health Care for All, notes that many leaders and citizens are calling for bipartisan cooperation to improve our health care system. “There are many things Congress could do to improve the quality and affordability of our health care system, beginning with stabilizing the insurance markets that have been affected by the uncertainty about looming policy changes. These issues affect Americans across the political spectrum, which is why we are heartened to see elected officials from across the political spectrum calling for a transparent, nonpartisan dialogue about health care. We hope Senator McCaskill and Senator Blunt will be part of efforts to bring leaders together around making positive changes.”

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