Council for Affordable Health Coverage: AHCA Rules Amendment Insufficient to Address Coverage Concerns

WASHINGTON, DC (April 6, 2017): Today, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded to the amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) offered by Representatives Gary Palmer (R-AL-6) and Dave Schweikert (R-AZ-5) adopted by the House Rules Committee. CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:

“CAHC appreciates House Republicans’ work to continue making needed improvements to the American Health Care Act and we have long been supportive of invisible high-risk pools as a part of ACA replacement measures but, as written, it appears this amendment will still fail to sufficiently boost coverage numbers and lower Americans’ projected health care costs – two remaining shortfalls of House Republican leaders’ plan that must be addressed. If Congressional Republicans believe in the merits of high-risk pools, lowering costs, and promoting consumer access and choice, as we do, then they must provide robust funding to ensure these policies can be implemented most effectively. That is why, earlier this year, CAHC called for $30 billion in federal funding for these efforts over the transition period – not over the next decade,” said CAHC President Joel White. “The ACA failed woefully in curbing the rise of health care costs and preserving consumer choice. It is incumbent on Congress to ensure this replacement package does not repeat those same mistakes. Aggressive measures must be taken to ensure market stability in 2018 and 2019 to ensure that there is an individual market to reform in later years. The amendment, as currently constructed, is a step in the right direction but falls short of meeting this goal.”

BACKGROUND:
Earlier this year, CAHC modeled the potential impacts of varying levels of invisible high risk pool funding to stabilize markets, including its impact on premiums and federal outlays. The document can be viewed here.

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About the Council for Affordable Health Coverage

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage.

About CAHC President Joel White

A veteran of health policy, Joel White became President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage after serving twelve years on Capitol Hill, including as Staff Director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. His writings on health care policy have been published in Morning Consult, The Hill, Washington Examiner, FierceHealthcare, and Inside Sources, among others, and he testified before the Ways and Means Committee on health reform just last year. Joel holds a BS in Economics from the American University and is the co-author of the book, Facts and Figures on Government Finance.