Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Republicans Focusing on Health Bill Changes as Leaders Seek Support

Republicans Focusing on Health Bill Changes as Leaders Seek Support

A vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act is slated for Thursday in the House. "This is a lot of money", said Emily Johnson, a senior policy and statistical analyst at the Colorado Health Institute. But if Texas still refuses to expand, it will have to share a pot of $10 billion over five years with other non-expansion states, per the GOP bill.

Estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office say the American Health Care Act would increase costs for many while causing 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance. An estimated 4.3 million children, pregnant women, low-income and disabled people would suffer reduced access to care. Meanwhile, many poorer people will not be able to afford coverage even with the credit.

They wrote the current GOP proposal's approach to Medicaid "provides nearly no new flexibility for states, does not ensure the resources necessary to make sure no one is left out, and shifts significant new costs to states". They're sending a message from the plains to The Hill that they're opposed to a plan to upend the system.

Under the AHCA, federal Medicaid funding - starting in 2020 - would be capped based on how much each state spent per enrollee in 2016. Current state law says if the federal government isn't funding at least 90 percent of recipients' healthcare costs under the Medicaid expansion, IL won't pick up the difference - coverage will simply be dropped. Since its unveiling last month, the Republican replacement plan has picked up critics on both the left and right. Figures are in billions of dollars. Adding requirements will likely dampen enrollment, while reducing federal support means states will likely have to tighten eligibility rules, cut benefits or reduce provider payments. But consumer advocates say that many Medicaid recipients who can work already do.

"We're going to see patients who can now go to the doctor or hospital, but will start to come to the ER as charity patients", Berman said. AARP's deep concern about the legislation extends beyond these drastic effects on older adults in the individual private insurance market.

"We gotta take care of people that can't take care of themselves", he said in a CNN Town Hall a year ago.

But federal contributions for IL are not just low because Washington thinks it already has the money. "We're not a Medicaid expansion state, so it wouldn't hurt us as adversely as the states that opted in to Obamacare. We have a population that's growing in this state and we don't have an appetite for increasing taxes, quite frankly".

Marking the first major split in the Republican party under the Trump Administration, it appears that some Republican lawmakers are ready and willing to strike down the newly proposed AHCA, or Trumpcare, partisan politics be damned.

The ACA gives subsidies for lower and middle income folks and puts restrictions on insurance companies so they can't dump those with preexisting conditions.

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