Replacement Bill released March 6, 2017
The proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) that Republicans released on Monday would restructure Medicaid spending at the Federal and State levels by capping federal funding to the states. Each state would have to come up with any necessary funds beyond this fixed amount. The proposed bill freezes the expansion of Medicaid from the Affordable Care Act effective January 1st of 2020. This proposed freeze caused some discrepancies among Republican Senators as at least 4 Republican Senators say they will not vote for a bill that fails to protect Americans who became eligible for coverage under the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. On Thursday, March 9th the bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee, a permanent committee of the House that recommends bills that will raise government revenue. LEARN MORE
Obamacare expanded Medicaid to over 11 million people in 31 states as it broadened the coverage standards. The new bill’s freezing of this expansion may mean millions will now go uninsured. In 2010 Arizona froze enrollment in KidsCare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under Medicare. This freeze led to savings of $12.9 million in FY 2011, but it has also resulted in over 100,000 children being placed on a waiting list for coverage. The AHCA’s freeze will likely do the same; save the government money but cover less people. Other concerns regarding the bill are the AHCA’s ability to effectively respond to unforeseen circumstances such as recessions, disease outbreaks, or the release of a new, expensive drug. In these situations, without additional funding, states would have to ration coverage. LEARN MORE
- American Medical Association – AMA is strongly opposing the ACA replacement bill. On their website, you can learn about efforts to stop health insurance merger, see their vision for health care reform, and read articles about their AHCA opposition and why.
- National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare – This independent group fights to boost social security, prevent cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, and protect the working class. The website offers ways to show support, become an advocate, and join their forces.
- American Public Health Association – The APHA supports public health in many areas, including policy and advocacy. The website also provides a fact sheet about why we still need the ACA. On the website you can donate, become a member, and sign up for their newsletter.
This brief was compiled by Ann Furbush. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.