Trump Administration Budget Slashes Support for Young Adults

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

Trump Administration Budget Slashes Support for Young Adults

Today, the Trump Administration released its FY18 budget proposal, which includes severe cuts  to a number of programs millions of young people are using to build a better life for themselves, their families, and our national economy. This budget would restrict their access to health care, higher education, and valuable job training, making our generation less financially stable.

Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director for Young Invincibles, released the following statement, as well as the following analysis on programs cut within health care, higher education, workforce training and financial security:

“This budget is grossly out of step with the needs of young people and the priorities of most members of Congress. It fails to invest in young people and the future of our country, by slashing opportunities for young adults to gain skills through education, sustain themselves and their families, and contribute to our workforce.

Most alarmingly, this budget proposes cutting $616 billion dollars from Medicaid and CHIP, on top of the $800 billion in cuts the American Health Care Act, a bill the Administration has endorsed, would make. Nearly 4 million young adults gained access to health care through Medicaid expansion. Taking away their coverage as they work toward financial security is harsh and self-defeating.

Moreover, the budget strips away supports for students and young workers, making completing and succeeding in our economy even more difficult. It cuts Pell, terminates federal funding for on-campus childcare and halves support for Federal Work Study, which gives students the opportunity to work while they attend college. We know that those students who take on debt, but are unable to complete their degrees, are often in the worst financial circumstances. This budget would put more of our generation in those dire financial circumstances, and make it harder for students to pay off their debt. The bill also underfunds job training programs and career and technical education, essential to address the middle-skill jobs gap and fully develop the next generation of American workers.

The Administration has made a clear statement that it is not serious about addressing the needs of young people, and that it is willing to recklessly drain funding from programs they use the first major opportunity it gets.”

Health Care

  • Medicaid and CHIP: This budget comes in the wake of a disastrous Congressional health care proposal that would gut Medicaid by cutting over $800 billion from the program, eliminating health care for 10 million people and leave young people dramatically worse off. This budget doubles down on that brutal approach by slashing another $616 billion from Medicaid and CHIP. For over 50 years, Medicaid has delivered care to millions of young people, as well as children, the disabled, low-income Americans, and those suffering from addiction. To see such savage cuts to this program is not only a broken campaign promise-it will lead to preventable injuries and illnesses going untreated and make America a crueler place to live, work, and raise a family.

Higher Education

  • Pell Grants: The budget would leave the Pell Grant frozen and stagnant, further eroding its purchasing power for the nearly 8 million low- and moderate-income students that rely on it. The Trump budget cuts $3.9 billion from Pell, masking that cut by couching it in positive language around the restoration of Year-Round Pell, a recent bipartisan achievement, which does not need new or separate money to operate. Cutting money from Pell imperils the stability of the program and will make it more difficult to maintain and expand eligibility and enhance the Pell Grant’s future effectiveness.
  • CCAMPIS: The budget zeroes out the $15 million CCAMPIS program, which helps low-income parents in college afford on-campus childcare. One in four students are parents, and they take on more debt and have to juggle more responsibility than other students. Young parents should be able to pursue their degree without worrying about the safety and health of their children. Eliminating funding for this program fails to support parents who are working to make a better life for their families.
  • Federal Work Study: The budget nearly halves the amount of funding for the Federal Work Study program, cutting $488 million. Work study helps students pay for the costs of tuition and attendance and gain valuable work experience while enrolled. The vast majority of employers today expect real-world experience from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires. The budget accurately identifies issues with how the current formula could be improved to better assist low-income students-but instead of discussing how the program can be improved, the Administration just slashes funding and moves on.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: The budget would end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which at least over 550,000 borrowers have signed up for and are reliant upon for loan relief, with millions more eligible. Teachers, counselors, social workers, public defenders, medical professionals and other public servants, many of whom are required to take on post-graduate debt to obtain a necessary credential for their job, are filling essential jobs in communities nationwide. Mercifully, the Administration proposes grandfathering this change and will not pull the rug out from under those already enrolled. However, eliminating the program could have damaging effects to underserved rural and urban communities alike, and increase the indebtedness of our generation, to the detriment of the American economy.
  • Career and Technical Education: This budget proposal contains language signaling intent to propose legislation to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. CTE is vital for both students and employers because it teaches young people valuable, in-demand skills that employers need and provides hands-on training. However, this budget only allocates $186 million to implement its reauthorization, while the previous Administration asked for double that amount for its reauthorization proposal. Currently, House Democrats and Republicans are working together on improving access to CTE and their bipartisan bill calls for over a billion dollars of annual investment. President Trump claims his priority is strengthening our economy, but underfunding CTE weakens our current and future workforce by limiting access to marketable skills.
  • Simplifying Repayment: Shortening the window for forgiveness of undergraduate loans to 15 years may prove to be a welcome move for many young people with student debt, and simplification of the existing system is a positive step. However, the lack of detail regarding this policy proposal is concerning, and the reform plan could raise monthly payments for a large portion enrolled through requiring a higher percentage of a borrower’s income to be paid. Extending the forgiveness period to 30 years for graduate loans combined with the elimination of PSLF is a recipe for lifelong financial difficulties for many borrowers.
  • Other Programs That Enable Degree Completion: Additionally, the Trump administration’s budget dramatically cuts $193 million from TRIO and GEAR UP,  as well as eliminating the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant program that goes to the neediest students in America. The budget also phases out subsidized federal loans, which help 6 million students a year who have to take out loans to get a degree pay less for college, and the Perkins loan program.

