The House and Senate have each passed a tax bill and are now coming together in a conference committee to decide on a single bill that can pass each chamber. One thing’s for sure about the bill they will come up with: If passed, it will gut health coverage for millions and set the stage for massive cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. This tax plan is a health care bill and a way to end the ACA through the backdoor.
Efforts to shift to a value-based health care system create an opportunity to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, save money for consumers and the health care system as a whole, and drive reductions in health disparities. But such positive outcomes from payment and delivery reform efforts are not guaranteed. There are some elements of this proposed rule that can help reduce health disparities, but a real commitment to health equity requires additional steps from CMS.
We know how the House Republican bill could affect people who get insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and Medicaid. But what has been overlooked is how the bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), could affect the coverage people get through their jobs. In other words: The Republican bill could make everybody’s coverage worse.
Older Americans (age 50+) would be among the hardest hit under the House plan due to higher premiums, reduced financial assistance, massive cuts to Medicaid and threats to the future of Medicare.