GA Congressmen on the American Health Care Act

Rep. Rick Allen (R, GA-12) shared his thoughts on the recently introduced American Health Care Act, which can be read HERE.

“From the beginning, I have always said my goal is to restore patient-centered, cost-effective and market-driven solutions to our health care system. Standing by this goal, the introduction of the American Health Care Act is the next big and needed step in the repeal and replacement process. I look forward to reviewing this bill and working with my colleagues as they markup the first draft to produce a final product that will rescue Americans and American families from the binds of our failing health care system. Americans deserve better than Obamacare—plain and simple.”

Statements from Rep. Bishop and Rep. Collins can be seen after the break.

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop (D, GA-2):

“With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the United States joined the rest of the industrialized world in providing health care coverage for its citizens. In Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District, the implementation of the ACA has led to a 4.7% drop in the uninsured rate. It has guaranteed that the over 550,000 individuals with health insurance in the district, both public and private, have access to preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots without any co-pay. It has provided all policyholders with important consumer protections such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and prohibitions on lifetime limits, and it has helped close the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.

“Instead of working to improve on the progress we have made, House Republicans have proposed a bill that would jeopardize the ability of our citizens to lead healthy and productive lives. Their plan would eliminate a number of the vital protections provided by the ACA. Uninsured rates would rise, health care costs would increase, and millions of Americans both in Georgia and across the country would lose their access to important health care services. It makes little sense for Congress to be rushing headlong into this disastrous policy that could significantly impact so many lives.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R, GA-9):

“With the American Health Care Act, our unified government has begun the process of doing what we promised to do—repealing and replacing the disaster that is Obamacare. We’ve listened to the millions of Americans hurt by the misnamed Affordable Care Act and those whose hopes were dashed by its broken promises.

“The process of making quality health care affordable and accessible for every American starts with the repeal of Obamacare, with removing the government from the doctor/patient relationship and giving the insurance market the opportunity to rebuild from the havoc Obamacare has wrought on it. On this front, the repeal of the individual mandate is crucial. It means that people can have access to the health care that works best for them, instead of being forced by the government into expensive insurance plans that keep substantive health care out of reach. Moreover, Republicans are remembering both our neighbors and our future neighbors: The American Health Care Act prohibits federal money from flowing to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

“President Trump has a common-sense approach to health care reform and has said that this bill is the first step in that process. Our unified government has moved to stop the suffering caused by Obamacare, and I look forward to considering the American Health Care Act in the House.”

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davidmac
davidmac

So, will the CBO score be available before or after the bill passes the House?

The Eiger
The Eiger

Before, it should be out within the next week.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Rep. Carter was on Morning Edition to discuss it this morning. I don’t have a transcript, but something that stuck in my craw was how he characterized people who have lapses in coverage as “trying to game the system” as opposed to being ordinary people who may have lost a job that provided coverage, as a way to justify allowing insurance companies to increase their premiums when they finally do get coverage. With insurance already being expensive, I imagine that additional 30% would have the effect of having people wait even longer to buy insurance, and in fact incentivize “gaming… Read more »

gcp
gcp

One of the problems with ACA was that some folks do wait until they are sick to get coverage. Allowing insurers to charge more for the first year if there is a significant gap in coverage will incentive folks to stay insured. Unfortunately, there are some irresponsible folks that will still wait until illness to get coverage. Also, folks that leave a job are still eligible for COBRA.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

“One of the problems with ACA was that some folks do wait until they are sick to get coverage. ”

Can you point to any data that bolsters this statement?

gcp
gcp

Kaiser estimates at least 27% of adult (under 65) had a disqualifying condition pre ACA. If this number is correct we can assume ,at minimum, the same number also constitutes the ACA population. The problem with this population is they come to health care as costly patients. Contrast those folks with the rest of us that maintained insurance for many years and then developed “pre existing conditions.” Obviously its more cost effective for insurers to treat those that paid in for many years.

http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/pre-existing-conditions-and-medical-underwriting-in-the-individual-insurance-market-prior-to-the-aca/

CoastalCat
CoastalCat

And there is your problem. 27% of people who really need insurance won’t have insurance to keep the price low for everyone else and let insurance companies keep their massive profits.
How do these sick people get care? Who pays for it?

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

This does not remotely begin to back up your assertion that “some folks do wait until they are sick to get coverage”.

You make a pretzel twist leap to correlate pre existing conditions to waiting till sick to get coverage. And those two things are not remotely the same.

gcp
gcp

I am referring to “sick” and “pre existing” because they are closely related and expensive to treat. Diabetes, for instance, could be considered a sickness, illness and a pre existing condition. You don’t wait until you are sick or ill nor should you wait until you develop a pre existing condition before you get insurance. The ideal here is for individuals to have insurance prior to sickness and prior to developing pre existing conditions. To encourage folks to get insured early the repub plan allows insurers to charge 30% more for the first year to those that wait. Of course… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

The ideal here is for individuals to have insurance prior to sickness and prior to developing pre existing conditions.

