The House Just Voted To Relax Protections For Preexisting Conditions. What Does That Mean?
An amendment to add an additional $8 billion to help pay for high-risk pools for any state looking for exemptions to preexisting condition coverage swayed enough lawmakers to secure passage of the legislation, but experts say that not nearly enough money is allocated to fund health care for the sickest Americans.
The Associated Press:
Pre-Existing Conditions And The Health Plan: Who's Covered?
States will be able to get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing illnesses who have let their coverage lapse. States can then use federal money to fund government-operated insurance programs for expensive patients called "high-risk pools." (5/4)
Experts: Pre-Existing Coverage In House GOP Bill Would Fall Far Short
The $23 billion included in the House Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to pay for people with pre-existing chronic health conditions will only cover about 5% of the estimated 2.2 million people who need insurance, a new analysis concluded. (O'Donnell, 5/4)
The Associated Press:
Anxiety Over GOP Health Plan For Those With Severe Illnesses
"Today, it really kind of sunk in that not only are we not going to potentially have health care coverage but that it was done as a political win rather than a well-thought-out plan," said Martinez, a 32-year-old former chef who's studying social work. "That's what stings about it." (5/5)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Exploring The Deeper Ends Of The Preexisting Health Risk Pools
Whatever happens to the attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, one issue will continue to dominate the discussion: How do you insure people with preexisting conditions? The Affordable Care Act required that those individuals be covered and not charged higher premiums. That aspect of the law is immensely popular, and making changes to that guarantee is fraught with financial and political danger. (Naroff, 5/4)
LA Children's CEO: Jimmy Kimmel Triggered 'Flood Of Calls' From Families Needing Treatment
Since Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his son’s lifesaving heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, phone calls have overwhelmed Paul Viviano’s switchboard. “We’ve had a flood of calls,” Viviano, the hospital’s CEO, told STAT in an interview Thursday. “Patients and families are calling about, ‘Will you treat this? Can we see you for that?’ We’ve had other calls about advocacy — this notion of preexisting conditions that Jimmy brought to the forefront. People want to know how they can advocate on behalf of children.” (Ross, 5/4)
Tampa Bay Times:
Without Obamacare, What Happened To Kids Like Jimmy Kimmel's Son?
The Affordable Care Act struck a core deal with insurance companies. It required pretty much everyone to have insurance, but in exchange, it forbade insurance companies from denying policies to people with health problems. Republican leaders have said their new bill, which passed the House on Thursday, protects people with pre-existing conditions, but some GOP lawmakers challenge that. Kimmel's story raises several policy questions, and we'll unpack them. (Greenberg, 5/4)
Celebration But Also Fear Greet House Passage Of Health-Care Bill
Amy Esdorn has slept little this week, careening between hope and dismay as she checked and rechecked her Twitter feed and Facebook for the unfolding drama as Congress pondered the future of her health care from 1,400 miles away..."I've been living on this roller-coaster for months, really for the past year," said the 41-year-old Houston woman with severe Crohn's disease, who had feared a repeal of the law made insurance companies stop charging people who have chronic or pre-existing conditions more or shutting them out altogether. (Deam, 5/4)
Kaiser Health News:
Sounds Like A Good Idea? High-Risk Pools
High-risk pools are a key concept that helped House Republicans pass their replacement for the Affordable Care Act. That bill, the American Health Care Act, which still must pass the Senate to become law, allows states to opt out of the requirement for insurers to cover people with preexisting conditions and set up high-risk pools for these people instead. (Rovner and Ying, 5/4)