The insurance industry isn’t convinced the GOP’s replacement for Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, will be a good thing.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a lead trade group of health insurers, critiqued elements of the AHCP in a letter to House GOP leaders.
The AHIP — which represents insurers including Cigna, Allstate, Anthem, Aflac, and Humana — took time to praise some of the elements of the bill but had two major issues:
The tax credit structure: Currently, the Affordable Care Act bases the amount of tax relief a person receive based on their income and residence. The AHCP instead gives Americans a set amount based simply on their age.
“Tax credits related to age as well as income will help ensure that more people stay covered, and are the most efficient and effective way to allocate tax-payer dollars,” said the letter, which is from AHIP CEO Marilyn Tavenner to House GOP leaders Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Greg Walden.
- Changes to Medicaid expansion funding: The Letter from the AHIP said that the changes to the Medicaid expansion, which allowed more than 11 million people in 34 states and the District of Columbia gain health insurance, could “result in unnecessary disruptions in the coverage and care” for those on Medicaid. The letter also stresses that Medicaid is at the “forefront of providing coverage for and access to behavioural health services and treatment for opioid use disorders” and a shift in funding could put those people even more at risk.
In addition to the AHIP letter, Blue Cross Blue Shield also offered a letter to Brady and Walden adding their critiques of the AHCP. The BCBS letter also focused on the tax credits and Medicaid expansion funding in addition to calling for further market stabilisation measures to protect the individual insurance markets.
While there is clearly some self-interest involved for the insurance companies, their influence may have some impact over the direction of the bill.