That’s what the individual mandate does. Penalizing people for failure to maintain continuous coverage disincentivises people from buying insurance until they’re sick enough to justify the added cost. It also screws over poor people who are more likely to work jobs that don’t provide health coverage and more likely to face layoffs during tough economic periods.

gcp
gcp

The ACA mandate was ineffective because there were too many built-in exceptions and because some folks don’t pay income tax or don’t get a refund on their income tax.

As for “maintain continuous coverage” I don’t know what length of time without insurance will be allowable before the penalty kicks in.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

This new plan justs shifts the deck chairs. There is still a mandate. The only difference is now the money goes into the insurance companies coffers as opposed to the federal government.

gcp
gcp

The 30% does two things:

1. It encourages folks to maintain insurance which hopefully keeps rates lower for all policy holders.

2. A 30% increase may help defray some of the cost of covering those that wait until after pre existing conditions, illness, sickness, disease… which may keep rates lower for all policy holders.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

so it is NO different from the current mandate except for who benefits monetarily…

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

The number of people who don’t have income tax liability and don’t qualify for Medicaid is so small it’s insignificant. Not sure how getting a refund has anything to do with the effectiveness of a tax penalty for failure to have coverage.

Also, a lapse in coverage of over 60 days triggers the penalty.

gcp
gcp

The penalty is taken from your tax refund. The penalty, which is 695$ or 2.5% of income, is not much of a penalty anyway. Also you did not address the exceptions to the mandate.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Apologies for not addressing everything, I’m traveling at the moment and my wonkish dissertations aren’t as fun to write when I have to type it from a cell phone. I agree the current mandate isn’t much of a penalty, but that should be an argument for strengthening the stick, not scrapping it altogether. The most effective way to cover PECs and keep costs down is to mandate healthy people buy insurance and penalize them for not having it. A penalty is way more effective if it operates annually rather than as a one time deal when someone decides to get… Read more »

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

Thats all well and good. Except for the number of people born with “pre-existing conditions” or a genetic pre-disposition to said conditions. Also, while I do not disagree with you on the fact that people should not wait to obtain insurance, I am moreso asking you to back up the claim that you made that “One of the problems with ACA was that some folks do wait until they are sick to get coverage. ” It is a claim without evidence or data to back it up. It grinds my gears. There are many faults with the ACA. No need… Read more »

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

“One of the problems with ACA was that some folks do wait until they are sick to get coverage. ” That may be, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to gaming the system, and lapses in coverage are often the result of lapses in employment, which can remove both the coverage and the income to purchase coverage. Individual health insurance plans are insanely expensive without subsidies, so it’s perfectly rational for healthy people to not want to pay the equivalent of their mortgage for insurance unless they think they’ll need it. It makes sense to charge a tax to those who… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Yeah, but they could afford coverage if they didn’t buy 10 new iPhones every month.

davidmac
davidmac

He also said that he’d rather get as much done as possible without the Democrats involved. Way to put country before party.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

That pretty well sums up our two party system. That ‘other’ party always gets in the way. Neither party can allow the ‘other’ to have any ideas on issues. The ‘other’ party must be defeated on every issue.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

The thing about it is it doesnt penalize those who only seek coverage when they get sick. If you really need insurance 30% (if you can pay it) wont stop you. Its way cheaper than not having anything. If you are healthy, you will probably take a pass because you can pay the 30% later. So this fixes nothing, but its sounds good to shame the sick and the poor.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Good point.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Estimated loss of insurance per district. This is the number of people who would lose coverage per district. The original for all districts can be found here with methodology. These are some significant numbers. http://acasignups.net/17/03/06/updated-how-many-could-lose-coverage-your-congressional-district GA-01 23,189 GA-02 16,254 GA-03 20,877 GA-04 33,103 GA-05 29,404 GA-06 29,329 GA-07 38,720 GA-08 15,098 GA-09 21,889 GA-10 21,094 GA-11 27,740 GA-12 20,299 GA-13 29,979 GA-14 18,421

The Eiger
The Eiger

I think it’s important to make sure everyone knows that the American Health Care Act is a part of the process of the repeal and replace of Obamacare. It was never intended to stand on it’s own as the replacement. The AHCA is all that can be done with reconciliation and is the first step in a three step process. This bill address the tax credits and the other points that can be put into reconciliation bill. The next phase is to have Secretary Price take his pen and through the administrative process free up as much as legally can… Read more »

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

if this is in fact true, Ryan and his surrogates SERIOUSLY botched this roll out. Because that message was not received by and large by the average American. They gotta work on their PR game with this.

Ellynn
Ellynn

The message was not received by the majority of the House and Senate either. Example Sen. Tom Cotton…

The Eiger
The Eiger

No, that is not true. Cotton and others heard what they wanted to hear and that was that there would not be one single large repeal and replace bill.

Not going to say that the roll out of this was great. It hasn’t been, but the sell has been going on eternally on the Hill and not necessarily in the media. Not saying that is the best approach. Just saying what is happening.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Was hiding the bill under lock and key in a secret location or rush job votes with no CBO score part of the “sell” that’s been taking place on the Hill?

