Director of Communications
December 20, 2017
Tax Bill Will Negatively Impact Healthcare for Millions of Americans
Bill Increases Insurance Premiums and Federal Deficit, Will Cause Cuts to Safety Net Programs
This week both chambers of Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first massive change to the tax code in more than 30 years, and President Trump is expected to sign the legislation before Christmas. The bill gives massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy with smaller, temporary cuts to some low- and middle-income individuals and families. The bill adds more than $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit and repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, the requirement that most Americans have health insurance. The repeal of the individual mandate will send shock waves through the health insurance marketplace, increase the number of uninsured and cause double digit premium increases during the next decade.
“This bill is a Trojan horse that will deliver huge tax cuts to the wealthy and add to the already unsustainable inequities in our economy and healthcare system. The repeal of the individual mandate will drive up premiums and lead to greater uncertainty in the insurance market. This will result in worse health outcomes across the board, especially in historically underserved communities,” said Craig E. Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of APLA Health. “This bill is designed to balloon the deficit and will most certainly result in spending cuts to vital domestic programs including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and the Ryan White Program. Americans across the country will end up paying more—not just with their wallets, but with their health.
“At APLA Health, 55 percent of our patients are at or below the federal poverty level while the average income in Los Angeles County is roughly $56,000. This legislation was not designed for these individuals or families,” Thompson continued. “President Trump promised tax relief for the poor and middle classes. Instead, the Republicans have passed a tax cut for their donors. This is not the legislation that America needs right now.
“Congress still hasn’t passed a budget to fund health center programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other essential domestic programs,” Thompson said. “Americans have been waiting to see leadership from President Trump and Congress, but all they continue to see are broken promises.”
According the Congressional Budget Office, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is projected to lead to 13 million fewer people with health insurance by 2027 and a 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the bill would lead to a roughly $1.5 trillion increase to the federal deficit during the next decade.
APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 15 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at aplahealth.org.