GOP Lawmakers Putting ‘Finishing Touches’ on New Healthcare Proposal
House Republicans have unveiled a “White Paper” amendment to their repeal and replace healthcare legislation.
The MacArthur Amendment, crafted by Tuesday Group co-chair Tom MacArthur and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows, proffers two major changes to the American Health Care Act that Republicans think they can pass.
Pre-existing conditions: “The amendment would create an option for states to obtain Limited Waivers from certain federal standards, in the interest of lowering premium costs and expanding the number of insured persons,” the amendment reads.
States would have to be part of a federal high-risk pool or set up their own.
Essential Health Benefits: Prescription drug coverage, pregnancy and mental health services would be back in, but states could apply for a waiver for that, too.
“States must attest that the purpose of their requested waiver is to reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions,” reads the amendment.
The new proposal, being poured over by House and Senate leadership, gives conservatives a win on the provisions they were seeking while being somewhat of a status quo with Republican moderates.
“This effectively allows states to eliminate the ACA’s guarantee of access to insurance at a reasonable price for people with pre-existing conditions, in the interest of lowering premiums for people who are healthy,” a Senior VP at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation said
“It seems to tilt heavily towards what the Freedom Caucus has been looking for.”
House leadership is expected to discuss the amendment during a conference call Saturday.
“We’re in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches,” Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday.
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