On June 22, the Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed the House in May.
The proposal retains some protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions that the House tried to eliminate. However, it cuts Medicaid, loosens essential health benefit requirements and in some cases permits annual and lifetime benefit caps — all changes that would be devastating to individuals with PH and other rare diseases.
30% of adults with disabilities, including many with PH, count on Medicaid. In addition to phasing out the existing Medicaid expansion, the BCRA would permit states to waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover, known as essential health benefits. This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies.
The bill also allows plans to charge older people more for their care and eliminates the cost-sharing subsidies. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million.
The Senate plans to vote on the bill before July 4, but it is still being debated and changed so your voice matters now! Tell your senators that good health policy provides affordable, comprehensive coverage for individuals with PH.