Republicans are now closer than ever to keeping their seven years promise to replace parts of Obamacare.
“It does shift increased flexibility to states in general, it allows states to modify what has been the essential health benefit package required by the affordable care act,” said Dan Rahn, Chancellor at UAMS.
An amendment to the bill now heads to the Senate for approval. It adds $8 billion over five years to an existing $130 billion fund to finance high risk pools.
“It creates more brackets, the affordable care act only had three brackets of premiums based on age. This legislation has five so older individuals can be at risk for significantly higher premiums,” said Rahn. “It allows for the creation of high risk pools, which in concept are for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Everything hinges on the funds that are provided to supplement the premium costs for individuals in a high risk pool. Without sufficient costs being provided, the premium cost can really skyrocket for those with pre-existing conditions and render policies unaffordable for them.”
Chancellor Rahn’s use of the word ‘concept’ may be the most important aspect, since the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is far from a done deal.
The Senate plans to take up the bill, but not until it receives a Congressional Budget Office score. There’s already a working group attempting to find some kind of consensus.