Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) today praised the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – House Republicans’ legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare.
“This is the relief my constituents have demanded,” said Shimkus, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee that will markup the bill on Wednesday. “The American Health Care Act offers American families more options, lower costs and the flexibility to choose a plan that fits their unique needs, not Washington’s one-size-fits-all mandates.”
Gone under the AHCA are the ACA’s middle-class taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices. Gone as well are the individual and employer mandate penalties, which forced millions of Americans into plans they don’t want and can’t afford.
“While the vast majority of my constituents will be glad to see this costly, broken law go away, some are concerned about losing their current coverage,” Shimkus added. “I want these folks to know that vital patient protections will be preserved under the AHCA.”
Specifically, the bill prohibits health insurers from denying coverage, or charging higher premiums, based upon a pre-existing condition; putting annual or lifetime caps on medical care; and charging women more than men. The bill also continues to allow 26 year olds to stay on their parents’ insurance, just as the majority of states allowed prior to the ACA.
By transitioning to a “per capita allotment,” the AHCA also empowers state Medicaid programs with the flexibility they need to better serve patients most in need. This type of allotment has been supported not just by Republicans, but also key Democrats including former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid.
“Illinois hospitals and providers have long struggled with below average Medicaid reimbursements,” Shimkus said. “As we move toward a per capita system, which will restore Medicaid’s focus on the most vulnerable populations, we will also have an opportunity to work together to better calculate the federal funding each state receives.”
President Donald Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price, both praised the legislation, which is available for anyone to read at [readthebill.gop]readthebill.gop