The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed in the House on May 4th by a vote of 217 to 213, just one vote over the 216 needed.
The bill makes major changes to the Affordable Care Act including the elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund which takes money away from community organizations that provide screenings and vaccinations to those who can’t afford them.
The bill also allows states to opt out of requiring insurers to cover essential health benefits, which includes services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, emergency services and pregnancy.
Sadly, the AHCA also cuts more than $800 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years and leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to losing coverage, low-income individuals and those ages 50 or older- those most in need of regular screenings. At the same time, it allows insurers to charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
Prevention saves money in the long run—and saves lives. We will continue to do everything we can so that Americans have access to screenings and coverage for preventive services, which is essential to millions of Americans.
The bill is on its way to the Senate, and several senators have already expressed their dissatisfaction and plan to make extensive changes. Check back for updates as we will be following these changes closely.