AHCA, Part 2 – Vote Expected Today

By Ryan Kelly –

It was announced just yesterday that there is an anticipated vote in the US House of Representatives for the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  I dub this as “Part 2” because I expect for this to either narrowly pass, or narrowly fail.  But, if it narrowly passes the House, the major battle will be in the Senate.

This is where the MRHA will really kick-in and start working with Senator Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker on the changes needed to fit our state needs.  It’s a more logical place to tackle state-based concerns such as our great need for continuing enhanced Medicaid payments for RHCs.

As identified from FierceHealthcare.com, here are key elements of the revised bill:

  • Ends the tax penalty against people without coverage.
  • Ends the Medicaid expansion funding.
  • Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program to one that gives states fixed amounts of money per person.
  • Replaces the ACA’s cost sharing subsidies based mostly on consumers’ incomes and premium costs with tax credits that grow with age.
  • Repeals taxes on the wealthy, insurers, drug and medical device makers.
  • Consumers who let their coverage lapse for more than 63 days in a year would be charged 30% surcharges to regain insurance. This would include people with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • State waivers would allow insurers to charge older customers higher premiums by as much as they’d like.
  • States get $8 billion over five years to finance high-risk pools that cover those with pre-existing conditions.
  • States get $130 billion over a decade to help people afford coverage.
  • Keeps ACA provision that children can remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

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