Statement from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Richard Besser, MD, on Potential Impact of the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Legislation

    • September 21, 2017

The following statement is in response to the Senate’s most recent proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked for more than 40 years to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, high-quality health care.

“We believe that everyone in America should have access to high-quality, affordable, comprehensive health care. The United States Senate may consider legislation as early as next week that could result in dramatic damage to the nation’s health care safety net. This is simply bad for health.

While the Congressional Budget Office has not fully analyzed the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, we believe that the caps on benefits, and significant reductions in funding for Medicaid benefits and insurance subsidies proposed in the new legislation will likely result in millions of people in America losing access to affordable coverage. Medicaid is one of the most important ways that our country keeps health care affordable and accessible for approximately 69 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, low-income and elderly adults, and people with disabilities.

Further, this proposal could eliminate important protections for those with pre-existing health conditions, and weaken the requirement that insurers cover essential health benefits like emergency services, maternal and newborn care, and pediatric care. Finally, the proposed caps to the Medicaid program could also erode care for the disabled, frail elderly and children, along with low-income adults.

This is not the right future for our country.

We support a bipartisan approach to finding solutions that will ensure everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity to access affordable care. As always, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation stands ready to work with others to help achieve that goal.” 


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-6322

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