Thursday, March 23, 2017

GOP Health Bill Changes Could Kill Protections For Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

When House Speaker Paul Ryan says he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act so that people can buy insurance that's right for them, and not something created in Washington, part of what he's saying is that he wants to get rid of so-called essential health benefits.

That's a list of 10 general categories of medical care that all insurance policies are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act.

Getting rid of that requirement, or trimming it, is central to the Republican strategy, because they say those benefits drive up insurance premiums so much that healthy people won't buy coverage.

But if Republicans repeal that list, they essentially renege on a promise they've repeated over and over to voters, that they will protect people with pre-existing medical conditions.

"Protections for pre-existing conditions only work as long as plans have to cover the services you need because of your pre-existing condition," says Rodney Whitlock, a vice president at the consulting group ML Strategies who was a Republican staffer on the Senate Finance Committee when the Affordable Care Act was passed. "By repealing [essential health benefits], a plan may no longer have to cover those services, making the protection potentially meaningless." - Read More, NPR


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