Workforce Training and Financial Security

  • WIOA: The budget cuts $1.3 billion from job training and employment service grants administered under the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which has bipartisan support as our nation’s primary job training system for people trying to develop marketable skills in the 21st century economy. The grants cover adult, youth, and dislocated workers, as well as employment service programs.
  • Limited Paid Family Leave: The budget proposes a non-comprehensive paid parental leave plan that gives less paid leave than the international average, is narrower than proposals that include non-parental caregivers, and would allow states to choose to participate or not.
  • National Service: The budget would eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which operates AmeriCorps and several other community service programs that employ over 80,000 workers a year and benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans. This elimination further limits options for young people looking to find work or serve their country.
  • Youth Job Development: The budget cuts Youth Activities from the Department of Labor budget by $394 million. Youth Activities Grants support a wide range of activities and services to prepare low-income youth for academic and employment success, including summer and year-round jobs. Investing in low-income young adults today can address widening financial disparities in the future, so cutting this program is unwise and short-sighted. However, the budget does maintain previous spending levels of $90 million on Apprenticeship Grants, which help states and industries expand apprenticeship opportunities for young people.
  • Housing: The budget eliminates the largest federal block grant dedicated to help state and localities address affordable housing needs, cutting the $948 million HOME Investment Partnerships Program, at a time young adults struggle to afford housing.

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Preliminary Trump Education Budget Threatens Millennials’ Ability to Obtain Higher Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

Today, the Washington Post reported on a preliminary version of the Trump Administration’s education budget, expected to be finalized and released next week. The budget slashes $9.2B from the Department of Education, allocating 13.6 percent less than the budget Congress approved just last month. This cut includes programs that serve millions of students by allowing them to access and complete higher education.

Reid Setzer, Young Invincibles’ Director of Government Affairs released the below statement on the reported budget cuts:

“This proposal would place more obstacles in front of students by cutting federal financial aid, on-campus supports, and reducing opportunities to gain skills, thereby making completing a credential that much harder. The President has claimed he wants to “take steps to help students” address their student debt, but this budget would do the exact opposite.”

Pell Grants –

The reported budget would leave the maximum Pell Grant amount frozen and stagnant, further eroding its purchasing power for the nearly 8 million low- and moderate-income students that rely on it. The original Trump Administration “skinny budget” also included 3.9 billion in cuts to Pell, which further reporting indicates is still included in the full budget. While the budget contains positive language about Year-Round Pell, that program was reinstated by the recent budget deal and does not need new funding to operate. However, cutting money from Pell imperils the stability of the program and will make it harder to maintain Year-Round Pell, a bipartisan achievement.

CCAMPIS –

The reported budget zeroes out the $15 million CCAMPIS program, which helps low-income parents in college afford on-campus childcare. One in four students are parents, and they take on more debt and have to juggle more responsibility than other students. Young parents should be able to pursue their degree without worrying about the safety and health of their children. Eliminating funding for this program fails to support parents who are working to make a better life for their families.

Career and Technical Education –

The reported budget cuts career and technical education (CTE) by $168 million, down 15 percent compared to current funding. CTE is vital for both students and employers because it teaches young people valuable, in-demand skills that employers need and provides hands-on training. President Trump claims his priority is strengthening our economy, but cutting CTE weakens our current and future workforce by cutting off access to marketable skills. This proposal comes as House Democrats and Republicans are working together on improving access to CTE.

