The House today approved a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The legislation received 217 votes in favor. All votes in support came from Republicans. The bill now goes on to the Senate for its consideration.
This vote follows the addition of an amendment yesterday to add an additional $8 billion in funding over five years to fund high risk pools and assist those with pre-existing conditions in states that seek waivers from certain requirements established under the ACA. Changes incorporated into the bill last month permit limited waivers of essential health benefits and age and gender rating rules in order to reduce premium costs, expand insurance coverage, and guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
In its current form, the bill:
- Ends the “individual mandate” tax penalty against people without coverage.
- Ends Medicaid expansion funding.
- Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program to one that gives states fixed amounts of money per person.
- Replaces the ACA’s cost sharing subsidies based on income and premium costs with tax credits that increase with age.
- Repeals the Cadillac tax on high cost health plans, and taxes on insurers, prescription medications and medical devices.
- Allows 30 percent surcharge to re-enroll if insurance coverage has lapsed for more than 63 days in a year.
- State waivers would allow insurers to charge older customers higher premiums based on risk.
- States receive $8 billion over five years to finance high-risk pools that cover those with pre-existing conditions.
- States receive $130 billion over a decade to help people afford coverage.
- Continues provision for children to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. (New Jersey law permits children to remain on their parents insurance until the age of 31)