Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District), Chair of Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services, will be introducing a resolution today to authorize hearings on the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), its impact on the City’s health care institutions, and Philadelphia’s preparedness for the potential influx of uninsured and underinsured residents. President Trump, on his first day in office, signed an Executive Order directing members of his administration to take steps in facilitating the repeal and replacement of the ACA.
“Healthcare is a critical issue for all of us, stated Bass, “and just the mention of repealing health coverage and protections is causing real insecurity among my constituents. I am particularly concerned about the strain such repeal will place on our City Health Centers, which must provide care to anyone regardless of insurance coverage. With the ACA our Health Centers were able to be reimbursed for many of the patients coming through its doors.”
According to Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, “the Affordable Care Act has given over 220,000 people in Philadelphia health insurance, which has provided them access to primary and preventive care. Repealing this law would seriously harm those who are most in need.”
Antoinette Kraus, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, states that:
“Councilwoman Bass and City Council are taking decisive leadership to understand repeal’s impact and evaluate the City’s preparedness. Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act provide a vital safety net for hardworking families, small businesses, and seniors. We must oppose damaging changes that would limit benefits and put the health and economic security of Philadelphians at risk.”
The hearings are likely to cast a wide net to get sense of how the repeal will impact individuals as well as the many health care institutions in the City. State officials will be queried to find out what will be done to assure that all Philadelphians have access to affordable health insurance. In addition, Bass also indicated that she would be looking for best practices throughout the country to see how other jurisdictions are proactively providing health services for their residents in the face of the coming crisis.
“Philadelphia, as the fifth largest city in the country, cannot just wait for this train wreck to happen. We need to understand this issue from all perspectives if we are to appropriately address the repercussions of the ACA repeal,” Bass stated. “We cannot and will not stand idly by.”
Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.