New Amendments to the American Health Care Act Threaten Coverage and Protections

ALERT: New Amendments to American Health Care Act Harm People with Pre-existing Conditions, Speed Cuts to Medicaid and Fail to Cover Critical Health Services 

The House could vote as early as Friday on the American Health Care Act with new amendments that further strip away coverage and protections for Americans. The House Freedom Caucus agreed to a series of amendments to the AHCA that enable states to determine their own essential health benefits (a list of benefits, including pediatric dental, mental health services and hospitalization, that insurers are required to cover) and waive certain community rating provisions that prevent health insurers from varying premiums within a geographic area based on age, gender and health status. This ultimately eliminates protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. 

The main points of the bill remain unchanged – it eliminates funding for key public health programs, guts Medicaid, ends support for Medicaid expansion. It will result in 21 million uninsured Americans by 2020. Lack of support from the Freedom Caucus was a major reason why this bill died several weeks ago. 

Congressional Democrats remain strongly opposed to the bill, while moderate Republicans (who have the power to kill the bill) are largely silent.  

Please call your Congressional representatives and urge them to vote NO on this legislation. (Click to find your legislator.) For more detailed information about the AHCA, you can read our February health policy update or check out research and resources from our national and state partners: 

Samantha Dorr