Boulder County commissioners warn about effects of proposed federal health care overhaul
02:49, Mar 27, 2017
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Officials labeled the adjustment as merely a technical correction to the bill, but critics say it also fundamentally changed health insurance benefits for veterans.
The GOP-controlled House will delay its vote on the bill, called the American Health Care Act, sources told CNBC. Instead, Thursday started with at least two dozen members of his conference saying they planned to vote against the bill. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, and Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville. "When the hell will we know what we're actually voting on?" Days of negotiations led to some changes in the bill but failed to produce a consensus deal. It's to pass the bill, as several have spoken out against previous iterations of the proposal and no Democrats are expected to support it. This bill has been a fiasco from the beginning: Hastily assembled despite the seven years Republicans had to prepare for this moment, judged by the Congressional Budget Office to potentially throw 24 million people off their coverage, and reviled by conservatives, moderates, and liberals, it has been a legislative disaster of the kind one seldom gets the opportunity to witness.
"I don't have to be nice to nobody when you are being nasty to poor people", Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida said during an exchange with Republicans on the panel. Yet health insurance experts say that doing so would undermine fundamental parts of how insurance is sold and used in the USA, undermining some of the Affordable Care Act's protections, raising premiums for some and resulting in uncovered care for many.
As Congress comes to a vote later tonight, tensions are high though the bill has received backlash from both sides.
As The New York Times has reported, the bill's overall theme of deregulating the insurance market could cause more uncertainty.
"In Boulder County, Medicaid is the cornerstone of our safety net" for low-income residents, Commissioners Deb Gardner, Elise Jones and Cindy Domenico said in a letter to the county's congressional delegation.
Critics say the requirement will be expensive to administer, provide an unnecessary barrier to coverage and penalize people who can't work due to undiagnosed medical problems and care obligations for sick family members or school-age children.
"The result will be more seniors moving to long-term care more quickly, which will become more costly to Medicare, Medicaid and the health system as a whole", the commissioners wrote.
Peddling the health care repeal bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted his take, equating freedom with "the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need".
What is needed is for the legislation to make the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions contingent upon individuals maintaining continuous coverage-the same rules that Congress established for employer group coverage 15 years before Obamacare.
But the group had been negotiating directly with the White House in hopes of reaching agreement to eliminate additional requirements on insurers.
If the requirement is repealed, insurers could go back to selling slimmed-down policies that omit certain benefits.
The required benefits are considered especially significant for women, since birth control and other routine women's health services are now covered at no charge to patients. Elected officials have been reluctant to decide which benefits are or aren't medically necessary. The GOP bill is one factor in that decision, he said. He said many Republican senators, such as Ohio's Rob Portman, will worry that it would hurt access to substance abuse treatment in their addiction-racked states. "This is the first step and they need to get on board". "It would die a quick, painful death in the Senate".