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Spectators listen as US Democratic Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez delivers remarks at a press conference in opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill on the US Capitol grounds in Washington, DC, USA, 28 June 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW
Spectators listen as US Democratic Senator from New Jersey Bob Menendez delivers remarks at a press conference in opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill on the US Capitol grounds in Washington, DC, USA, 28 June 2017. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Republican health plan is a death sentence for US Latinos, Democrats say.

The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that under the bill drafted by Republican senators, roughly 22 million Americans would lose their…

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 Democratic senators held an event here Wednesday to blast Republicans' proposed replacement for Obamacare as a "death sentence" for more than 6 million US Latinos who stand to lose insurance coverage.

  Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada were joined by representatives of major Hispanic organizations such as the National Council of La Raza and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

  "This is not a healthcare reform, but rather a death sentence for many who will lose their insurance and medical coverage, and in particular for the Hispanics in this country and the less-privileged," Menendez said in Spanish.

  The independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that under the bill drafted by Republican senators, roughly 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026.

  That number includes some 6 million Latinos, 1 million of them children, according to La Raza.

  Menendez said the GOP proposal would destroy the progress Hispanics made thanks to the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the signature domestic policy initiative of Barack Obama's presidency.

  The enactment of the ACA saw an additional 4.2 million Hispanics obtain health insurance, bringing down the proportion of Latinos without coverage from 43.2 percent in 2010 to 24.8 percent last year, the New Jersey lawmaker said.

  It was the reaction among senators from his own party following the release of the CBO figures that prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the Republican bill until after the Fourth of July recess.

  "A bad process ends with a bad product," Kaine said, referring to the secrecy that surrounding the crafting of the Republican bill.

  The GOP bill would cut taxes on individuals with incomes of more than $875,000 a year at the expense of millions of people who face the loss of health coverage, the former vice presidential candidate said.

  Kaine said that the Republican initiative would have a particularly negative impact on Medicaid, which covers 34 percent of Hispanics.

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