Hi ACA Member,
We are sure that you have been tracking the recent develops surrounding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act(ACA) and your Government Affairs Team wanted to take the time to give you an update surrounding this highly important issue.
• As many of you know On March 6, 2017, House Republicans released the ‘American Health Care Act’ which would repeal and replace the ‘Affordable Care Act.’ This proposed legislation would do many things but a few of the key points are that it would only allow states to enroll persons in the ACA Medicaid expansion through January 1,2020(By ending this expansion it would adversely impact those trying to seek mental health services) and it would set a 30 percent premium surcharge for one year for those individuals with a coverage gap (63 days) and then return to standard rates
• However following the introduction of the ‘American Health Care Act’ there were many members, of the Freedom Caucus, that threatened to withhold their votes for the ‘American Health Care Act’ (Which are needed for this bill to pass the House); because they felt the current bill was lacking consumer choice and the January 1, 2020 cut-off for Medicaid was too long.
• House leadership and the Presidential Administration tried to appease these members by offering to strip ‘essential health benefits’ from the individual markets. One of these ‘essential health benefits’ that would be cut is the coverage of mental health services.
• The House had planned to vote on the ‘American Health Care Act’ on March 23, 2017 but fearing not enough support the vote has been cancelled.
Now that the vote has been pushed back; ACA and its members have a chance to tell their Congressional members that it would be unacceptable to pass any healthcare legislation that would not require insurance companies to cover mental health services.
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