The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in limbo as Congress starts a two-week recess break. Over the past couple of weeks in D.C., several attempts have been made to bridge the chasm between conservative and moderate House members, but with no success.
The most recent proposals floating around would allow states to seek a waiver of three ACA insurance regulations:
- Guaranteed issue, which requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions;
- Community rating, which prohibits insurers from charging sick people more for coverage; and
- Essential health benefits, which mandates which services insurers must cover.
Republicans also proposed creating a $15 billion pool of funds that insurers could access to help cover the costs of sick, expensive patients.
Stay tuned for updates as developments warrant. We will certainly ask you to engage as soon as we see a new proposal.
Post-recess agenda: Funding the government
Congress reconvenes April 24, when it must immediately address funding the government through September 30. That task and other pressing issues could push the health care discussions to a later date.
However, Republican leaders and the President have said they remain committed to trying to move a repeal and replace bill. WSHA will evaluate any new proposal with an eye toward preserving access to coverage. Given the discussion to date, the coverage gains achieved through the ACA remain at risk.
Are you on record to support preserving coverage?
Protecting the coverage gains made through the ACA remains WSHA’s top priority. If you have not gone on record with your members of Congress about the importance of preserving coverage, we encourage you to reach out during the Easter recess. Click here to see the last action alert that includes additional background and talking points.
If you are invited to participate in an event or are scheduling a meeting with your members of Congress, please be on record about the importance of preserving coverage.
Finally, if you need additional information, don’t hesitate to contact John Flink, WSHA’s D.C.-based lobbyist at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chelene Whiteaker, WSHA Policy Director at email@example.com or 206-216-2545.