Health Care Partner Examines MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act in Bloomberg BNA
On April 27, Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter published the third article in a series in which health care partner Tom Bulleit (Washington, D.C.) examines efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).
In the article, titled “Reports of the AHCA’s Revival: Will Giving the States Obamacare Waivers Thread the Needle?”, Mr. Bulleit discusses the latest attempt by House Republicans to assemble a majority in support of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
Mr. Bulleit observes that “what the [MacArthur Amendment] giveth to satisfy moderates, it seems to taketh away to please conservatives, in the form of making available to the states waivers from most of the Obamacare protections that it purports to maintain. Specifically, the states could obtain from the secretary of health and human services a waiver of the essential health benefits and most of the community rating rules on premiums. Waivers could not be granted based on gender, on age (although states apparently would be able to reduce the 5:1/older:younger ratio in premiums), or on health status; however, waivers for health status would be available if the state operated a high-risk pool. Stated differently, states would be free to allow insurers to offer policies that are priced more expensively for patients with pre-existing conditions as long as the state participates in a high-risk pool.”