Commentary, public health, Trump Administration

Congress sneaking in last-minute change to make Trumpcare even worse

Ahead of a floor vote scheduled for later today, Republican leadership in the House has realized that they do not have enough votes right now to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Trump-Ryan proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, Trump and others are trying to sneak in disastrous last-minute changes to an already terrible bill to win over conservative votes at the expense of millions of lives.

One such change that they are proposing is repealing the requirement that health insurance plans cover a core set of essential health benefits. This guarantees that plans provide coverage for core services, such as hospitalizations, maternity care, prescription drugs, as well as mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

If this provision is repealed, insurers could offer bare-bones plans that don’t cover services that North Carolinians need, meaning only the most expensive, premium plans would cover services like treatment for opioid addition, for example.

What’s more, other key consumer protections would fall apart. While the AHCA does not repeal the ACA’s prohibition on lifetime limits and annual caps on services, that protection is useless without the essential health benefits requirement. Current law only applies these protections to services considered essential health benefits. If this provision is repealed, insurers may be free once again to arbitrarily cut off coverage for patients because their treatment is too expensive.

The haste with which Congress and Trump are moving to repeal our health care is telling; why rush to change one-sixth of the U.S. economy and millions of lives unless you don’t want the public to see what you’re doing? After all, we still haven’t seen the bill language that the House will vote on today. It seems like the Republicans may have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.

One Comment


  1. Robert

    March 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Trump is willing to give away American’s Essential Health Benefits for money. He only cares about his ego not the Ametican people’s health. He is willing/wanting to offer plans with no health screenings so the insurance companies(the Super rich) make more money. Trump is even willing to offer insurance that stops covering you at your most vulnerable time, when you are very ill.
    Sorry we will not pay for that, the insurance company says. 99% of Americans will go back to losing their lifetime savings, and homes to pay for health services. Bankruptcies will increase.

    The super rich top 1% benefit by using the dead(poor health) of fellow American’s as a profit tool so the Super rich get wealthier.

    This is the evil ugly side of American culture.

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