One thing is certain, the Affordable Care Act has been everything but affordable and is collapsing across the country, raising costs for patients and forcing insurers out of the marketplace, which leaves patients and families with nowhere to go.
This week, House leadership released their proposal for repealing and replacing Obamacare. This proposal, theAmerican Health Care Act, is their first of three phases to provide 21st Century Healthcare reform. Their other two phases include administrative/regulatory changes that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price can do as well as additional legislative reforms passed as separate bills, including selling insurance across state lines. More information about the American Healthcare Act is available at www.readthebill.gop.
Additionally, Representative Mark Sanford (SC) and Senator Rand Paul (KY) have introduced their own proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. You can read more about their proposal here.
While I am strongly committed to repealing the failed Affordable Care Act and adopting real healthcare reform, I have concerns with both proposals. For one, I am very concerned about the impact proposals will have on the demand for Medicaid beds in Florida nursing homes. This is critical to the access some of our senior population has to our hospitals and nursing homes. I also believe the final plan must provide the care we need, at a price we can afford, from the doctor we choose.
These bills will continue to be the subject of much discussion and debate. I anticipate changes will be made before a bill comes up for a final vote in the House. It is my desire that the final proposal will, restore Medicaid to the original intent of the program – providing health care services to low income children, their caretaker relatives, the blind, and individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the following protections should be included in any final proposal:
- Protect patients with pre-existing conditions: Ensures you will never be denied healthcare coverage regardless of their health status.
- Protect coverage for young people: Allows dependents up to age 26 stay on their parents’ plan.
- Prohibits insurers from turning away patients when you renew your plan simply because you may be sick.