Yesterday, the House voted on and approved the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and it now moves to the Senate for consideration. Back when the AHCA was originally introduced in March, we did a blog post analyzing what the AHCA would mean for people with disabilities. However, recent amendments to the bill changed this analysis as the MacArthur amendment specifically addresses protections for people with pre-existing conditions. We have a new blog post which examines what the new version of the AHCA would mean for people with disabilities and includes a look at high-risk pools which have been proposed as a possible solution to address people with pre-existing conditions. For that new blog post which includes a list of resources on high-risk pools, click here.
For the reasons stated in the blog post, the American Association on Health and Disability (the lead partner for the NDNRC) continues to oppose the AHCA and now urges the Senate to reject it. If you’d like to help us in these advocacy efforts, check out our action alert from last week. We will be sending future action alerts as the AHCA continues to move through Congress.
Tim Jost of Health Affairs also has two blog posts on AHCA on the MacArthur amendment (which allows for state waivers of protections for people with pre-existing conditions) and the Upton-Long amendment (which provides $8 billion over five years to help states address the needs of people with pre-existing conditions).
You can also view our NDNRC statement on health reform which we released after the elections last November. In the statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act,” we call on Congress and the Administration to protect provisions in the ACA which have benefited people with disabilities. The full statement can be found on our website, where it is also available in a PDF download, by clicking here.
One of the provisions in the AHCA would turn Medicaid into a per capita cap where states would receive a set amount of federal assistance per enrollee which would be dependent on the category in which the enrollee falls. Two of the categories envisioned under the AHCA are seniors and people with disabilities. A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation looks at the variation of what states spend per enrollee for these two categories. To read more about the brief or to download a copy check out our news item here.
The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) has a new online course entitled the Disability and Health Insurance Online Self-Paced Tutorial. This course provides consumers and advocates a basic understanding of the U.S. health insurance market, and the challenges people with disabilities face in obtaining and maintaining affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage. The primary audience includes persons with disabilities, advocates, staff and board members of centers for independent living, members and staffs of statewide independent living councils and staffs of other organizations serving persons with disabilities. The course requires about 30 minutes to complete. More information on this including links to register for the course can be found on the CHRIL website.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new issue brief looking at the important role that Medicaid plays in the rural parts of the country. To read more about this brief or to download a copy check out our news item here.