The union council representing more than 23,000 service workers in New Jersey is urging the defeat of the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Graham-Cassidy bill would make deep cuts in Medicaid and jeopardize subsidies that help more than 200,000 New Jerseyans afford health insurance.
“New Jersey’s Congressional delegation must stand totally united in rejecting Graham-Cassidy, a bill that would wipe out years of advancements in our healthcare system and jeopardize the health and wellbeing of families in every corner of our state,” said Milly Silva, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. “If any Congressperson votes in favor of this draconian bill, we must seriously challenge whether you should represent New Jerseyans.
As a union of healthcare workers who are on the front lines each day caring for people whose lives will be devastated by cuts to Medicaid and other health programs, we will not rest until effort to repeal the ACA is stopped once and for all.”
The constituent unions of the State Council-The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), Workers United, and 1199SEIU are staunchly opposed to the detrimental impact that Graham-Cassidy would have on hospital patients, nursing home residents, homecare recipients, low-income families, and individuals of all types who depend on the protections enshrined in the Affordable Care Act.
“This would have a terrible impact on our community and our state,” said Dr. Joanelle Bailey, a surgery resident at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who works at University Hospital in Newark. “Medicaid cuts would significantly hurt our patients here.” Because New Jersey expanded Medicaid it would be particularly hard hit by the bill’s plan to siphon funds to states that did not, said Bailey, who is regional vice-president for CIR. She noted that Graham-Cassidy also calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood for a year. “This would be a regression in terms of the positive moves of the ACA in healthcare.”
Wilfredo Larancuent, Secretary Treasurer of the Laundry, Distribution & Food Service Joint Board of Workers United and head of the state council, said Graham-Cassidy needs to be stopped in its tracks. “We can’t stand by as Republicans attempt to ram through this mean-spirited bill that will make healthcare less affordable – and perhaps even out of reach – for working people,” he said.
The SEIU NJ State Council is comprised of unions representing 23,000 service workers throughout the state, including those in healthcare, warehouse, food service and maintenance workers.