GOP proposes updated healthcare plan: 6 things to know

About a month after the Republican ACA replacement plan failed in the House, the GOP has come up with a revised version, reports Politico.

Negotiations have been underway to amend the GOP's American Health Care Act during the congressional recess. An overview of the proposal was published April 20, and the official text for the amendment was published Tuesday evening, according to Health Affairs Blog.

Here are six things to know about the amendment.

1. The revised plan relaxes guidelines for some ACA provisions. Under the plan, states may seek federal waivers to opt out of the ACA's essential health benefits provision, which requires insurers to cover 10 specified services such as maternity care and mental health services, according to The Washington Post. Additionally, states would be able to seek waivers to opt out of the ACA's community rating rule, which bars insurers from charging different premiums "based on age, gender, health status or other factors."

2. However, states would not be able to opt out of other ACA provisions, including the rules allowing adults up to age 26 to maintain coverage through their parents' health plans, reports The Washington Post. The revised healthcare plan also keeps the provision related to pre-existing conditions, meaning insurers would not be able to deny coverage for people with such conditions, according to the report.

3. The revised plan also would allow states to opt out of a requirement that was part of the original AHCA. This requirement would allow insurers to charge a 30 percent penalty for those who let their health plans lapse and try to buy a new policy, according to Politico, which cites a brief update sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee members.

4. If states get waivers to charge certain consumers higher premiums, they would be required to set up programs such as government -subsidized high-risk pools to make health plans more affordable for consumers, according to Politico. States would also have to show they would "reduce premiums, increase health insurance enrollment in the state, stabilize the market for health insurance coverage, stabilize premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions or increase the choice of plans in the state" to get the a waiver, according to the report.

5. A greater number of House Freedom Caucus members are expected to back the latest plan, reports Politico. At least two Freedom Caucus members who previously opposed prior plan versions, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., and Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), indicated they support the revised plan, according to the report. Overall, the report notes, at least 15 to 20 new Freedom Caucus votes will likely be necessary for the plan to gain approval in the House.

6. Moderate House Republicans would  have to come on board with the plan for it to have a chance of passing. But many of these moderate members are not in favor of a plan more conservative than previous versions and worry about the implications for people with pre-existing conditions if states do get waivers, according to Politico.

 

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