GOP tactic to end essential health benefits could cause turmoil for insurers

If they were unlikely to vote for the bill before, the changes House conservatives are demanding would make the legislation downright toxic.

"So the reality is clear: America is stronger because of the Affordable Care Act".

Cara Kelly, a vice president of the health care consulting firm Avalere Health, said the provision's effect must be understood in the context of the law's implementation.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back against Obama's comments.

"President Trump was here to do what he does best, and that is to close the deal", Ryan said after the Tuesday meeting.

As Republicans and Democrats in the House battled over the repeal of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act Thursday, the 24 million people at risk of becoming uninsured in the next decade weren't the only ones with reasons to fret over the future of health care reform. With no Democrats pledging their support and a total of 237 Republicans in the House, this means that only 21 Republicans can vote "no" and still pass the bill. Second, if you do get sick or injured, file an insurance claim by handing your provider your insurance card the moment you walk in the door.

The main concession that House Republicans leaders have made in their health-care bill to their most conservative members is far less sweeping than it appears and could create chaotic rules for the nation's health insurers.

While the current effort may fall short, firm control of both chambers of Congress and the White House suggests that the GOP will be able to address the current health care law at some point soon.

"I am pleased today's vote has been held as this bill would drastically affect the Commonwealth's ability to ensure essential care for thousands of people", Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican in a Democratic-leaning state, said in a statement after the bill was pulled from consideration. These ideas won't be unfamiliar to progressives: opening Medicare to all people living in the United States, negotiating lower drug prices from drug corporations, fully funding the Indian Health System, and funding public and nonprofit health care institutions that people trust, to name a few. Unlike the ACA, which was debated vigorously in both houses of Congress with 79 hearings in the House alone, repealing the ACA and replacing it with the AHCA has put House members in a hard position of casting a vote with many unanswered questions.

"I don't have the answer to how to fix it, but I know it is broken", Barnett said of the health care system.

In a Twitter message Friday, Brown said he was relieved the bill was withdrawn, adding: "The #ACA endures".

However, the GOP bill still includes some of the most popular pieces of Obamacare, including letting children stay on their parents' insurance plans until the age of 26 and including protections for people with pre-existing conditions, though insurers would be allowed to charge higher premiums to individuals whose coverage has lapsed.

Clearly, the rising star of the GOP who was once a Vice Presidential candidate and has proudly served as the Speaker of the House may have simply bitten off more than he can chew, and in this Administration, there is no reward for failure.

"This is a setback, no two ways about it, but it is not the end of the story", Ryan said, saying he remains committed to deliver on the promise of repeal.

The requirements, called Essential Health Benefits, were written into Obamacare to mandate 10 broad categories of services, including pregnancy, maternity and newborn care; hospital care; prescription drugs; mental health and substance abuse treatment; and pediatric dental and vision services. The council advocates for health freedom and affordability.

  • Zachary Reyes