Maine Equal Justice Partners, a civil legal aid organization that represents low-income Maine people in matters of economic security, including access to health care, released the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the effects of the GOP-proposed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act:

The March 13 analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) demonstrates the devastating impact that efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act will have on Mainers, particularly women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and those fighting substance abuse.

“Supporters of this legislation are willing to trade the well-being of millions of people for tax cuts that will only benefit the wealthy,” said Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners. “The American Health Care Act creates a complex funding scheme that will destroy Medicaid, costing millions of Americans health coverage.”

Proposed block grants, so-called “per capita caps” and other reckless schemes threaten Medicaid, which provides health coverage for seniors, including many living in nursing homes or in long-term care facilities, all to pay for tax cuts. According to the CBO, the legislation would cut $880 billion from Medicaid in 10 years, severely limiting coverage, and pass enormous costs onto states.

In addition, Medicaid provides critical health coverage for children, people with disabilities and people who are struggling with addiction.

“This terrible bill will take coverage away from 24 million people, including 14 million just next year,” Merrill said. “And it leaves states on their own to fight opioid addiction and other public health emergencies.”