What we’re reading: This week in health care

This week, efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ramped up again, this time via the Graham-Cassidy bill. While a recent announcement by Sen. John McCain means the bill is unlikely to move forward, it will likely not be the last of such efforts. Meanwhile, demands for a more just health care system are continuing to grow. Here’s what we’re reading to learn more.


What you need to know about the GOP's latest health care proposal, by Kenrya Rankin via Colorlines

“It makes other deep cuts to Medicaid. As CNN Money explains, the program, which 34 million non-elderly people of color rely on for health insurance, would be funded differently if the proposal passes, effectively ending the program expansion. The federal government would issue states a fixed amount of money per enrollee starting in 2020. It would also tie the funding growth rate to standard inflation beginning in 2025, eschewing the faster-climbing medical inflation rate.”


Graham-Cassidy: A moral outrage that could end coverage for 32 million, by Amelia Kegan via Truthout

The loud public outcry against cutting and dismantling the Medicaid program is what brought down the AHCA and the BCRA. The moral outrage against taking away health coverage from tens of millions of Americans and charging people with preexisting conditions unaffordable rates convinced enough senators to come out and oppose that legislation. And that is what can bring down the Graham-Cassidy proposal.


The Senate is about to vote on a bill that will devastate women and gender minorities’ health care, by Amanda Michelle Gomez via Think Progress

“If this bill is enacted, maternity care could be optional for states. Additionally, preventative reproductive care — the type that helps 24-year-old people control when they get pregnant — is jeopardized. The bill prohibits federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood clinics for one year. In 2010, Planned Parenthood cared for at least half of all women who depend on publicly funded family planning services.”


Single payer is on the national agenda—and it’s thanks to people’s movements, by Ben Palmquist via In These Times

“Nijmie Dzurinko, a PPF-PA co-founder in Philadelphia, stresses the importance of building a new political force—one grounded in the political leadership of the communities that have the greatest stake in transforming the healthcare system.

‘Universal healthcare would benefit everyone,’ she says, ‘and it’s a policy that a majority of the public already supports. But winning universal healthcare isn’t about polling. It’s about power. The health insurance industry is tremendously wealthy, and they know how to use their money and weight to keep elected officials, media outlets and other institutions under their thumb. The only way to win the healthcare system we need is if the people who have the greatest stake in transforming the system come together to demand it.’”


So much for states’ rights — GOP senator wants to ban state single payer in new health care bill, by Zaid Jilani and Ryan Grim via The Intercept

“Kennedy’s amendment is similar to pre-emption laws many states have passed to prohibit municipalities from controlling their own minimum wages or enacting municipal broadband. These laws have emanated from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a policy network funded by corporations.”


"What We're Reading" is a weekly feature on AFSC’s News and Commentary blog, where we share a curated collection of recent articles on timely issues. "What We're Reading" is meant to spark discussion, debate, and knowledge sharing, and the articles we highlight do not necessarily reflect the official organizational positions of AFSC.

We encourage you to tell us what you're reading on these issues in the comments below.