Latest AHCA Will Devastate Coverage, Bring Back Annual and Lifetime Limits for All

Experts

Vice President for Consumer Policy and Mobilization
Director, Special Projects
Staff Attorney
Health Policy Analyst
Media Relations Associate

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, today blasted the latest version of the American Health Care Act that repeals the ACA’s essential health benefits provision and would ultimately eliminate protections for those with preexisting conditions and the ban on lifetime and annual benefits for all.

“The latest version of the American Health Care Act would give insurers carte blanche to pick and choose whatever they feel like covering, creating a race to the bottom.  It would leave those with preexisting conditions without any hope of finding affordable, meaningful coverage.  Moreover, this move to gut essential health benefits essentially rolls back the ban on lifetime and annual limits for everyone.  So even if you do manage to find insurance, it could just as likely run out right when you need it most,” said Laura MacCleery, Vice President of Policy and Mobilization for Consumer Reports. “This bill has gone from bad, to worse, to downright scary. It’s time for House Members to act on behalf of those that elected them and publicly commit to voting against the American Health Care Act.”

The essential health benefits requirement ensures coverage for basic services—including hospital visits, emergency, maternity, and pediatric care, and prescription drug coverage, among others. Repealing this requirement would reduce coverage for all Americans and make it nearly impossible for those with preexisting conditions to afford meaningful coverage.  In addition, the Affordable Care Act prohibits health plans from putting annual or lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits.  If essential health benefits are eliminated, as the latest version of the American Health Care Act would do, then caps on coverage would return.

Consumers Union is urging consumers to call their Representatives today at (855) 977-1770 and tell them to publicly commit to voting no on the American Health Care Act.  For more information, visit www.ConsumersUnion.org/protect-our-healthcare.