Pump the breaks on AHCA

  

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Following an intense 72 hours of negotiations, House Republican leadership today delayed votes on their signature ACA replacement bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

The chorus of resistance from nurses, providers, patients, consumers, and health systems has slowed consideration of this harmful bill.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also announced on Thursday that this bill would result in 52 million uninsured by 2026, further bolstering the case against the bill. Please continue encouraging your members to contact their members of congress to express opposition to this bill. Click here to see the alert that we sent out earlier today.

Without the requisite votes to pass in the House as written, the Republican leadership moved Wednesday and Thursday to appease their conservative colleagues by promising to add provisions that would strip ‘Essential Health Benefits’ from existing law.

The current Essential Health Benefits (EHB) requirement imposes a baseline of consumer protections and benefits coverage, including mandated coverage for the following:

  • Outpatient care
  • Emergency room trips
  • In-hospital care
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Preventative services (including vaccines, mammograms, etc.)

With continued defections from the House Freedom Caucus and eroding support from moderate Republicans, it became clear that the bill did not have the votes to pass this evening.

House Republican leadership is considering additional changes to shore up support, and could bring up the AHCA up for a vote in the coming days. With the repeal of Essential Health Benefits and the possibility of additional changes that further erode protections in the individual markets, ANA continues to have significant concerns over the AHCA bill.

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