AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – After one failed attempt, House Republicans on Thursday passed a revamped health care bill that repeals and replaces Obamacare. This bill, known as the American Health Care Act, could affect millions of Americans who currently have health insurance.
The bill makes three key changes regarding pre-existing conditions, Medicaid, and benefits. States no longer have to require insurers to charge people for the same coverage, regardless of a pre-existing condition. That means insurers can charge sick people more for plans, and coverage might not include their condition.
UMass Amherst Economics Professor Gerald Friedman told 22News, “They’ll sell a policy to someone who has breast cancer, but they’ll sell it at 50-thousand dollars. That’s just not affordable.”
Medicaid expenses will also take a huge hit. The bill aims to cut Medicaid by $1-trillion over 10 years, money states depend on.
Elizabeth French worries about her mother, who has limited mobility and relies on Medicaid; “If Medicaid is diminished, diluted, much less taken away, what’s going to happen to her?”
Benefits will also change. Each state can now choose which benefits packages they want to offer. Employers of multi-state employees can also choose which state’s package they want to apply to all of their employees, no matter which state they’re in.
This bill needs to be vetted by the congressional budget office before it’s passed to the Senate.