A new healthcare bill and amendment recently proposed by Republicans could mean bad news for many Americans—in fact, for millions of Americans. If passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that these changes could cause as many as 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance within a decade.
The proposed amendment would allow states to waive key insurance rules imposed by the Affordable Care Act, making it possible for health insurance companies to raise rates and even deny coverage to people based on things like weight, age, and pre-existing health conditions—much like it was in the days before Obamacare, as reported in an article by The New York Times last week.
Not only would this mean the return of tedious red-tape practices, like filling lengthy health questionnaires or having to get a physical before getting insured, it would also make insurance simply too expensive for millions, especially those with chronic health issues. For the patients with conditions like HIV, cancer, or M.S., insurance rates could triple, and include long waiting periods and exclusions.
And it's not just those living with serious conditions who would be affected.
The proposal would also allow insurance companies to raise rates for anyone that doesn’t fall into the most healthy insurance category, the “Super Preferred.” People being treated for relatively non-serious conditions, like high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, even acne, could end up paying much higher rates. And it’s not just in regard to adults. Children who are just slightly overweight could also be eligible for higher premiums.
The proposed amendment would work in conjunction with the “American Health Care Act” bill, the GOP’s attempt at replacing Obamacare, which they are currently scrambling to get passed as Trump’s 100th day on office draws near.