Republicans in Congress have wanted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) since it first became law seven years ago, but their attempts continue to fall flat. After the GOP’s alternative health care bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), didn’t have enough votes to pass in the House, Republicans had to devise a new plan. I know, I know — it’s hard for anyone to keep up with the never-ending health care debate, but there are a few things you need to know about the GOP’s latest health care proposal.
Essentially, Republicans are trying to alter the American Health Care Act just enough for it to slide through Congress. Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey proposed an amendment to the bill aimed at appeasing conservatives and moderates who didn’t support it the first time around. The Washington Post reports the proposed changes will be discussed among the party this weekend, when Congress begins returning from their two week break.
Ahead, everything you need to know about the proposed health care amendment.
It would (mostly) keep essential health benefits
The previous iteration of the AHCA scrapped Obamacare’s federal standard for essential health benefits, which requires insurance plans to cover certain things. Instead, it left it up to individual states to make their own standards. The MacArthur amendment includes the same federal standard found in Obamacare, but would also give limited waivers to states to exclude certain benefits if it would lower premium rates or allow more people to get insurance.
Like the name implies, essential health benefits cover basic health needs such as hospitalization, mental health services, prescription drugs, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.
It would allow states to charge more for preexisting conditions
Under Obamacare, insurers can’t legally charge people higher premiums …read more