2017-07-12 14:21:16 UTC

Senate Unveils Updated Health-Care Reform Proposal

July 11, 2017

Continue to tell Congress that patient care must remain a priority for health-care reform.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, released an updated version of the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which would repeal the Affordable Care Act and reform the health-care system. He hopes to begin debate on the bill next week. 

With the Senate’s latest version and its potential impending vote, it’s vital to ensure that patient access to high-quality affordable medical care remains at the forefront. The BCRA tries to strike a balance to assuage the concerns expressed by both conservatives and moderates, but it is not certain whether Majority Leader McConnell has the necessary votes to pass the package. Some key changes include:

  • Maintains ACA taxes on higher-income individuals to help low-income individuals purchase health insurance.
  • Allows insurers to offer health insurance plans on the exchanges exempt from ACA mandates.
  • Allows people to use health savings accounts to pay for premiums.
  • Provides $45 billion in additional funding to combat the opioid crisis.   
AGA believes that, at a minimum, any replacement package must include the following provisions:
  • Ensures patient access to and coverage of specialty care.
  • Ensures patient access to and coverage of evidence-based preventive screenings without cost-sharing. 
  • Insurers cannot discriminate because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Insurers cannot discriminate based on gender.
  • Parents should be allowed to keep their children on their plans until age 26.
  • A ban on annual and lifetime caps.
Review AGA's statement to learn more, and then contact your legislator. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you with the senators from your state and tell them:
  • Your name and hometown.
  • That you urge the senator to oppose any repeal and replace legislation that results in lost coverage, lack of access to specialty care or loss of coverage of preventive services.
AGA continues working with our allies on Capitol Hill to help shape an outcome that is in the best interest of gastroenterology and our patients. Patient access to quality health care, preventive screenings and specialty care are AGA priorities. 

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