Setting the record straight on the American Health Care Act
Does this bill protect people with pre-existing conditions? – YES
The AHCA keeps protections for pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies will not be allowed to deny or limit coverage based on a pre-existing condition. All of these current protections will remain the law.
The bill only allows companies on the individual market to charge higher rates for those with pre-existing conditions if they do not maintain continuous coverage. Even then your insurance company could only charge you that higher rate for a year. To help those people, the bill includes $8 billion to help reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs. People who are signing up for the first time cannot be charged a higher rate as long as they maintain their coverage going forward.
The bill also allows states to obtain a waiver from certain regulations only if they set up a high risk pool, like Kentucky Access that was in place before Obamacare. The bill provides $130 billion to the states to help set up high-risk pools and create innovate new programs to address their state’s own unique challenges.
Does this bill exempt Members of Congress? – NO
In order to comply with arcane Senate rules, the MacArthur Amendment to the AHCA was required to include an exemption for Members of Congress. However, the House of Representatives passed a separate bill to make sure that the AHCA covers Members of Congress in exactly the same way as all Americans. Congressman Comer voted YES on legislation to require Members of Congress to be covered by the AHCA.
Does this bill kick people off Medicaid? – NO
The bill takes a responsible path to unwind the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and get this critical program back on a sustainable course. It doesn’t pull the rug out from under anyone on Medicaid. That means that able-bodied adults will no longer be allowed to enroll in expanded Medicaid, but anyone who is currently covered under the expansion will be able to remain on Medicaid. The original intent of Medicaid, to help our nation’s most vulnerable populations, still remains the same.
The federal government will continue to provide matching funds to state Medicaid programs, but the total amount each state receives will be limited. This isn’t a cap on how much the state can spend on a specific individual, but formula for determining how much total funding a state receives.
Does this bill increase the number of uninsured Americans by 24 million? – NO
This bill would help all Americans access high-quality, affordable health insurance. Under Obamacare, Americans are currently forced to pay skyrocketing premiums for government-approved plans or face a fine. This bill would eliminate costly penalties for people who choose not to buy insurance. It would also provide refundable tax credits to help people purchase affordable health insurance that meets their needs and establish a new Patient and State Stability Fund to provide even more assistance to low-income Americans.
Does this bill make rape and sexual assault a pre-existing condition? – NO
Claims that rape and sexual assault could be classified as pre-existing conditions under the AHCA are completely false. It is illegal for insurers to consider rape and sexual assault a pre-existing condition in Kentucky, and in nearly every other state in our country (only Vermont and Idaho have not passed laws to prohibit this). These state laws were enacted years before Obamacare and will continue to be enforced under the AHCA. Additionally, while AHCA does not include any provisions that would classify rape or sexual assault as pre-existing conditions, it is important to note that for anything that is considered a pre-existing condition, the AHCA maintains existing protections to ensure affordable coverage for all Americans, regardless of whether or not they have a pre-existing condition. For more information, you may want to read this Fact Check from the Washington Post, which gave 4 Pinocchios to claims that the AHCA makes rape a pre-existing condition. Click HERE.
For more information about these and other questions about the American Health Care Act, please click here.