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Congressman Rob Woodall

Representing the 7th District of Georgia

The American Health Care Act (AHCA)

May 9, 2017
Blog Post

What It Does (and doesn’t)

  • The AHCA repeals and replaces Obamacare, along with all its federal mandate penalties and taxes that limit individual choice and impede economic growth.
  • It protects those with pre-existing conditions and does not allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on any such condition.
  • It is true that under the AHCA Americans are no longer forced to purchase inadequate, unaffordable health insurance, but no one is “kicked off” their current insurance. Without a federal penalty, some may choose to find different solutions, but it is an incorrect assertion that the AHCA takes health insurance away from anyone.
  • It establishes the Patient and State Stability Fund - $138 billion to help states lower the cost of care for some of their most vulnerable residents.
  • It offers refundable tax credits to assist in the purchase of a health care policy of one’s choosing.
  • It preserves fundamental principles of federalism such that states have a voice in the process of crafting the best solutions for the under-served.
  • It reforms Medicaid by sending federal funds directly to states to determine how best the funds may be utilized for their unique populations.
  • It reaffirms pro-life protections including a one year ban on Medicaid funding going to any organization whose primary health service is abortion.
  • It expands the use of Health Savings Accounts for those who choose them.

Why?

  • The health insurance market under Obamacare is collapsing.  The so-called “death spiral” created by young people exiting the market has driven insurance companies out of the exchanges and in many places only one insurer remains. It is a matter of time until those numbers fall to zero, and in more places. We cannot sit back and let American families be crushed under this inevitable collapse.
  • This collapse is a result of a flawed system that was built upon the idea that Washington knows best, and used federal compulsion to achieve its goal.  Republicans in Congress – along with President Trump and his team in the White House – have a different approach that hinges on the notion that individuals know better than Washington the kind of policy they need, and when more choices are available, prices and costs become more affordable.
    • By eliminating damaging and expensive taxes such as the tax on medical devices and the health insurance industry – which only serve to drive premiums and other costs up for consumers – policies become more affordable
    • By allowing beneficiaries to pick policies tailored to their specific needs, they are able to get the most value from their plan, and not pay for coverage of services they will not use, health care coverage drops in cost.
  • The numbers are in. Under Obamacare, health insurance premiums are skyrocketing, deductibles are so high American families do not effectively have coverage.  Choice in the health care marketplace is becoming extinct as insurers are leaving at a dizzying pace.
  • We can – and must – do better.  The AHCA is one important step in the process, but there is more work to be done. 
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