Our government is voting on replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). If the AHCA passes as it is written now, millions of Americans could lose access to health care.
Congress is considering cuts to Medicaid and financial aid. Many with disabilities and chronic diseases like asthma and allergies wouldn’t be able to afford health care. Without affordable health care, they would not have access to treatments they need. The impact would be devastating.
What’s the Difference Between the ACA and the AHCA?
In 2010, the ACA began to give more Americans access to health care. Many states also chose to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.
The ACA guarantees that people with chronic conditions have access to affordable health insurance, and Congress could take this away. This means our nation risks going back to a time when people with chronic conditions like asthma and allergies could be denied health insurance or forced to pay outrageous premiums or dropped from coverage just when they need it most.
Currently, the AHCA will give people tax credits for medical expenses based on a person’s age and income. It will allow states to waive some protections for those with pre-existing conditions, while letting insurers charge higher rates to older consumers. This means a 64-year-old making $26,500 a year could pay 850 percent more than what they are paying under the ACA.
It will also allow insurance companies to collect a 30 percent surcharge on the premiums of those who let their coverage lapse. It also greatly reduces the money available for states to use for people on Medicaid (such as people with disabilities), which could result in millions of people losing health care coverage.
What Is Being Done?
Groups like the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and other members of the National Health Council are asking Congress to pass laws that keep health care affordable. Our goal is to see laws that are #PuttingPatientsFirst. We work to support and protect those with asthma and allergies. The AHCA would make it hard for many to receive necessary, life-saving care.
What Can You Do?
AAFA needs your help now. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act. This bill is currently in the Senate waiting for a vote and is not yet law. The Senate may decide to change certain aspects of the House version of the bill.
Tell Congress not to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until there is a better bill that protects pre-existing conditions and those on Medicaid. Use our tool below to send an email letter to your Senator. You can also choose to post your message on Facebook or Twitter and/or call your Senator. Just follow the steps: