Published: Sat, May 27, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Democrats use budget office report to attack GOP health bill


Under the AHCA, 23 million people will lose their health insurance over the next ten years. She fears that under the American Health Care Act cancer patients could end up in new, high-risk pools with a grim prognosis.

The House bill would eliminate most Obamacare taxes that help subsidize private health coverage for individuals, roll back the government's Medicaid health plan for the poor and disabled and replace the law's income-based tax credits for buying medical coverage with credits based on age. There's still a possibility that major provisions of the House bill, especially the changes to regulations negotiated by the House Freedom Caucus, will have to be removed to comply with procedural rules.

The Congressional Budget Office report, issued Wednesday, also found that average premiums would fall compared with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, a chief goal of many Republicans.

"It sounds like a lot of people aren't going to be covered under this because a lot of people have pre-existing conditions, so it sounds deadly", D'Agostino said.

Eventually, CBO and JCT estimate, those premiums [for less healthy people or those with preexisting medical conditions] would be so high in some areas that the plans would have no enrollment. The House Republican bill would also put in place tax credits for health insurance premiums based on age.

And it said costs could rise in states that apply for waivers to modify or remove the "essential health benefits", such as maternity care, that are now required in all insurance plans.

Adequate health benefits, including coverage of essential health benefits, must be maintained.

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The report could give talking points to House Republicans for their bill, or to Democrats who voted unanimously against it. Besides premiums, other critical components of the value of health insurance are out-of-pocket costs and benefits.

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Republican senators have been meeting for weeks to hash out their differences on health care, of which there are many. Services or benefits likely to be excluded from the EHBs in some states include maternity care, mental health and substance abuse benefits, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and pediatric dental benefits.

Premiums will be slightly lower-but insurance plans will cover less and require larger out of pocket contributions.

During a Facebook Live Q&A session on May 11, Senator Thom Tillis told North Carolinians that he is comfortable with letting states decide whether to protect people with pre-existing conditions from pricing discrimination.

What does this mean for Congress' repeal and replace effort? . In early May, House Republicans jammed through an amended version before the nonpartisan CBO had a chance to crunch the numbers. The disabled now are 15% of the Medicaid population and use 42% of program resources; the destitute elderly in nursing homes are 9% of beneficiaries, and use 21% of resources; and children are 48% of beneficiaries, and consume 21% of Medicaid dollars. But that will likely be a gradual tapering off, according to Mark Alderman, a Democratic campaign strategist. The revised bill, by contrast, will ensure 23 million fewer individuals but save $119 billion taxpayer dollars, according to the CBO. "It's great", House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

All seven Indiana Republican Party House members cast votes in favor of the legislation.

"[The report] also verifies that a significant proportion of Americans - one-sixth of the US population - face the loss of meaningful coverage because they live in states expected to obtain waivers on coverage for essential health benefits and community ratings requirements", Meigs stated.

It's also important to remember that the health-care plans in the ACA and the AHCA are not necessarily comparable.

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