WASHINGTON, DC (December 2, 2017) Today, the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 49 to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week and voted on early this morning by the Senate after hours of formal debate and last-minute changes. Notably, the bill includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual mandate. The final version will be created once the Senate’s version goes to a conference committee and is reconciled by both houses of Congress. This final version will be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Below is the statement of Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“It is disgraceful that this tax bill has moved forward despite the enormous toll that it will take on the health of individuals and their families, chief among them, Black women. This bill reverses the progress that we as a nation have made toward reducing the burden of avoidable death and disease of families and communities.
“It is a fact that Black women are disproportionately impacted by chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, HIV/AIDS and cancer. It is also a fact that access to affordable quality health insurance saves lives. For example, uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer die at twice the rate of women who have health insurance at the time of diagnosis. Repealing the individual mandate will result in a rise of insurance premiums by nearly 10 percent, which will place health insurance out of reach for millions of women.”
“This bill will result in further harm to Black women who are enrolled in Medicaid, particularly women of reproductive age. Instead of finding ways to expand health insurance coverage, this bill proposes cuts to Medicaid that will eliminate health care women need most like contraceptive care, screening for breast and cervical cancer, and well-woman visits. We are urging Congress to remove the language that repeals the individual mandate and work together to assure everyone, including Black women, has access to high quality, affordable insurance so they can live their healthiest lives.”
BWHI Communications Manager