Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). If the AHCA were to become law, 2.7 New Yorkers would lose their health insurance, Medicaid would be cut by more than $800 billion, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be severely weakened. Seven of New York State’s nine Republican Representatives voted in favor of the bill; two Republicans voted against it; and all 18 Democrats voted against it. The bill is now in the Senate for further consideration and revision.
However, the conversation on the AHCA and what it will mean for New Yorkers is not over! Members of Congress left for recess shortly after the vote and came home to face constituents, many of whom were dismayed by the passage of the devastating legislation.
In the days following the vote, town halls took place in the districts of Representatives King, Faso, Stefanik and Reed, who all voted in favor of the AHCA. Representatives King and Faso did not attend the town halls in their districts, and Representatives Collins, Tenney, and Zeldin, who also voted in favor of the bill, did not host town halls. This video from the town hall in Representative Reed’s district provides some insight into how some constituents are feeling about the AHCA and how they think it would affect their care.
It is not too late to call your Representatives and tell them how you feel about the AHCA and about their votes. You can call your Representatives in their districts using the numbers listed here:
Voted Against the AHCA (Thank you!!)
- Congressman Dan Donovan
- Brooklyn Office (718) 630-5277
- Staten Island Office (718) 351-1062
- Congressman John Katko
- Auburn/Lyons Offices (315) 253-4068
- Oswego/Syracuse Offices (315) 423-5657
Voted for the AHCA (Start defending the health of constituents over tax cuts!)
- Congressman Pete King
- Massapequa Office (516) 541-6602
- Congressman Tom Reed
- Corning Office (607) 654-7566
- Geneva Office (315) 759-5229
- Ithaca Office (607) 222-2027
- Jamestown Office (716) 708-6369
- Olean Office (716) 806-1069
- Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
- Glens Falls Office (518) 743-0964
- Plattsburgh Office (518) 561-2324
- Watertown Office (315) 782-1291
- Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
- Binghamton Office (607) 376-6002
- New Hartford Office (315) 732-0713
- Congressman Lee Zeldin
- Patchogue Office (631) 289-1097
- East End Office (631) 209-4235
Albany, NY – Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), a statewide coalition of over 170 consumer advocacy organizations, expressed great dismay at the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Despite unprecedented opposition from constituents, House Republicans voted to take health care away from 2.7 million New Yorkers, abandon Americans with pre-existing conditions to hopelessly underfunded “high-risk” rationing pools, slash Medicaid, and raise health care costs for all families by up to 20 percent.
The passage of the AHCA threatens the high quality affordable health coverage offered to millions of New Yorkers through the New York State of Health marketplace, including the Essential Plan, individual commercial plans and Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act allowed 3.6 million New Yorkers to get health insurance by revitalizing New York’s individual market, increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, and creating the Essential Plan. The Medicaid program provides affordable care to six million New Yorkers who cannot afford private insurance. Over a third of the New Yorkers covered by Medicaid are children, while most of the spending on the program provides care to the elderly and people with disabilities. The AHCA’s cap on Medicaid will mean devastating cuts for New York’s most vulnerable.
We thank the New York Democratic delegation and, critically, Representatives Donovan and Katko for their courageous stand for New Yorkers against enormous political pressure.
We condemn the votes of Representatives Collins, Faso, King, Reed, Stefanik, Tenney, and Zeldin for failing to defend the health needs of hundreds of thousands of their constituents who have gained coverage under the ACA.
Follow up from blog posted February 21, 2017
Yesterday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule claiming to stabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets. In fact, it does just the opposite.
HCFANY and thousands of other consumer and provider groups submitted comments in opposition to the proposed version of the rule because many of its provisions would have harmed consumers. However, the rule was finalized largely as proposed.
The final rule reduces the open enrollment period for individual and small group health insurance plans from 13 weeks to just six weeks, which gives consumers significantly less time to shop around for and enroll in the best plan for them.
The final rule also decreases the allowable actuarial values for health plans at each metal level, which could reduce the advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) that help make health plans purchased through the Marketplace more affordable for moderate-income individuals and families. According to an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, even a 2 percent decrease in actuarial value could result in a $327 reduction in APTCs for an individual.
The final rule will make it more difficult for consumers to qualify for and enroll in health coverage through special enrollment periods, which could lead to gaps in coverage and deter enrollment.
Currently, it is unclear how this rule will affect New York because state officials are still studying it closely. Come back to HCFANY next week for more information.
Late last month, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would have devastated the Medicaid program and left millions uninsured, was pulled from the House floor. According to an article in today’s New York Times, the majorities in Congress are discussing a proposal to move forward with the bill.
In addition to all of the harmful provisions in the original AHCA, the new proposal would eliminate community rating, which requires insurers to charge the same price regardless of health status, and the requirement that insurers cover a standard minimum benefits package, known as the Essential Health Benefits. These two changes would effectively get rid of the protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allow insurers to put annual and lifetime caps on payment for covered benefits.
There could be a vote to pass a new bill with these amendments as early as this Friday. Please call your Members of Congress at 844.898.1199 and tell them “Don’t take away our health care.”