Health care bill failure keeps Massachusetts residents from losing coverage

American Health Care Act would have also cut $18 million in state funding

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act Friday before a vote could be taken.

21% of Massachusetts residents are enrolled in MassHealth, the state-sponsored health coverage plan, and the no-vote means they get to keep their coverage for now.

According to the Massachusetts Medical Society, who opposed the American Health Care Act, without subsidies included in Obama’s Affordable Care Act, many Massachusetts residents would no longer be able to afford reliable health care coverage. The organization said loss of coverage means some residents could fail to have regular checkups and early diagnoses.

President of the Massachusetts Medical Society Doctor James Gessner said, “Overall health care costs rise when early diagnosis and treatment are replaced by acute care response”

Even for those not enrolled in MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medical Society said passing the American Care Act would have abolished the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which they say provides the state around $18 million for work regarding public health crisis, including the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Many state lawmakers spoke out against the American Health Care act, and considered Friday’s no-vote a victory.

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