House Passes Revised AHCA Bill 217-213

May 04, 2017 at 01:37 pm by Staff

The House has passed the revamped GOP bill by a narrow margin. The bill, in its current format, is anticipated to face an uphill battle in the Senate. See below for reaction from various stakeholders:

AMA Statement on House Passage of American Health Care Act

American Medical Association (AMA) President Andrew W. Gurman, MD, released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act:

"The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system. The AMA urges the Senate and the Administration to work with physician, patient, hospital and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations."

In January, the AMA released its health system reform objectives - primary among them that people who currently have insurance should not become uninsured - and shared them with Members of Congress. Last month, the AMA urged Congress to oppose the AHCA. Additionally, the "Envisioning Health Reform" series on AMA Wire looks deeper at the essential issues in the health system reform debate and provides updates on health reform discussions in Congress.

AHA Statement on House Passage of American Health Care Act

American Hospital Association (AHA) President & CEO Rick Pollack, released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ACHA:

"America's hospitals and health systems are deeply disappointed in the House passage of the AHCA because it will jeopardize health coverage for millions of Americans.

Despite last-minute changes, the proposal eliminates essential protections for older and sicker patients, including those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer patients and the chronically ill. It does little to help the 24 million Americans who would be left without coverage following repeal and makes deep cuts to Medicaid, which provides essential services for the disabled, poor and elderly people in this country.

As the backbone of our nation's health safety net, America's hospitals and health systems -- which include more than 270,000 affiliated physicians and 2 million nurses and other caregivers -- believe it's vital that Medicaid be protected.

We urge the Senate to restart and reset the discussion in a manner that provides coverage to those who need it and ensures that the most vulnerable are not left behind."

Statement by U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05)

"I proudly voted against Trumpcare," Rep. Cooper said. "This Republican bill is a national tragedy. Millions of Americans will lose health coverage and protections. Lives will be lost, and Congress will regret the vote. I pray the Senate will reject this reckless plan."

Statement by U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN-08)

"I voted for the American Health Care Act because our current health care system is failing Tennesseans. We promised the American people we would repeal and replace Obamacare, and today, the House voted to keep our word and provide relief.

"In Tennessee, every single insurance provider has pulled out of the individual market in 16 counties, affecting more than 1.1 million people.

"Health care premiums have gone up by double digits in 31 states just this year with premiums in Tennessee rising an average of 63 percent. In some counties, premiums have risen as much as 116 percent with no ceiling in sight.

"This bill will protect and ensure access to care for those with pre-existing conditions, and moreover, it will make health care more attainable with lower premiums.

"The American Health Care Act is a first step in a three-pronged process that will give the power back to the states and the American people where it belongs."

Statement by John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority

"We are frustrated and disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act today, the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This is an irresponsible and costly move that will do little more than create instability in the insurance market and greatly reduce the ability of small business owners, their employees and self-employed Americans to obtain health coverage. What's more, we know small businesses strongly support the current healthcare law and oppose the replacement.

Our scientific opinion polling found small businesses favor the Affordable Care Act over the American Health Care Act by a 2:1 ratio. The survey also found small businesses oppose key components of the AHCA, and that nearly 6 in 10 small business owners say they support the Affordable Care Act.

We believe the ACA can and should be improved, but replacing it with the American Health Care Act will impede entrepreneurial activity and reduce job growth. The legislation will make health insurance less attainable and affordable for most entrepreneurs, particularly those with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to opt out of many of the ACA's protections and coverage requirements. What's more, setting aside $8 billion for high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions doesn't go nearly far enough and will make coverage unattainable for many self-employed entrepreneurs. The fact that lawmakers are moving ahead with this plan without a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office is especially concerning.

Additionally, the AHCA significantly rolls back Medicaid, which currently covers many small business workers. And it penalizes small employers who hire older workers by charging those businesses up to 500 percent more for older employees than younger ones - a provision of the replacement plan that a majority of small business owners oppose.

Today's vote shows many lawmakers are blind to the reality that the ACA is good for small business. Pushing forward with a sub-par replacement plan is the wrong move for our country, our small business community and the millions of entrepreneurs and employees who have gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act."