Also there was Z-E-R-O talk of a three step plan until the GOP caucus called this bill out for the sham it is. Ryan is trying to save face because people realized this bill is a massive tax cut for the rich masquerading as a healthcare plan.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“Also there was Z-E-R-O talk of a three step plan until the GOP caucus called this bill out for the sham it is.” Just because you weren’t in those meetings and didn’t hear it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Those discussions were had.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Nor were you, but if you’d like to point me to a quote or statement pre-Trumpcare rollout about this magical three step plan I’ll gladly concede to you.

The Eiger
The Eiger

Maybe I was in a few.

The Eiger
The Eiger

See a portion of the roll call article below. As you can see these discussions were going on at the end of January. Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander outlined a three-step process that would not roll back all of the 2010 law on the front end, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Republican told Roll Call. “Sen. Alexander talked with members about his three-part plan to repair the damage of Obamacare and how Congress and the Trump administration can work together to give Americans access to truly affordable health care,” the spokeswoman said. “The first step — which will be discussed… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

And yet there is nothing detailing what steps 2-3 entail beyond vague statements. In my line of work people who say “be patient there are 2 more phases coming” are usually b.s.ing because “phase 1” was a failure. Even under the idea of 3 phases, there’s no indication of how this is paid for, how many people it will cover, and how it will make premiums more affordable absent slashing minimum actuarial values and kicking people off of coverage. This is a massive tax cut for wealthy Americans pretending to be a healthcare bill and it just demonstrates my point… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

That statement was more than a month ago to a reporter. Of course they didn’t give the entire game plan out then. These guys have been talking on the three step game plan for months. You are wrong. It may not have been finalized on January 27th but those discussions were being had. Anyone who says they weren’t are liars or misinformed.

Your statement about Ryan not knowing policy is pretty outrageous. He is one of a very few who actually does know policy and what he’s doing. But I don’t have time for this today. Until next time.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I feel pretty confident in attacking Ryan’s policy chops. He may be intellectually impressive to DC political writers, but I’ve found his substantive proposals intellectually shallow. #hatersgonhate You’ve haphazardly demonstrated my point, I think. This is Plan D for Ryan and McConnell. Killing Obamacare before full benefits started failed. Repeal and delay caught too much flak and was scuttled. The #BetterWay requires 60 votes and that’s apparently too hard for Ryan, so it’s apparently been scuttled. Now we’re here, a bill that has been constructed in the span of weeks, with no input from stakeholders and no consultation from the… Read more »

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

What Cotton heard was the voice of constituents at his town hall. He softened his tone quite a bit after they handed his head to him.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Its kinda moot because part 3 isnt going to happen, and they know it isnt going to happen because not 1 democrat will sign on to it…so 350,000 Georgians + will lose access to affordable healthcare (which is even more frightening seeing we didnt expand medicaid)

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Something not getting enough attention here: subsidies Trumpcare issues a flat subsidy based on age, with older people getting more money to help pay for coverage. Obamacare subsidies are based on income, under the principle that Warren Buffett doesn’t need a subsidy to help afford health insurance, poor folks do. Under Trumpcare, Buffett not only gets a subsidy, he gets a bigger one than a 30-year old single mom. If the goal is to convince young, healthy people to buy insurance and stabilize the pools, this won’t do it. But that’s not all! Obamacare subsidies are tied to the cost… Read more »

Bull Moose
Bull Moose

Late to the game responding to this and I’m sure it will get read by, say 1 or 2 people at most, but here goes… Senate Republicans couldn’t be anymore clear – this bill is DOA. It’s not going anywhere. House Republicans would be wise to stop jamming a square peg into a round hole and start over. Here’s the fundamental problem, in my opinion. House Republicans are too focused on trying to fix the problems of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) as opposed to starting over from scratch and working on “fixing” the healthcare coverage issue and affordability of… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Is that you Bull Moose? More like Bull Unicorn. Riding in on a rainbow. Singing Kumbaya.

I am curious to see how much hardball the GOP leadership plays. They really could twist some arms and force some support. I’m already getting the sense that Trump doesn’t mind acting like a gangster and this wouldn’t be much different. But at this point do they really want it to pass? Maybe they need an excuse to let it fail.

Bull Moose
Bull Moose

It’s your favorite Moose for sure… I finally started drinking decaff!

Ellynn
Ellynn

But that would take a bill requiring a 60 vote passage from the senate. If you just deal with the tax related issues (the part 1 items) you only need 50 votes plus the VP to ‘repeal’.

All the other stuff will be in parts 2 & 3. Or so they tell us. No one has a clue what is exactly in parts 2 & 3, but I hear it will be Fantastic.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Not only does it take 60 votes, Ellynn, it involves pleasing vastly different coalitions with different goals for a replacement plan. There are Republicans who actually want to try and expand coverage at a lower cost, there are Republicans who oppose any government role in health insurance, there are Republicans whose only qualm with Obamacare is the “Obama” part. Healthcare is an incredibly large part of our economy and passing a substantive reorganization of the healthcare system involves the expenditure of massive amounts of political capital (see 1993, 2009). Bogging down in substantive healthcare reform legislation threatens Ryan and Trump’s… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

I only had to fingers to type on the phone at the time to get more detailed…