A new amendment to a Republican bill aimed at repealing and replacing parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has given the legislation new life.
The amendment offered by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey) appears to have won support from members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, but it’s unclear how moderate Republicans will react to the changes and whether the bill can garner the 216 votes needed for House passage.
SDAHO and the American Hospital Association (AHA) opposed the AHCA in its previous form and continue to oppose it in its current form, as it appears the MacArthur amendment would dramatically worsen, not improve, the legislation.
The amendment would allow states to waive certain insurance rules and consumer protections required under the ACA, particularly those related to essential health benefits and community rating. This puts consumer protections at greater risk and could significantly raise costs for those with preexisting conditions.
Also of concern is that the revised legislation has not yet been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, allowing lawmakers to gauge its effect on the federal budget and deficit.
A floor vote has not yet been scheduled but could come by next week.
The AHA and SDAHO are urging members to contact Rep. Kristi Noem and urge her to oppose the AHCA in its revised form.