On Thursday, May 4th, House Republicans rammed through a wildly unpopular, staggeringly inadequate replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the American Health Care Act. This bill was passed without a score from the Congressional Budget Office, so the impact of this legislation on health insurance coverage, insurance premiums, and the federal deficit remains unclear. However, the original draft of the bill was predicted to leave 24 million people uninsured by 2026 (largely due to rollbacks of Medicaid expansion), increase premiums dramatically for middle-class and older consumers, and provide tax breaks to the wealthy and to insurance company executives.
The AHCA draft that passed the House today resolves none of the original draft’s issues and in fact is even worse for Americans’ health. The bill allows states to charge people higher premiums based on their health status and segregate people with pre-existing conditions into high-risk pools when they are pushed out of their regular insurance plans. Under this arrangement, people with preexisting conditions could face astronomically high surcharges. The Center for American Progress estimated a 40-year-old with autism could pay 135% more than the standard premium cost for care, while someone with metastatic cancer could pay 3,500% more. The GOP has allocated $8 billion to states to cover higher premium costs for people forced into high-risk pools. However, even conservative experts agree this funding will be woefully inadequate, estimating the federal government would need to provide $15-$20 billion annually to adequately operate functional high-risk pools.
Let’s be clear. The AHCA was passed without public hearings and without a CBO estimate because House Republicans knew it was a bad bill that would not stand up to scrutiny. In fact, Republicans have so little confidence in their own bill that they included a provision exempting their own insurance from new AHCA rules. We must fight back to ensure this disaster of a bill does not survive in the Senate.
Call Billy Long (Hold him accountable for his vote on Trumpcare)
Springfield Office: 417.889.1800
Joplin Office: 417.781.1041
DC. Office: 202.225.6536
SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Springfield.
I’m calling today because I am outraged that House Republicans rammed through the American Health Care Act without a Congressional Budget Office review and without fixing the issues in the plan that would leave millions uninsured and drive up premiums for millions more. The majority of Americans want the Affordable Care Act to be repaired, not replaced, and this tone-deaf bill endangers the lives and economic stability of milliions.
Call Senator Blunt
BLUNT: Springfield Office:(417) 877-7814
SCRIPT: [IF CALLING SENATOR, ADD: I urge [SEN NAME] to vote against the AHCA and ensure the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and protections for people with preexisting conditions remain in place.]