Federal Work Study –

The reported budget nearly halves the amount of funding for the Federal Work Study program, cutting $490 million. Work study helps students pay for the cost of tuition and attendance and gain valuable work experience while enrolled. The vast majority of employers today expect real-world experience from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires, and simply cutting this program walks away from a golden opportunity to discuss how it can work better for low-income students and provide more diverse employment opportunities for those enrolled.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness -

The reported budget would end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which at least over 550,000 borrowers are signed up for and reliant upon for loan relief, with millions more eligible. Teachers, counselors, social workers, public defenders, medical professionals and other public servants are filling essential jobs in communities nationwide. Eliminating the program could have damaging effects to both rural and urban communities alike, and increase the indebtedness of our generation, to the detriment of the American economy.

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Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act Would Modernize & Improve the Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 16, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

[WASHINGTON]- Today, a bicameral group of US Senators and Representatives introduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, a bill that would strengthen and expand the nation’s flagship college affordability grant program. The Pell Grant helps almost 8 million low- and moderate-income students afford higher education annually, and has done so for over fifty years. This comprehensive bill from Senators Murray (D-WA) and Hirono (D-HI) and Representatives Scott (D-VA), S. Davis (D-CA), with 10 additional co-sponsors, would put the program on firm financial footing by shifting it to mandatory funding, expanding eligibility for the program, and improving the purchasing power of Pell by boosting the award. It builds upon several existing proposals from other Congressional offices, and Young Invincibles is happy to support the bill.

Young Invincibles’ Government Affairs Director, Reid Setzer added: “This proposal modernizes and expands the Pell Grant to make it more responsive to the 21st century student. Pell currently does not reflect the true cost of college, making it difficult for today’s students to complete a degree without taking on significant debt. This proposal helps combat this trend by increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and pegging future awards to inflation. Equally important, this bill would take Pell off the chopping block by shifting funding from discretionary to mandatory spending, giving students and families the assurance that Pell will be there when deciding how to pay for college. This proposal also opens doors to higher education for millions of new students to prepare them for jobs in today’s workforce, including DREAMers, people who are incarcerated, and previously defrauded students, among others. Investing in America’s future is critical to help grow the economy, and modernizing Pell to reflect the needs of today’s students and workforce is one of the best ways Congress can do just that.”

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Young Invincibles Expresses Support for College Transparency Act of 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 15, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

[Washington DC]- Today, a bipartisan group of US Senators introduced the College Transparency Act of 2017, a bill that would modernize our higher education data infrastructure by providing much needed outcomes information, while safeguarding student privacy and security. The bill from Senators Cassidy (R-LA), Hatch (R-UT), Warren (D-MA) and Whitehouse (D-RI) would ensure that vital metrics, including program-level graduation rates, loan repayment rates and job outcomes, are available to students. Those metrics would also be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and Pell-status, among other crucial data sets.

The bill will simultaneously protect student privacy by explicitly prohibiting collecting student health records, disciplinary history, immigration status or national origin, or religion. The bill also restricts how other federal agencies can access and use the system, and prohibits using the system to take action against an individual student. Young Invincibles is happy to support the College Transparency Act, and urges the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to take up the bill.

Young Invincibles’ Government Affairs Director Reid Setzer added, “This bill would create a secure postsecondary data system that would benefit policymakers, institutions, and most importantly, students. Currently, students and their families are left in the dark when it comes to accessing basic information on whether students attending specific schools and enrolled in specific programs succeed. For example, we don’t have a clear, complete picture of how many students in a certain program graduate, get a job in the field they studied, or if they are able to pay back their loans. This bill will enable students and families to make better informed decisions, ease the burden on colleges and universities, and give policymakers a better idea of how taxpayer dollars should be invested. The bill also takes impressive measures to protect sensitive personal information, which we know is critically important to today’s students.”

Daniel Niersbach, President of the Indiana University Student Association, expressed support for the bill: “The current student record ban doesn’t empower our youth to make the right choices for themselves when it comes to higher education. Rather, it forces them to take chances and chase assumptions, when major investments are on the line. The Indiana University Student Association is in support of the College Transparency Act of 2017 because students need and deserve more accurate, accessible, and comprehensive information regarding one of the most important decisions of their lives.”

Sammy Geisinger, Executive Director of the Association of Big 10 Students said: “When I was searching for schools, information about the outcomes of majors or programs was hard to come by. Even as an enrolled student, I’m curious about job prospects and the career path that I’ve chosen and want to know how other graduates from my school are doing in the workforce. We spend a lot of time and money on college, and this data system will help students make more informed decisions on how to plan their educations and careers.”

