AHCA - How to transform health care with bipartisan support

"It's disgraceful that Republicans in Congress just passed a bill that would kick tens of millions of Americans off of their health insurance and force many more to pay higher out-of-pocket costs", said Senator Duckworth. Twenty Republicans and all 193 Democrats voted against it. And now the AHCA will make that burden even larger by classifying pregnancy or being an expectant parent as a pre-existing condition that insurers can charge much more for.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said people in his state who complain about losing access to policies and facing "increasing premiums and skyrocketing deductibles" would get relief from the House-passed bill. The vote they just cast to take health care away from the people they represent will be front and center when they face their constituents.

She also pointed to another factor to consider, related to insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions: the AHCA would change the structure of the premium tax credits in the marketplaces, so older Americans, who are likely to be sicker, will probably see their tax credits go down.

A spokesperson for American's Health Insurance Plans, the health insurer trade association, told CNN this week that "of course survivors of domestic abuse and rape should be covered", and it wasn't simply a federal law stopping insurers from saying otherwise.

To them, we're just individual consumers who deserve the best deal we can get for ourselves.

Those were two of the most prominent local responses Thursday to the bill's passage, which came as many Colorado lawmakers and other health policy observers were focused more locally on a deal at the state Capitol to spare Colorado hospitals from hundreds of millions of dollars in funding cuts. States can then use federal money to fund government-operated insurance programs for expensive patients called "high-risk pools". "Further, since this bill allows states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions, Floridians with cancer, diabetes and asthma could be denied life-saving health care coverage". Obamacare's approach was to mandate a set of essential health benefits, impose restrictions on an insurer's ability to deny coverage based on health status and limit the factors on which insurers could base their premiums as well as the extent of variance in those premiums. Take a moment to consider why Republican leaders in the House wouldn't want anyone - the media, industry experts, voters, or even their own GOP colleagues - to be able to read the legislation in advance. In order to offset these costs, high-risk pools would be created to subsidize these patients with an annual budget of $138 billion nationwide.

"Taking both tax reductions and benefit reductions into account, the average high-income family would be significantly better off and the average low-income family would be significantly worse off under the A.H.C.A".

Pre-existing conditions will be covered. That could also trim costs substantially and lure young, healthy people to get insured. As I have said many times over many years - health care should not be political - it's personal - it's about life and death. But that would cover only about 110,000 people, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health, a DC consulting firm.

The guarantee of health care coverage to people with pre-existing conditions has been one of the ACA's most popular features.

That's on top of about $100 billion over a decade for states to help people afford coverage and stabilize insurance markets.

That's only 5 percent of the 2.2 million current enrollees in the individual insurance market with some type of pre-existing chronic condition.


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