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Affordable Care Act (ACA)
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.
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 6, 2017, the House Republican leadership released its ACA repeal legislation, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Click here to read a section-by-section of the Ways and Means Committee legislation. Click here to read a section-by-section of the Energy & Commerce Committee legislation. The legislation was voted out of both committees on March 9, 2017.
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.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that up to 24 million people would lose coverage under the ACHA. After the CBO released this estimate, the House Leadership added amendments (available here). The amendments include provisions that would allow states to choose between a per capita cap and block grant structure for Medicaid, and that would boost federal funding for states that impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.
Click here for an analysis of the amendments from Families USA.
The White House has also pushed for the House to eliminate Essential Health Benefit standards as part of the draft legislation. For an analysis of why the Essential Health Benefit standards are critical for people with pre-existing conditions like hepatitis B and C, click here.
Here is a list of resources containing more information on the AHCA:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, House Republican Health Plan Shifts $370 Billion in Medicaid Costs to States
Kaiser Family Foundation, Interactive Map Describing Impact of AHCA Premium Tax Credit Changes
Tim Jost, Health Affairs, Examining the House Republican ACA Repeal and Replace Legislation
Protect Our Care, Talking Points on the American Health Care Act
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.
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.
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:
- Will everyone who has coverage today still have coverage under your bill?
- 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?
- 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?
- Will this bill maintain the current protections for people with pre-existing conditions that are in the current law?
- 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?
- Will treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders and prescription drugs still be covered at the same level?
- Will this bill prevent insurance companies from charging people over 55 more than they are today?
- Will everyone that is covered today through Medicaid continue to have coverage without paying more?
- 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.