Setting the Record Straight on the American Health Care Act
Friends, there has been a lot of misinformation written about American Health Care Act. I wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight on a few of the false claims that my office is hearing and help explain this important bill to fix our broken healthcare system.
Myth: Members of Congress Are Exempt from the American Health Care Act
Fact: This claim is false. In fact, I was proud to co-author legislation that passed the House unanimously to ensure that, if the AHCA becomes law, Members of Congress and our staff would abide by the same rules as everyone else. Congress should live by the same laws it passes onto the rest of the nation. This is why I currently receive my healthcare through the Obamacare exchanges, though I decline the Congressional subsidy. I was proud to help lead this effort to ensure that Members of Congress do not receive any special treatment.
Myth: The American Health Care Act Does Not Protect Those with Pre-Existing Conditions
Fact: This is also false. A core commitment of mine throughout this process was to ensure those with pre-existing conditions are protected. Under this legislation, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition; they are banned from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition; and prevented from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. The bottom line is that this legislation protects those with preexisting conditions and New York State regulations further protect them.
Myth: The American Health Care Act Will Take Away coverage for Those on Medicaid
Fact: Again, this is a false claim that is often reported in the media. One of my top priorities in any Obamacare replacement package was to ensure that no one had the rug pulled out from under them. The American Health Care Act makes NO changes to Medicaid until 2020. After 2020, anyone currently on Medicaid will still keep their coverage. The American Health Care Act allows New York State to decide if they want to continue their expanded Medicaid program at a reduced federal reimbursement rate. Additionally, after 2020, advanceable tax credits will be made available for people to purchase high quality private insurance plans. These changes to Medicaid allow States to target funding for this important program towards those who need it most.
House passage of the American Health Care Act is the first step in a long legislative process. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to continue to improve this legislation and build a healthcare system that lowers costs, improves quality and increases access for North Country families.