Health Care Reform Update: Bill introduced in the U.S. Senate

health care reform billLate last week the U.S. Senate introduced its long awaited health care reform bill that sets out changes to modify health care coverage of people across the country, including individuals and families that MDA serves. In May the U.S. House of Representatives passed their bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

The U.S. Senate bill differs from the bill passed by the U.S. House in several ways, including, for example, when tax credits would be applicable, potential impacts on access to coverage for those with preexisting conditions, and the amount that individuals can contribute to health savings accounts, among other provisions. Both bills also change the funding structure of the current Medicaid program, shifting to a per capita or block grant approach. Notably, both the House and Senate bills would allow young people to remain on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26—a provision that is important to the neuromuscular disease community.

(For a summary of how the current law, House bill and Senate bill stack up, the Washington Post provides an overview.)

As the House and Senate consider health care reform, MDA remains committed to ensuring access to meaningful health care coverage and is proud to be part of a coalition of ten national organizations who have endorsed a set of principles necessary to ensure adequate coverage. MDA and MDA advocates took this message to Capitol Hill in April in meetings with more than 100 Congressional offices about the importance of access to health care, and will continue to work together as a community to ensure policymakers understand the importance of affordable and adequate coverage for individuals and families living with neuromuscular disease.

We urge MDA Advocates to take action to make sure your voice is heard as the Senate refines its bill. Please reach out today to urge your Senators to ensure that the principles of coverage are satisfied and that Medicaid and Medicaid expansion remain intact in any final version of the bill.

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