The House of Representatives voted today on the latest version of the AHCA (American Health Care Act). The House passed the bill with more than the 216 votes required.
The controversial bill spearheaded by Speaker Paul Ryan and supported in full by Vice President Pence and President Trump has gone through numerous changes since the first version failed to go to vote because it lacked support with a majority of GOP lawmakers.
Now that the bill has passed the House, it moves on to the Senate where it needs 51 votes in order to then move on to the president for his signature. Experts say the bill will be amended significantly in the Senate.
Republicans will be holding a press conference from the White House to discuss today’s vote.
If victorious, Republicans will be having a big press conference at the beautiful Rose Garden of the White House immediately after vote!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2017
As of now, here is what the bill offers:
- Ends tax penalties under the original Affordable Care Act for individuals who don’t buy insurance coverage and larger employers who don’t offer coverage. Instead, insurers would apply a 30 percent surcharge to customers who’ve let coverage lapse for more than 63 days in the past year.
- Ends tax increases on higher-earning people and a range of industry groups including insurers, drug makers and medical device manufacturers.
- Cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people and lets states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Forbids states that haven’t already expanded Medicaid to do so. Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program that covers beneficiaries’ costs to one that gives states fixed amounts of money annually.
- Overhauls insurance subsidy system from one based largely on incomes and premium costs to a system of tax credits. The credits would rise with customers’ ages and, like the subsidies, could be used toward premium costs.
- Lets states get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge older customers higher premiums than younger ones by as much as they’d like. Obama’s law limits the difference to a 3-1 ratio. States also can get waivers exempting insurers from providing consumers with required coverage of specified health services, and from Obama’s prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health problems, but only if the person has had a gap in insurance coverage.
- States could only get the latter waivers if they have mechanisms like high-risk pools that are supposed to help cover people with serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. A newly added provision would give another $8 billion over five years to help states finance their high-risk pools. Despite criticism that the waivers strip protections, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office maintains that since states that take the waivers would have to set up the high-risk pools, “insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”
- Blocks federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year.
- Retains requirement that family policies cover grown children to age 26.
source: Fox News
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