Healthcare Reform Update – House Passes Bill to Repeal, Replace ACA
Today, May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal major aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major changes to our health care system. The bill is currently awaiting a vote from the Senate, where it will likely face many challenges.
The House also passed an important bill that will ensure all members of Congress, and their staff, are subject to the rules of the new health care bill – Congress will no longer be exempt from the changes to the nation’s health care system.
What’s important about this bill?
In March, the first vote to pass a bill that would repeal ACA was canceled because it did not have enough support. Since then, a few changes have been made to the bill in hopes of gathering enough votes for the bill to pass.
This new bill would eliminate:
- ACA taxes on the wealthy, insurers, and others
- The individual mandate
- ACA subsidies
This bill would also:
- Provide Americans with refundable tax credits based mainly on age, which can be used to purchase health insurance
- Allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26
- Allow insurers to charge higher premiums for Americans in their 50s and 60s
- Significantly reduce federal support for Medicaid
- Allow states to require all able-bodied adults to work
- After 2020, states that expanded Medicaid would no longer receive additional funding to cover low-income adults
- States that did not previously expand Medicaid will be banned from doing so
- Relax protection from pre-existing conditions
- Allow insurers to charge higher premiums for Americans with medical issues if their coverage lapses
- Allow states to apply for waivers that would allow them to offer skimpier health care policies that no longer cover the 10 essential health benefits currently mandated by ACA
- Require states to create programs to protect insurers from high-cost patients
- Add $8 billion (for a total of $138 billion) over 5 years to fund high-risk pools and go towards patients with pre-existing conditions
We will continue to keep you up-to-date as more news becomes available about the bill and the Senate vote.