Having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a single bill, the Trump Administration and ACA opponents in Congress are expected to attack the law in a piecemeal fashion. Here's what we'll be tracking.
When the House of Representatives passed its highly irresponsible and unpopular American Health Care Act, senators were quick to distance themselves from it. In the face of reports the bill would deny coverage to 23 million people, they said the Senate would write its own bill.
But now, the Senate Republicans’ chief vote counter, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, has told reporters that “80 percent of what the House did we’re likely to do.”
As the Senate develops its version of the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) it should bear this in mind: There is no “glide path” to ending the Medicaid expansion. Ending federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, even with a supposed “phase out,” means millions across the 31 expansion states will start losing coverage. Fast.
Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act—including the American Health Care Act passed by the House—go well beyond repealing the health care law to a wholesale gutting of Medicaid funding, using what is called a “per capita cap” model. All indications are that the Senate Republicans are seriously considering this model, which will lead to enormous cuts to the Medicaid program.
Maryland just became the first state to enact a law that protects consumers from price gouging by prescription drug manufacturers. It allows the state’s attorney general to sue generic drug manufacturers who engage in price gouging and return that money to consumers and others that pay for these drugs or make the drug available at its previous price. This legislation sets an example for states looking to protect their citizens from high drug prices and puts public pressure on federal lawmakers to take action.
Even as healthcare has become a politically charged issue this year, we’ve seen oral health advocates work diligently and some states make progress to improve oral health benefits in their Medicaid programs. This week, with overwhelming bipartisan support, Maryland became the latest state to authorize a dental benefit for adults in its Medicaid program.
Efforts in Congress to cut Medicaid jeopardize a critical source of health coverage for veterans. Approximately 1.75 million veterans—nearly 1 in 10—have Medicaid as a source of coverage.
On top of Republican plans to repeal the federal health reform law, there’s another threat to the Affordable Care Act looming in the courts.
A legal case, House v. Price (formerly House v. Burwell), now before the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, challenges part of the ACA that lowers deductibles and other out-of-pocket health care costs for people with modest incomes.
After narrowly passing the House of Representatives, the Republican bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act is now moving to the Senate.
In these early stages of the Senate debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act, it is critical that senators understand that they should not put their constituents’ health care at risk. Now is the time to mobilize your networks and encourage them to reach out to their senators.