The bill would achieve many of the principles laid out in the Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform, a collection of student asks signed on by organizations representing over one million students.  We enthusiastically endorse these provisions for their role in protecting student privacy.

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House Republicans Vote to Endanger the Health of Young America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 4, 2017

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

House Republicans Vote to Endanger the Health of Young America

In response to today’s House vote to push forward the American Health Care Act, Young Invincibles released the following statement, from Executive Director, Jen Mishory:

“In voting for the American Health Care Act, Republicans in Congress voted to as much as double the young adult uninsured rate, sentence the 31 million young people who have a pre-existing condition to a lifetime of discrimination, defund Planned Parenthood, and gut Medicaid. Since passage of the ACA, more than 8 million young adults have gained coverage that has saved lives by enabling them to access free preventive care and other critical benefits. The American Health Care Act would reverse this progress. Young people, and all Americans, expect more from their representatives and deserve better than an unconscionable bill that would destroy lives.”

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Upton Amendment Breaks GOP Promise on Pre-Existing Condition Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 3, 2017

Contact: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202.734.6510

Upton Amendment Does Not Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions

[WASHINGTON]–A new amendment from Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) was announced today. Rep. Upton’s amendment would add a measly $8 billion to an already insufficient $130 billion fund to absorb higher costs people with pre-existing conditions would pay under the American Health Care Act. Young Invincibles’ Executive Director Jen Mishory issued the following statement on the new amendment:

“Congressman Upton’s amendment does nothing to fix a terrible bill that will make young adult uninsurance rates skyrocket, guts benefits, and increases out of pocket costs. This bill breaks Republicans’ fundamental promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions. It’s bad for young people and bad for the country.”

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FY17 Budget Deal A Mixed Bag For Millennials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 2, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Yesterday, Republican and Democratic leadership released a final budget deal to fund the federal government for the rest of the 2017 Fiscal Year, and final deal included both wins and losses for young people. The deal restored of Year-Round Pell for the 2017-2018 school year, which is a win for students, allowing as many as one million students to access their need-based financial aid in the summer and accelerating their time to completion and often limiting student debt loads. The deal also contains some modest increases in funding for key higher education programs including TRIO, GEAR UP and apprenticeships.

However, the budget deal also contains problematic cuts of over $1.3B to the Pell Grant program. This cut undermines the stability of the program by limiting the program’s ability to combat possible future funding shortfalls. While some additional Pell funds will be used to improve the program through the restoration of Year-Round Pell, the $1.3B cut also serves as a disturbing precedent. Additionally, after this year, the Pell Grant award will no longer be indexed to inflation, which will lead to further reductions the purchasing power of the award.  This means it will cover ever smaller portions of ever-increasing college tuition.

On health care, the budget also fails to include language that would ensure the continuation of critical payments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), referred to as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) or subsidies, that help reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers. Millennials make up more than 43 percent of non-elderly adults whose earnings fall in the cost-sharing earnings eligibility threshold. Without the law’s cost-sharing reductions, Americans of all income levels will either pay more for health care or lose coverage altogether as insurers may pull out of insurance markets across the country. Without action from Congress, the future of CSRs lies with the Administration, which has made contradictory statements on this topic for months and failed to put forward a timeline for how long it will continue making these payments.

In response to this budget, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“This budget deal includes a win for students with the restoration of year-round Pell, but then turns around and cuts $1.3B from the program.  As we move toward the upcoming FY2018 budget negotiation, Congress and the Administration must end this strategy of raiding Pell.  

With this budget, the future also remains uncertain for young adults’ access to affordable health care. It’s past time the Administration and Republicans in Congress follow the law and commit to permanently pay out cost-sharing reductions. Including funding for cost-sharing reductions in this budget would have been the clearest and most direct way to do so: as Congressional Republicans continue to recklessly push to undermine and repeal the ACA,  we’re left at the whim of the Administration, which has already equivocated on this issue and put our nation’s health at risk. Future budget deals must hold the line on ensuring affordable health care for our generation.”

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Latest Republican Health Care Plan Could Hurt the 46 Percent of Young Adults with a Pre-Existing Condition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 26, 2017
Contact: Colin Seeberger, colin.seeberger@younginvincibles.org, 214-223-2913

[Washington, D.C.] — Today, Young Invincibles released a new report analyzing health care coverage for Millennials, underscoring how detrimental the latest version of the American Health Care Act would be for young people. The report reviews the gains young adults (18-34) have experienced under the Affordable Care Act, and the specific provisions most relevant to this generation. The new Republican replacement plan would remove or severely limit the impact of many of these provisions.

