CAHC: Senate Draft Bill Offers Improvement on Coverage, Premiums

WASHINGTON, DC (June 22, 2017): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded today to the release of the draft text of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement: 

"In our meetings with Senators, we specifically urged lawmakers to produce a bill that aggressively seeks to stabilize markets by front-loading dedicated funding to reverse projected premium increases, increase plan choices, and improve coverage. We are pleased this draft legislation does exactly that," said CAHC President Joel White. "The Council for Affordable Health Coverage's internal projections show that these stabilization measures, combined with the tax repeals included in the draft legislation, can roll back the premium increases originally expected for 2018 and 2019 under the House bill while extending coverage to four to five million additional consumers." 

White continued, "While our analysis of the Senate bill is ongoing, it appears the legislation offers meaningful improvements from the House-passed bill. That said, the lack of penalties or rewards to incentivize continuous coverage is a major area of concern. These provisions are important because a balanced market requires sufficient healthy consumers to maintain coverage in order to spread risk and contain costs. While we recognize that the absence of these provisions may be due to concerns related to the Byrd Rule, it will be incumbent on Congress to offer a fix to this omission - either by revising the draft bill or passing separate, bipartisan legislation."


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Background:
Earlier today, CAHC held a briefing with Congressional staff on the need for action to stabilize markets and protect consumers while transitioning to a more sustainable healthcare system.  In recent days, CAHC has met with over a dozen Senators to discuss ACA repeal and replacement strategy, urging reforms to offer certainty for consumers, providers, and payers - many of which were included in the draft bill, as is noted above. 

CAHC President Joel White is the former Staff Director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and returned to Congress to testify last year on the ACA's damaging effects on premiums and cost-sharing. 

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance focused on bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. Learn more at CAHC.net.