Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (ACHA), which contains provisions that will impact the health care coverage of people across the country, including individuals and families that MDA serves. Provisions as currently written in the House bill would create challenges accessing meaningful health care coverage. For example, the legislation as written allows states to opt-out of maintaining protections for the community of patients who have pre-existing conditions, such as those living with muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other neuromuscular diseases.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Permit individuals with pre-existing conditions to be charged higher premiums,
- Change the way Medicaid is structured so that coverage of new treatments would be put at risk
- Allow states to reinstitute high risk pools for coverage
- Impact lifetime and annual caps
- Compromise the level of support available for those who need financial help to obtain health care coverage.
The bill must still be passed by the Senate before it becomes law, and we will continue to engage policy makers to ensure they understand the impact that such provisions will have on those living with neuromuscular disease.
MDA is 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 last week at meetings with more than 100 Congressional offices about the importance of access to health care, and we will continue to work together as a community to ensure policymakers understand the importance of coverage for individuals and families living with neuromuscular disease.
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