Millennials have seen dramatic gains in health insurance coverage since passage of the ACA, outpacing every other age demographic. The young adult uninsurance rate dropped from 29 percent in 2010, the highest rate among all age groups, to 16 percent in 2015. This represent a 45 percent decrease in the rate of uninsurance. Despite constituting only about one-third of the total United States population, young adults accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of the newly insured from 2014 to 2015.

The report finds that young people saw the impact of reform through several provisions, including three of the key provisions at risk in the latest House GOP proposal: protections from discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions; the expansion of Medicaid; and the inclusion of a number of key services in the essential health benefits package.  The latest version of the Republican health care proposal would either entirely remove or severely limit coverage and health services gains in all three provisions.

  • Discrimination against pre-existing conditions would hurt millions of Millennials: Millions of young adults are living with a preexisting condition. An analysis conducted by HHS in 2011 found 35 percent of 18- 24 year olds and 46 percent of 25-34 year olds were considered at risk for denial of health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.
  • Allowing states to easily remove essential health benefits would cut services that young adults use the most:
    • Maternity Coverage: The vast majority (83 percent) of first-time mothers are between the ages of 18-34 and rely on prenatal and maternity care.
    • Mental Health Services: Mental health was the number one reason young adults sought health care in 2013, with 7.6 million young adults taking advantage of this service.
    • Preventive Care: Young adults use preventive care for STD and HIV testing, cancer screenings, well-woman visits, depression and alcohol screening, and perhaps most importantly to young women, access to prescription contraception.
  • Gutting Medicaid could harm nearly half of all young adults who got covered under the ACA: Of the 8 million young adults who gained coverage since the ACA passed, nearly 4 million gained coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap—by expanding Medicaid programs in all states to cover individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level—would further reduce the uninsured rate for young adults to 9.2 percent

“This newest version of the House GOP plan takes a bad bill and makes it worse for young people,” said Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles. “It was already going to take away health coverage for 24 million people and severely increase the uninsured rate for this generation. The newest outline builds on that devastation, allowing states to discriminate against millions of young people living with a pre-existing condition – condemning too many in this generation to a lifetime of battles trying to get coverage and care they can actually afford. At the same time, it also allows states to pull coverage benefits for mothers seeking maternity care to ensure they can have healthy babies and the million of young people who need mental health services. Young people, and all Americans, expect more.”

Click here to read the full report.

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What’s Happened to Millennials since the ACA? Unprecedented Coverage & Improved Access to Benefits

Millennials have seen large gains in health insurance coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, outpacing every other age demographic. Young people had the highest pre-ACA uninsurance rates, but saw the sharpest declines, dropping from 29 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2015 – a fall of 45 percent. Despite constituting only 30 percent of the total United States population, young adults accounted for 46 percent of the newly insured from 2014 to 2015.

The ACA significantly reduced the number of uninsured Millennials, in large part, because of a) the expansion of Medicaid beyond narrow categorical eligibility requirements, b) the creation of advanceable, refundable tax credits offered to low and middle-income people, and c) expanded dependent coverage to allow young adults to stay on their parent or guardian’s health plan until the age of 26.

To learn more about how the ACA has improved coverage for young adults, read our latest brief.

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New ACA Repeal Bill Would Harm As Many As 30 Million Millennials with Pre-Existing Conditions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

Today, it was made public that Congressman MacArthur plans to introduce an amendment to the American Health Care Act, which the Administration and members of the House have suggested could go to a vote next week. In response, Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement:

“Once again, just a few short weeks since House Republicans tried to dismantle our health care system and strip millions of coverage, GOP leaders are trying to force the unpopular American Health Care Act through –  this time, with a new amendment that will make a bad bill worse.

The MacArthur amendment would again make people with pre-existing conditions vulnerable to being charged higher premiums based on their health status, putting affordable health care in jeopardy for the 30 million Millennials living with a pre-existing health condition. The amendment also alleges to protect comprehensive coverage, but in reality the amendment would allow states to strip key services from health plans, like maternity care, substance use disorder services, mental health care, and other vital services that Millennials want and need in their health coverage.

These harmful changes will be the newest threats added to the AHCA, which would already take away the health coverage of 24 million people. Republican leaders need to abandon this reckless repeal effort once and for all.”

 

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