ibusinesslines.com December 14, 2018

Get Ready For Round 2 Of The GOP's Health Care Reform

27 April 2017, 03:44 | Laverne Osborne

Believe insurance providers should cover basic benefits like maternity/newborn care, mental health care, and prescription medications? While they would still have access to coverage, some may not be able to afford it. Four out of five Republican congressmen from New Jersey pledged to vote against the bill when it was scheduled for consideration in late March; MacArthur, from Burlington County, was the lone state voice of support. Because it threatens to take all of that away.

Republicans are once again trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act after the first attempt at "Trumpcare" went down in flames. But the plan they came up with, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), fell short. And the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that the plan would cause 24 million people to lose health insurance over the next decade.

Rep. Gary Palmer also told the news website Axios "we're really close, if not there", on getting enough votes to pass the bill. Securing votes from these representatives could be what the AHCA needs to move forward. "The amendment specifically clarifies that its provisions can not be construed as allowing insurers to limit coverage for those with pre-existing conditions", he wrote. Insurers could charge higher premiums only to certain people, those who have had a break in coverage.

Like those patients, women could end up being charged more than men, despite Obamacare's ban on gender underwriting, the insurance industry practice of charging women more for coverage than men. It became illegal to deny health care coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition-or to charge them higher premiums. The amendment would allow states to seek a higher ratio. If the HHS does not explicitly deny the waiver request, it is approved.

It also lets states stop covering essential benefits.

The waivers apply here, too. States would be required to spell out what benefits they maintained and would be required to provide backstop protection through a high-risk pool.

- States would have to explain how their proposals would advance one or more goals, such as reducing average premiums, increasing health insurance coverage, stabilizing the market for individually purchased policies, increasing choice or stabilizing coverage for people with pre-existing health problems. A majority of voters want to keep these provisions, so why is the government making it easier for states to throw them out? The underlying GOP bill has a 5-to-1 limit. The Republicans' newest healthcare plan to repeal and replace Obamacare not only allows state insurance marketplaces to waive out of crucial Obamacare protections, but, ironically, actually preserves these protections for members of Congress and their staff via an exception to the amendment. That means congressional staff can't lose their access to essential health benefits or pre-existing condition coverage-even if you, their constituents, do.

Obamacare is still in tact. That speaks for itself. Neither the AHCA-nor this amendment-have been passed yet.

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