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Vote on Revived American Health Care Act is Pending: Raise Your Voice in Support of Patient Protections!

April 27, 2017
Raise Your Voice and Support Patient Protections!

The House of Representatives may be voting this week on a revived version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new amendments (offered by Reps. MacArthur (R-NJ, Upton (R-MI) and Long (R-MO) have been released to make additional changes to AHCA in hopes of garnering enough support to pass the bill.

These changes do not ensure access to care for those with preexisting conditions. We need to reitererate our opposition. The proposal could harm our community by:

  • Allowing states to define the essential health benefits (EHBs). EHBs ensure access to broad coverage and important patient protections only apply to services defined as EHBs, including the elimination of lifetime limits. This means that changes to EHBs may undermine or negate these protections. 
  • Allowing plans to charge more based on health status discriminates against those with expensive conditions like bleeding disorders. While plans couldn’t deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition, they could dramatically increase your premiums, making coverage unaffordable.   
  • Changes to the Medicaid expansion and Medicaid financing could cause many individuals in our community to lose coverage as states limit benefits or reduce eligibility in response to budget cuts. 

NOW is the time to call your representative to tell him or her to vote NO on AHCA.

Here is what to do: 

Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202.224.3121 and give your address and ask to be connected with your Representative’s office. Once you reach a staff person or voicemail system, use the following talking points to tell your story:

  1. As a member of the bleeding disorders community, you are calling to discuss the AHCA as amended.
  2. We oppose the bill because it allows states to define the essential health benefits (EHBs). EHBs ensure access to broad coverage and several patient protections only apply to services defined as EHBs, including the elimination of lifetime limits. Changes to EHBs may undermine or negate these protections. 
  3. With the MacArthur amendment, the bill would also allow plans to charge me more based on my bleeding disorder, making a health plan unattainable for me.  
  4. I am also very concerned about the AHCA’s Medicaid policies. Changes to the Medicaid expansion and Medicaid financing could cause many individuals in our community to lose coverage as states limit benefits or reduce eligibility in response to budget cuts.  Approximately one third of our community is insured by Medicaid.
  5. Please vote NO on AHCA.

If you have any questions about NHF’s policy efforts, please email us at: advocate@hemophilia.org.