Press Release: House Passes Trumpcare Bill with 10 Ohio Representatives Voting Yes – May 4, 2017
Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act, or “Trumpcare,” the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill narrowly passed by a vote of 217-213. Under this bill, an estimated 964,000 or more Ohioans could lose health coverage by 2019.[i]
“It’s disgraceful that the House voted to pass this bill that will take away health care from at least 24 million Americans and destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Steve Wagner, executive director of Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio (UHCAN Ohio). “Republicans who voted for this bill have betrayed the millions of Americans who will lose coverage or end up paying much more for coverage that provides less care. They promised better health care, not tax cuts for the rich.”
Under Trumpcare, over 4.5 million Ohioans with a pre-existing condition will face loss of insurance, higher premiums, or “job-lock” – being unable to leave a job because of the inability to buy private coverage.[ii] On top of the standard cost of insurance, Ohioans with breast cancer could end up annually paying $22,630 more for coverage, Ohioans with diabetes could pay $4,420 more, and Ohioans could pay $13,670 more for a pregnancy.[iii] Ohioans who get their insurance through the Marketplace could see their annual costs rise by an average of $1,116.[iv]
Trumpcare would shift $22 billion in Medicaid costs to Ohio over ten years, putting health care for millions of Ohioans at risk.[v] The cuts would effectively end Medicaid expansion, and the 700,000 Ohioans who gained health coverage through Medicaid expansion will stand to lose access to health care. Other cuts to Medicaid mean more than two million Ohio children, older adults, and people with disabilities will be at risk of losing coverage or having fewer covered services.
People with employer-sponsored insurance would also be affected by the bill. States can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, which require health plans to cover services like maternity and preventive care. This would also allow insurers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on coverage, which were banned by the ACA, but only for essential health benefits. Anyone with a plan allowing lifetime limits could be one health crisis away from bankruptcy. There’s more bad news for working Ohioans – Trumpcare could cost the state 81,385 lost jobs by 2022.[vi]
Among Ohio’s members of Congress, Representatives Steve Chabot (R), Brad Wenstrup (R), Jim Jordan (R), Robert Latta (R), Bill Johnson (R), Bob Gibbs (R), Warren Davidson (R), Pat Tiberi (R), Steve Stivers (R), and Jim Renacci (R) voted to pass the bill. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D), Marcia Fudge (D), Marcy Kaptur (D), Tim Ryan (D), Michael Turner (R), and David Joyce (R) voted no on Trumpcare.[vii]
“House Republicans recklessly passed the bill without taking time to understand its effects and how many people it could harm. They are accountable for taking away health care from hundreds of thousands of their constituents and condemning Ohioans to poor health, medical debt, and bankruptcy in exchange for tax cuts for the rich. Representatives Turner and Joyce are exceptions who stood by their constituents to protect their health,” said Wagner.
UHCAN Ohio is a statewide non-partisan, non-profit organization building the voice of consumers to achieve quality, affordable, accessible health coverage for all Ohioans. www.uhcanohio.org
[i] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “964,000 Ohio Residents Would Lose Coverage in 2019 Under ACA Repeal,” December 7, 2016, http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/12-7-16health-factsheets-oh.pdf.
[ii] Emily Gee, “Number of Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions by Congressional District,” Center for American Progress, April 5, 2017, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2017/04/05/430059/number-americans-pre-existing-conditions-congressional-district/.
[iii] Sam Berger and Emily Gee, “Premium Increases for Pre-Existing Conditions Under Latest ACA Repeal Plan, by State,” Center for American Progress, April 21, 2017, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2017/04/21/431019/premium-increases-pre-existing-conditions-latest-aca-repeal-plan-state/.
[iv] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “House Republican Health Plan Would Mean More Uninsured, Costlier Coverage in Ohio,” April 13, 2017, http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/4-13-17health-factsheets-oh.pdf.
[v] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “House Republican Health Plan Would Mean More Uninsured, Costlier Coverage in Ohio,” April 13, 2017, http://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/4-13-17health-factsheets-oh.pdf.
[vi] Josh Bivens, “How many jobs could the AHCA cost your state?” Economic Policy Institute, March 24, 2017, http://www.epi.org/publication/how-many-jobs-could-the-ahca-cost-your-state/.
Latest Changes to American Health Act Little More than a Fig Leaf
The latest additions to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will do nothing to cure its fundamental defects of breaking repeated promises from Congressional Republicans to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
House Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the AHCA from the floor in March because he didn’t have the votes to be sure of its passage. A “deal” (Meadows-McArthur amendment) during the Congressional recess made a bad bill worse, giving states an opportunity to seek a nearly automatic waiver from both the essential benefit requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the requirements to charge persons in the individual market the same regardless of a pre-existing condition. This deal converted the resistant Freedom Caucus Republicans from a “no” vote on AHCA to a likely “yes” vote.
But centrist Republicans began to express opposition to the amendment as they returned from recess. The President and House Leadership have continued to “tweak” the bill to try to get to the magic number of 216 votes. This week the Upton-Long amendment surfaced with an offering of $8 billion to be added to the $130 billion AHCA for the states. If this money is to encourage states to create high risk pools, it is way short of the amount needed.
Republicans in the House can do all the backroom vote-trading they want; their bill will still harm most Ohioans because it not only guts essential benefits and pre-existing condition protections, it will result in the restoration of annual and lifetime caps on benefits, a very popular provision of the ACA.
This isn’t what people in America want. It is time for the GOP to drop this crazed fixation on repeal and move on.