Affordable Care Act (ACA)

 
 
Share this
 
 

NVHR strongly opposes repealing the ACA without also implementing replacement legislation to ensure coverage for millions of Americans, including the nearly 5 million living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Maintaining quality care for individuals living with hepatitis B or C requires the maintenance of ACA programs and protections until there are meaningful, adequately funded alternatives available. Because so many individuals with hepatitis B or C rely on services provided through Medicaid, NVHR also opposes changing the current Medicaid funding structure to a per capita or block grant model.

Click here for a fact sheet on how the ACA helps people with viral hepatitis.

On January 11, 2017, NVHR sent a letter signed by 54 organizations to all U.S. Senators calling for Congress to maintain key protections and to oppose harmful changes to Medicaid. A copy of the letter is available here.

On March 10, 2017, NVHR sent a letter to all House Representatives opposing the American Health Care Act. A copy of the letter is available here. On March 24, 2017, the House leadership pulled the AHCA from the floor because it lacked the votes to pass.

On May 4, 2017, the House voted 217-213 to pass an amended version of the AHCA. We will soon post a fact sheet on how this bill would harm people with hepatitis. In summary, the bill would:

  • Allow insurers to charge sicker people, including those with preexisting conditions, more money.
  • Allow insurers to charge older people more money.
  • Allow insurers to charge people who have been uninsured for about two months, including those with preexisting conditions, a 30 percent surcharge on their premiums.
  • End the Medicaid expansion and forbid states that have not yet expanded Medicaid from doing so.
  • Gut Medicaid by imposing a per capita cap structure. Under this structure, the federal government would shift the costs of Medicaid largely to the states, which would then have to cut eligibility criteria and benefits. Federal funding for Medicaid would decrease by $880 billion over the next 10 years.
  • Allow states to waive Essential Health Benefits requirements, which include prescription drugs, preventive services, and mental and behavioral health services.
  • Potentially allow employers to remove the Essential Health Benefits from their employer-sponsored plans. If a state chooses to weaken or eliminate the Essential Health Benefit standards, then an employer in that state could adopt the state's weaker and lower benefit standards.
  • Eliminate funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which constitutes about 12 percent of the CDC's budget.
  • Repeal taxes on wealthier people, insurance companies, prescription drug makers, some medical devices, expensive employer-sponsored plans, and tanning salons. Revenue from these taxes has been used to fund expanded coverage in the community. 

What You Can Do to Stop the ACA Repeal

Call, email, and/or schedule a District office visit with your Representative or Senator.

  • Members of Congress want to hear from their constituents. You can deliver a powerful message by emphasizing the importance of the ACA to people living with hepatitis B or C in your state.
  • Share your personal stories. Educate your representatives by sharing a personal story about how the ACA’s protections for people with hepatitis B or C have helped you or a loved one.

You can learn more about how the ACA has benefitted people in your state by consulting the state-specific fact sheets prepared by Families USA.

Find your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Find your Senator: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Call or email your governor.

You can deliver a powerful message to your governor about why maintaining the current Medicaid funding structure is crucial to protecting people with hepatitis B or C.

Find your governor: https://www.usa.gov/state-governor.

For an overview of how the AHCA would affect the Medicaid expansion, you can review this fact sheet from the National Health Law Program.

For an overview of how Medicaid operates in your state, you can review the fact sheets provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Keep asking questions about ACA replacement legislation.
Here are some sample questions to ask about replacement legislation, courtesy of Families USA’s Protect Our Care coalition:

  1. Will everyone who has coverage today still have coverage under your bill?
  2. Will this bill make coverage more affordable for people - lowering their premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs - while not taking away any of their current benefits?
  3. Will everyone who currently gets a health insurance tax credit continue to receive the same amount or more so that they not only “have access to coverage” but can afford it?
  4. Will this bill maintain the current protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are in the current law?
  5. Will this bill guarantee that a woman can’t be charged more than a man for her health insurance simply because she is a woman?
  6. Will treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders and prescription drugs still be covered at the same level?
  7. Will this bill prevent insurance companies from charging people over 55 more than they are today?
  8. Will everyone that is covered today through Medicaid continue to have coverage without paying more?
  9. Will this bill require large companies and other big employers to continue providing health coverage for their employees?

 

If you have questions about how to get involved in ACA advocacy efforts, please contact NVHR’s Public Policy Director, Elizabeth Paukstis.