Despite overwhelming opposition to the failed House Republican ACA repeal bill, congressional Republicans and the Trump administration are vowing to hold a vote on a new repeal plan next week to coincide with the end of the president’s first 100 days in office.
The latest plan makes a bad bill even worse. Not only would it strip health insurance from 24 million people and make draconian cuts to Medicaid, it would eliminate key protections for people living with preexisting conditions and allow insurers to offer skimpy plans that don’t cover critical life-saving health services.
The plan would:
o Allow states to waive the ACA’s prohibition against charging people higher premiums for health coverage based on their health status.
o Allow states to waive the ACA’s “essential health benefits” requirement, which would allow insurers to offer plans that lack key services, like inpatient and outpatient care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance use treatment, maternity care and others.
o Return us to the dark days when people with pre-existing conditions like cancer or diabetes were unable to get health insurance, insurers charged women more than they charged men for the same coverage and insurance plans failed to provide basic care.
o Reintroduce high-risk pools, like the kind developed by states prior to the ACA, which imposed huge premiums and were particularly discriminatory for women, LGBTQ people, people living with preexisting conditions and those struggling with substance use disorders and mental health conditions.
Also, many states just received a huge federal grant to improve services for people with drug and alcohol problems through the 21st Century Cures Act. This money is needed to build on the life-saving coverage provided in the ACA, but the GOP wants to tear apart that safety net by allowing states to ditch the requirement that all private insurance plans cover substance use disorders. Our communities can’t afford that hypocrisy.
The InsureKY Campaign will continue to call on all members of Congress to ensure more affordable coverage, better benefits, and stronger consumer protections for ALL Kentuckians.
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