AHCA Remains a Threat to Iowans’ Health

Update: It appears the House will vote as early as Thursday on the heavily amended American Health Care Act, making it more important than ever for Iowans to contact their Representatives. Despite numerous changes, AHCA still undermines progress made under the Affordable Care Act and would leave thousands of Iowans without coverage. IHA is joined by virtually every provider and patient advocacy organization in the nation in opposition to this bill.

The US House of Representatives is still considering the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a legislative package to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major changes to the Medicaid program. A vote could occur yet this week. Iowans should contact their US Representative and ask him NOT to support AHCA if it comes to the House floor for a vote.

Changes to AHCA continue to be discussed, including an amendment that would create a “limited waiver option” for states to opt out of essential health benefits and community rating requirements in an effort to lower the cost of insurance. Even with proposed “high-risk pools” that would theoretically (and temporarily) assist individuals with pre-existing conditions (who otherwise will no longer have coverage under AHCA), these changes would worsen, not improve, AHCA, legislation that hospitals and health care providers in Iowa and across the nation did not support from the beginning.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the AHCA is expected to increase the number of uninsured by 14 million in 2018 compared to current law and by 24 million by 2026. The largest savings would come from reductions in federal outlays for Medicaid ($880 billion) and the elimination of the ACA’s subsidies that help people afford health insurance ($673 billion).

Approximately 200,000 Iowans could lose their coverage while the state would lose billions of health care dollars.

AHCA is a step backwards that threatens the health of vulnerable Iowans. Contact your Iowa Congressman today!