CDF-MN Statement on Graham-Cassidy Proposal


September 25, 2017
For More Information Contact:
Jessica Anderson janderson@childrensdefense.org

On September 25, 2017, Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota Executive Director Bharti Wahi issued the following statement in response to the Graham-Cassidy federal health care proposal:

"Minnesotans' ingenuity and commitment to caring for one another has made us a leader in providing access to health coverage and care for all our citizens, especially our children. From the creation of MinnesotaCare to groundbreaking health care research to world-class health care facilities, our state has been an example for nationwide improvements to our health care system. In particular, Minnesota has fully leveraged the Affordable Care Act to build upon it’s ingenuity and commitment to its residents, particularly the most vulnerable – children, disabled and seniors – to have some of the lowest uninsured rates and best health outcomes overall in the country. Health care reform should always propel our citizens, economy and health outcomes forward, not backwards. Minnesota’s economy, health, and values of ingenuity, innovation, and caring for each other are threatened by the Graham-Cassidy proposal through decreased investment in states like ours that know what works, reduction in consumer protections to reduce costs and protect people with pre-existing conditions, and, most significantly, in the breaking of the 50-year promise of Medicaid that has ensured health care access for hard-working Minnesota families, children, seniors, the disabled, and a significant proportion of people living in rural Minnesota.

"With the Graham-Cassidy proposal, Minnesota stands to lose $8 billion in federal funding over the next 10 years. These cuts won’t only hurt the health, well-being and pocket books of lower and middle class Minnesotans, but it will hurt our economy. More than many states, Minnesota’s economy thrives from our strong health care providers, fortune 500 medical device companies, and large insurance providers who choose to do business in the state. Rural Minnesota, like in other rural areas of the country, will in particular will be hit hardest by reductions in Medicaid coverage that allow hospitals and clinics to thrive by providing care, employment, and economic vitality in small communities across our state.

"At Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota we know our children will be hit the hardest. Insured rates of Minnesota children increased by 60 percent to nearly 97 percent since the passage of the ACA. The expansion of Medicaid, which insures 600,000 Minnesota children, and continuation of MinnesotaCare as a Basic Health Plan continued, and often improved, family coverage and care access and affordability. The Graham-Cassidy proposal will reduce these gains that Minnesotans have long worked in a bi-partisan way to achieve. The significant cuts to Medicaid funding, premium tax credits and cost sharing in particular will affect the economic stabilities of our children’s families, putting their immediate and future health and wellbeing at risk. Moreover, it will decimate our state budget, which our state has worked hard across the aisle to be fiscally sound while ensuring we heed our value of caring for each other. Minnesota, our nation and our children deserve better than the Graham-Cassidy proposal. Congress should look to Minnesota for specific strategies to lift up our state’s, and our nation’s, values of ingenuity, innovation and caring for each other when crafting health care reform that moves us all forward, with particular attention to our children. "

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The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.