The Senate is expected to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, a final partisan attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While some provisions differ from other ACA repeal proposals considered by Congress this year, it is the same in the most fundamental ways: the bill jeopardizes access to public and private insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and would be just as harmful as the earlier proposals defeated in the Senate. We are very concerned that people will chronic health conditions will either lose coverage entirely or pay more for inadequate coverage if they maintain it.
As a result of its damaging impact, the National Hemophilia Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Coalition for Hemophilia B, and Hemophilia Alliance – which represent people with hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, and other bleeding disorders and the hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) that care for them – are united in their opposition to Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson and urge the Senate to reject this harmful proposal. In particular, we are concerned that:
- Graham-Cassidy will jeopardize access to private insurance plans: The bill allows states to waive insurance rules to allow plans to charge people with pre-existing conditions and to change the essential health benefits (EHBs) requirements, which undermines the ban on lifetime and annual limits that applies only to EHBs. Patient protections are meaningless if insurance companies can charge individuals pre-existing conditions exorbitant rates and remove services for expensive conditions.
- Graham-Cassidy will also lead to significant coverage losses for individuals on Medicaid: The bill’s repeal of the Medicaid expansion and significant cuts to Medicaid financing will jeopardize coverage for the approximately 30% of the bleeding disorders community – thousands of individuals – who are insured by the program.
People with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders live with a painful, lifelong, chronic condition that requires expensive medication and specialized care provided by HTCs and other specialists. Without access to comprehensive insurance, our community members will suffer. The bleeding disorders community urges Senators to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation.