PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Health officials, providers and elected leaders from Philadelphia urged residents to contact their U.S. senators about the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They predict disastrous consequences for the city if the bill passes.
More than 200,000 Philadelphians received health coverage through the ACA, allowing them to access care not just for physical problems but, as Behavioral Health Commissioner David Jones noted, addiction and mental health issues, too.
“Without the ACA, we’ll see thousands of uninsured and underinsured people go without the support they need,” Jones said. “And let’s be clear, the collateral damage to families could be catastrophic.”
Jones called the latest bill “the most devastating plan we’ve seen.”
“We urge them to consider the countless lives that would be negatively impacted if Cassidy-Graham proposal is passed,” he said.
Homeless Services director Liz Hersh predicted a rise in homelessness as a result. And Monica McCurdy, who directs Health Services for Project HOME, says the uninsured and their families are not the only casualties.
“This bill completely undercuts not only our work but all of the jobs we were able to create,” she said.
The city estimates the ACA created 20,000 jobs that would be put in jeopardy.
Officials say residents should ask the state’s US senators to vote in their constituents’ best interests.