ARLINGTON, Va., March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote today on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Diabetes Association (Association) expresses continued concerns with the bill and urges all members of Congress to oppose it. The Association's Chief Executive Officer Kevin L. Hagan released the following statement:
"On behalf of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and the 86 million more with prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association cannot support the AHCA as it is currently drafted, and urges all members of Congress to oppose this bill. "The Association is extremely alarmed by projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that show roughly 24 million people will lose coverage over the next decade; the significantly weaker tax credits compared to current ACA tax credits; the proposed continuous coverage premium penalty; and the proposed changes to Medicaid under this bill. Each of these elements could have a devastating effect on people with diabetes and negatively impact their ability to manage their disease. "The Association has grave concerns with the bill's elimination of the requirement for plans to cover all of the Essential Health Benefits, a critical component of the ACA, which, if repealed, will put people with diabetes at risk of being unable to access the care and services necessary to manage their diabetes. Further, the current draft of the AHCA would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund after 2018, eliminating almost 40 percent of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) chronic disease prevention and health promotion budget and taking a drastic step backwards for diabetes prevention.