The Republican-led Senate is set to vote on the Better Care Restoration Act before the 4th of July congressional recess. Revealed on Thursday, the bill remains deeply unpopular, and with the vote looming on the horizon, prominent Democrats and progressives are speaking out — including the party's 2016 presidential nominee. On Friday, Hillary Clinton warned Republicans would be "the Death Party" if the GOP health care bill passes, echoing recent criticisms of the bill highlighting its human costs.
Critics have pointed to how the BCRA would affect the health and security of millions of Americans, particularly poor Americans who rely on Medicaid for their health coverage. Much of those criticism has centered on how the bill's steep cuts to Medicaid, among other things, would amount to a death sentence for Americans who rely on the program. The bill also rolls back on President Donald Trump's campaign promise that he would not make any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.
After a draft of the bill was released to the public, the Center for American Progress came out with its estimations: the additional number of deaths that would occur in 2026 due to the bill's passage would be between 18,000 and 27,000.
Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party. https://t.co/jCStfOaBjy— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 23, 2017
And, if the Senate bill strips as many people's insurance as the House bill was projected to ― the CBO still has not yet scored the Senate bill, which was remained a secret up until this week ― it could mean a total of approximately 217,000 additional deaths over the next ten years.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly eager for a vote before the July 4th recess, but it's still unclear whether the GOP has enough votes for it to pass the Senate. A handful of Republicans senators have already come out against the bill in its current form, and with so little time to make amendments and so many voices in opposition, the BCRA might not make it to Trump's desk.
GOP: no more "safe spaces" from inconvenient facts— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 24, 2017
PEOPLE: people will die because of your healthcare bill
GOP: omg how could you say that
While the majority of those millions who lose insurance ― and therefore access to relatively affordable health care ― might not die, many have noted that the exorbitant costs of health care in America would leave them at risk of severe financial ruin should a medical emergency ever arise, not to mention the reduced feasibility of regular checkups or preventative care, or prescription drugs.
Although conservatives have pushed back against the "caustic tone" in opposition of the bill, for many Americans whose health care will be affected, the stakes, as they've demonstrated, are really that high.