House Republicans are floating a new amendment to their health care bill — one that would likely cause even more Americans to lose coverage than the last version. Leaders of the staunchly conservative Freedom Caucus and the more moderate Tuesday Group have reportedly hashed out a proposal that would let some states ditch key Obamacare policies, such as the requirement to charge sick people the same for coverage as healthy people. States would also have the choice to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefit requirement.
What we do know is that this latest proposal doesn’t do much at all to assuage concerns about the older proposals. While it meets many of the demands of the party’s far-right wing — namely, the deregulation of the individual insurance market — it does nothing to address concerns about massive coverage loss. Instead, it likely makes those problems worse. The amendment takes aim at two Obamacare policies that have long been on the Freedom Caucus’s hit list: community rating and essential health benefits.
his GOP amendment to let states waive community rating would once again allow insurers to charge people based on their expected health care costs. Insurers would not be able to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but they would have free rein to charge them especially high premiums. They could also opt out of the health care law’s essential health benefits for the same reason. This is the core set of medical services that the Affordable Care Act requires all insurers to cover, including things like doctor trips, hospital stays, maternity care, and mental health services.
So stupid. If you do away with the essential health benefits - it means that most of the health care people in this country use - would not be covered.