ACPP news releases

U.S. Senate should protect Americans’ health care by rejecting House’s reckless 'repeal and replace' plan

Arise Citizens Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, May 4, 2017, in response to the U.S. Houses passage of the American Health Care Act:

“Today’s narrow U.S. House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in exchange for a giant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans sends a harsh message to Alabamians, but it’s not the final word. Unless the Senate rejects it, this bill would force harmful cuts to Medicaid, which covers more than 1 million children, low-income seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities across Alabama. For everyone else, the bill would turn back the clock to a time when insurers could discriminate against people who got sick and could deny coverage for life-saving treatments by imposing annual and lifetime benefit caps.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people and saved thousands of lives across Alabama. Nearly 200,000 Alabamians have signed up for insurance through the ACA. More than 2 million Alabamians have pre-existing conditions that would have made it hard or impossible for them to get full coverage before the ACA lifted coverage caps and guaranteed their access to insurance. And the ACA has significantly reduced the number of uninsured young Alabamians by allowing 35,000 of them to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.

“Instead of improving the current law with sensible, targeted changes, the House has voted to reverse the ACA’s gains and put our nation’s health care in peril. Alabamians have spoken out loud and clear against the House vote. It’s time to turn our voices to the Senate, where we’re counting on our senators to stand up for a healthier Alabama and stop this reckless bill in its tracks.”

End of judicial override is a win for justice in Alabama

Arise Citizens Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Tuesday, April 4, 2017, after the House voted 78-19 for a bill to end Alabama’s judicial override policy, which allows judges to impose a death sentence in capital cases despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole:

“Judicial override is about to become a thing of the past, and Alabama’s justice system will be better as a result. It’s time for our state to put the sentencing decisions in death penalty cases where they belong: in the jury’s hands. We’re happy to see such strong support in the House and Senate for ending this outdated practice, and we hope the governor will sign it into law quickly.”

Defeat of House health bill is a victory for children, seniors and families across Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Friday, March 24, 2017, in response to U.S. House leaders’ withdrawal of the American Health Care Act:

“The House health plan would have taken coverage away from 24 million Americans and put essential protections at risk for tens of millions more. It would have forced devastating Medicaid cuts that would have hurt children, seniors, and people with disabilities across Alabama. And it would have done all that to fund huge tax cuts for wealthy people and big corporations. It was a bad bill that deserved to die, and we’re glad it did.

“Defeating this bad bill was essential, but it was only the first step. Everyday Alabamians must keep up the pressure on lawmakers to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and make quality health coverage a reality for everyone. We urge Gov. Robert Bentley to expand Medicaid immediately to ensure that low-wage workers and struggling families across Alabama can get the care they need to stay healthy and productive.”

Senate judicial override vote a good step to improve Alabama's justice system

Arise Citizens Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, after the state Senate voted 30-1 to end Alabama’s judicial override policy, which allows judges to impose a death sentence in capital cases despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole:

“The Senate’s vote to end judicial override in death penalty cases is a step in the right direction for Alabama’s justice system. The right to a trial by jury is a cornerstone of our justice system, and we should respect a jury’s ability to weigh the evidence for sentencing, just as we do on guilt or innocence. Alabama is the only state that still allows judicial overrides, and it’s time to join the rest of the country in making this outdated practice a thing of the past.”

'No repeal without replacement' is essential step to protect health care for Alabamians

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in response to the release of Gov. Robert Bentley’s letter to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy on suggested changes to the Affordable Care Act:

“We’re glad the governor recognizes the importance of not repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, and we’re glad he urged Congress to protect funding for Medicaid and ALL Kids. But it was deeply disturbing to see him raise the prospects of allowing ‘a waiting period for pre-existing conditions’ and giving states more power to ‘reduce Medicaid benefits or enrollment.’

“Alabama Medicaid already has one of the lowest income eligibility limits and one of the most limited benefit packages in the country. Slashing our state’s barebones Medicaid program even more deeply would hurt hundreds of thousands of children, seniors, and people with disabilities who live in poverty, and it would do nothing to make our state healthier or more prosperous. Neither would returning to the bad old days of allowing discrimination against people with health conditions like cancer or diabetes.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people and saved thousands of lives across Alabama. Nearly 200,000 Alabamians have signed up for insurance through the ACA. More than 2 million Alabamians have pre-existing conditions that would have made it hard or impossible for them to get full coverage before the ACA lifted coverage caps and guaranteed their access to insurance. And the ACA has significantly reduced the number of uninsured young Alabamians by allowing 35,000 of them to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26.

“The stakes are too high for Alabamians to stay silent. We urge Alabamians to continue pressuring their members of Congress to protect Medicaid and not to repeal the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement that offers comparable coverage and consumer protections.”

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