CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Following Monday’s release of the Republican health care plan, members of three organizations say the bill would harm West Virginians and reverse the successes of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Representatives of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, the West Virginia Council of Churches and West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition held a joint press conference Tuesday regarding the proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

The American Health Care Act would halt Medicaid expansion, repeal the individual mandate, remove taxes passed in the original act and block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year.

The act would instead offer tax credits for purchasing health insurance, while also keeping certain portions of “Obamacare.” This includes the provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

The tax credits would be tied to age and income, with credits increasing with age.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy reported in January that 184,000 people could lose health care coverage if “Obamacare” was repealed.

According to Renate Pore, the interim director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, states would be hurt by the change. This is especially in regards to Medicaid. She said 175,000 West Virginians became covered under Medicaid under the law.

“Instead of helping states pay for the medical costs incurred, this bill would give states a set amount per a per capita cap,” she said. “It would reduce money for the Medicaid expansion, and probably end it, especially for poor, rural states like West Virginia.”

Pore also said West Virginians have greatly benefited from the current health care law, saying more people are using health care today and 97 percent of children in West Virginia have health care coverage.

Jeff Allen, the executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, said the bill would not result in people being more secure.

“The only result that will come from this bill is that more people will be sick, more be will be insecure and more people will be poor,” he said. “Some people will die.”

Conservative groups have voiced their concerns over the bill. Advocacy groups Heritage Action and FreedomWorks have voiced their opposition for not doing enough, with the latter group calling the bill “Obamacare-lite.”

Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., regarding Medicaid reform, saying nothing should hinder health care access.

Reps. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., have said they are reviewing the bill.

Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., released a statement Tuesday, saying reform is necessary.

“The American Health Care Act will protect patients with pre-existing conditions, allow young adults to stay on their parent’s plan, and strengthen Medicaid so current enrollees do not have their coverage taken away from them,” McKinley said.

President Donald Trump voiced his support for the plan on Twitter, that “Obamacare was imploding,” and further plans to boost competition between insurance and drug companies are being developed.

Pore called Trump out during the press conference, saying he is not fulfilling a campaign promise of a “terrific health care bill that would cover everyone.”

“I tell you, President Trump, this health care bill is not terrific and it will not cover everyone,” she said. “I would beg you to keep your promise to the American people and give us something better.”

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release a score on the cost and impact of the American Health Care Act.

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