AHCA (American Health Care Act) “talking Points”

By George Miller

Here are versions of “talking points,” issued by the two opposing sides in the AHCA battle.  Talk about ships passing in the night. We can’t even tell you which is right without further analysis. Then, below that is a link to the actual bill and more.

 

Republicans

May 04, 2017
 
Some top points from the emails the Speaker’s office sent around.
 
KEY POINTS TO MAKE
·         Today, House Republicans will keep their promise to provide relief to Americans who have suffered under ObamaCare.
·         For far too long the American people have been saddled with rising healthcare costs, the inability to keep and choose their doctors, and skyrocketing premiums.
·         Yesterday, two more insurers announced their intention to pull out of Obamacare state insurance markets, continuing a trend of leaving families with few or no options for coverage.
o   Aetna announced it would be leaving Virginia’s individual market in 2018. Innovation Health will also leave the market. As a result, 27 counties in Virginia may have only one insurer to choose from if the status quo remains.
o   And in Iowa, a month after termination announcements from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica announced they, too, were on the verge of not participating in the state marketplace in 2018. For Iowans, this means potentially 70,000 people who buy their own coverage wouldn’t have any options for 2018. Nowhere to go.
·         President Trump and House Republicans ran on repealing this failed law and replacing it with a patient-centered system. This legislation is a victory for the American people.
 
KEY COMPONENTS IN THE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE ACT
 
REFUNDABLE TAX CREDITS
Refundable tax credits, designed to give people who don’t receive health care at work the same tax benefits as those who do so they can purchase the kind of coverage that is right for their family.
REFORMS MEDICAID
One in three physicians are unwilling to accept new Medicaid patients. Unfortunately, Obamacare simply added more people to a broken system. The AHCA is a historic shift of power back to the states so that we can make it work for those who need it. It reforms Medicaid so that it is flexible and responsive to those it was created to serve.
It prohibits states from expanding into the current broken Medicaid system. It maximizes state flexibility. It ensures the rug isn’t pulled from underneath any able bodied patient.
EXPANDS HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
The AHCA would nearly double the amount Americans can contribute to their accounts, which will give greater choice and flexibility in purchasing coverage.
PROTECTS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
First and foremost, the bill contains numerous protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The law is clear: Under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The latest draft contains two more layers of security for these individuals:
The MacArthur amendment gives flexibility to states to tackle premium prices. However, there is a very strict process for obtaining that waiver. It will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place.
For states seeking a waiver, the Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion to allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care.
RESTORES PRO-LIFE PRINCIPLES
The AHCA defunds Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, for one year by blocking more than $500 million of federal dollars. It redirects the money to community health centers, which far outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
 
Q&A
 
I have a pre-existing condition. How does this bill affect me?
Under the GOP plan, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And your health status cannot affect your premiums, unless your state asks for and receives a waiver—a condition of which is the state having other protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions. Even if your state does obtain a waiver, so long as you’ve been continuously covered, you still cannot be charged more. And the bill provides added resources to help people in waiver states who have not been continuously covered to gain coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions in the legislation.
I heard about the MacArthur amendment allowing states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions. If this happens, will I lose all my benefits?
No. This amendment preserves protections for people with pre-existing conditions while giving states greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. To obtain a waiver, states will have to establish programs to serve people with pre-existing conditions. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
And what about the Upton amendment?
The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care.
Are Members of Congress exempt from this provision?
No. Members will not be exempt. This was initially included for technical reasons to comply with Senate rules, but the House is voting to fix this before voting on the AHCA.
Why did Republicans vote to cut women’s health services?
We’re not. In fact, we’re expanding women’s access to health services by redirecting Planned Parenthood dollars to community health centers, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.
Why did Republicans vote to kick 24 million people off health care?
We’re not. AHCA will ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, but we’re just not forcing people to buy insurance. Moreover, that estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage.
 
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Democrats
 

 

 

 

From DNC Chair Tom Perez:

DNC chairman blasts ObamaCare repeal: Trump ‘will own every preventable death’

“Trump and Republicans will own every preventable death, every untreated illness and every bankruptcy that American families will be forced to bear if this bill becomes law and millions lose access to affordable care,” he said in a statement. “The 24 million that lose access to healthcare is not just a number.”

 

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

 

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Meanwhile, some Democrats see this as their opportunity to push for single-payer healthcare:

With AHCA defeat, some Democrats see chance to push for universal …

www.mercurynews.com/…/with-ahca-defeat-some-democrats-see-chance-to-push-for-…

Mar 27, 2017 – WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 24: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a news conference in the House Visitors Center in the …

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But Republicans were split on AHCA. It is surprising that they were able to cobble together a majority for passage. The Conservative PJ media published this:

5 Things to Know About the GOP Health Care Bill

 

Finally, here is what the bill actually says:

New healthcare bill details

New healthcare bill details

The latest proposed healthcare bill has seemingly been shrouded in secrecy and rushed through without adequate exposure and debate. This is the bill the GOP is trying to pass: https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/ Get free Citizensjournal.us BULLETINS. Please patronize our advertisers to keep us publishing and/or DONATE.

 

George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard


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