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House Passes Trumpcare Bill Without Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

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On Thursday, the House voted in favor of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the health care plan intended to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare.

The bill has undergone a number of changes since it was first introduced to the public, including an option that would give states the power to let insurers charge those with pre-existing conditions more. A new amendment, introduced last week, would also allow states the option to waive certain Obamacare requirements such as the essential benefits mandate – which requires insurers to cover services including mental health and maternity care – are re-institute lifetime maximums on care.

To apply for these waivers, states would need to have a high-risk pool as an alternative for those unable to afford their premiums. Insurers would then be allowed to charge those with pre-existing conditions a higher premium should they have a lapse in their coverage.

The bill will also cut 25 percent of Medicaid’s funding. According to the New York Times, the AHCA will cut Medicaid by $880 billion, over 10 years, placing caps on care for groups like children and seniors. These cuts will also limit the funding schools depending on Medicaid for disability services receive.

“#Trumpcare’s reckless cuts to Medicaid include funding that schools depend on to serve students with disabilities,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) tweeted on Thursday. “This #Trumpcare bill is a slap in the face to Americans with disabilities in New Hampshire and across America.”

The original AHCA vote was supposed to be held in March but was postponed after Republicans determined they had not secured enough support for the bill to be passed. Enough support for the vote was secured with the addition of the new amendment, which gained the support of the hard-line Freedom Caucus.

The bill was fully opposed by every Democrat Representative and 20 Republicans as well as the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), American Medical Association and the National Disability Rights Network, among others.

Now that the bill has passed the House, it moves to the Senate for a vote and, if passed, to Trump’s desk for his signature.

Do you have a pre-existing condition? What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published: May 4, 2017
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