Delaney Statement on Latest Version of American Health Care Act
WASHINGTON – This week the House Freedom Caucus announced their support for an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The MacArthur Amendment to the AHCA would significantly weaken the essential health benefits provision established by the Affordable Care Act, by allowing states to opt-out of requiring that plans include basic features like prescription drug coverage, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity services and addiction treatment. The amended AHCA would also allow states to opt-out of community rating protections, which means that Americans with pre-existing conditions could lose coverage or pay more.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under the initial version of the legislation the number of Americans without insurance would have increased by 24 million. The CBO has stated they are still weeks away from being able to provide Congress with an updated analysis of the current legislation.
“The latest version of this legislation is even worse than before and I will oppose it on the House floor should it ever come to a vote. We still have the same framework, which means the uninsured rate will skyrocket and that costs will increase for far too many. On top of the original bad bill, this amendment means that there is significant risk that the quality of coverage will go down for millions and that people with preexisting conditions will either lose coverage all together or face significantly increased costs.
“I’m proud to support the Affordable Care Act, but I’ve also said from the beginning that ACA isn’t perfect and we should work together diligently to fix it and address the problems that remain. But the American Health Care Act just isn’t a serious and responsible effort to do so. It is profoundly disappointing to see Republican leadership in Congress and the White House continue to try to jam through this incredibly significant legislation with no due diligence, no vetting and no serious attempt to examine the consequences. Bills to rename post offices often get more consideration than this legislation, which impacts the health of nearly every single American.”