The House of Representatives has rescheduled yesterday’s vote on the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) for today, March 24. The vote is expected between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm Eastern Time.
The AHCA would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The AHCA has a few similarities to the Affordable Care Act. It keeps the requirement that insurers take on customers regardless of any preexisting conditions. It also includes tax credits to help eligible people buy health insurance on the individual market. However, rather than flexible credits based on income that increase with premiums, the AHCA tax credits would be fixed and based on your age.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, AHCA would decrease direct Medicaid spending by $880 billion over the next ten years, mostly by reducing enrollment. AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion, but also increase the number of uninsured by 24 million people.
AHCA would also reduce the amount of Medicaid funding states receive for the elderly, individuals with disabilities, children, and all other adults. With less federal funding for Medicaid, states would need to increase state funding to maintain the program at current levels or make cuts to Medicaid by reducing payments to providers and health plans, eliminating optional services, and/or restricting eligibility for enrollment.
If you would like to see how the bill might affect you, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation has put together an interactive map here.
As of Thursday morning, the bill did not have the number of supporters required to pass. However, the bill is not dead. Last minute amendments and deals could convince a few lawmakers to change their votes. If this issue is important to you, you may wish to contact your federal representatives with your opinion today. You can find contact information at http://fifthfreedom.org/l/findreps.
Thanks for your help, advocates!
Fifth Freedom is a not-for-profit organization that strives at all times to be non-partisan. The content of this post is provided for information purposes only, and does not express or imply support for any particular political party, politician, candidate for office, or piece of legislation.