In a 217-213 vote by the House of Representatives, 24 million Americans are one step closer to losing access to health insurance. Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks in a public statement said that people with pre-existing conditions didn’t “lead good lives” and should pay more for insurance. Later in the interview, he did indicate that a lot of these people have pre-existing conditions through no fault of their own.
In the fact checking process, there has been a long standing belief that Members of Congress had free and high quality insurance. There is a mixture of both false and true statements in that claim.
Prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act Members of Congress and staff members received benefits through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Members of Congress were required to obtain their insurance through the ACA exchanges and subsidizes 72% of the gold level insurance package premiums.
With the repeal of the ACA by members of the House of Representatives, depending on the Senate vote, are eligible to simply re-enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. This option is not available to 24 million Americans. The potential impact to the Women’s Recovery Center is significant. Without being distributed or able to digest the full degree of the proposed legislation, few have full knowledge of that impact. With a summary, the AHCA has identified 91 pre-existing health conditions that each State can determine to recognize. For insurance companies with insureds that have pre-existing conditions, the premiums can be increased as much as 3 – 5%. The American Health Care Act, AHAC, rolls back Medicaid Expansion and reduces the subsidy to the states by $880 billion. Since addiction is identified as one of the conditions, addiction treatment access may be denied to millions and harming the communities that have been hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic.
We are in the midst of the worst drug overdose crisis in U.S. history with Ohio serving as ground zero. Every three hours an Ohioan loses their battle with addiction so far permanently impacting 517 families. We cannot afford to undo the progress we have begun to make. The House of Representatives have taken the first step in repealing the ACA. As the Senate begins to deliberate the legislation, please contact your Senators to voice your concern and the impact for yourself, your family and community. Also of note is that although there are a number of pre-existing conditions that primarily affect women’s health, there are no female Senators serving on that Taskforce. Here is the list of Senators that have been appointed to serve on the Taskforce:
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
- Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas,
- Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune, R-S.D.
- Senate Republican Policy Committee Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
- Senate Steering Committee Chair Mike Lee, R-Utah
- Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, R-Utah
- Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
- Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio (Finance Health Subcommittee Chair)
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. (Finance)
- Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Col. (Budget)
- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas