Shimkus praises Republican health care plan
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) lauded the Republican replacement for Obamacare earlier this month after a draft of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was released.
“This is the relief my constituents have demanded,” Shimkus said. “The American Health Care Act offers American families more options, lower costs and the flexibility to choose a plan that fits their unique needs, not Washington’s one-size-fits-all mandates.”
The bill continues some of the provisions originally implemented under former President Obama's Affordable Care Act, including the sections that prevented health insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, applying caps on coverage and charging higher premiums based on gender or health conditions. It also allows parents to keep children on their insurance until age 26.
“While the vast majority of my constituents will be glad to see this costly, broken law go away, some are concerned about losing their current coverage,” Shimkus said. “I want these folks to know that vital patient protections will be preserved under the AHCA.”
One of the proposed actions under AHCA is the transition to a "per-capita allotment" for state Medicaid programs. While supporters see this as an advantage, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board pointed out on March 3 that the state will pay the costs of the previous Medicaid expansion under the ACA. The ACA provided 95 percent of the costs of the nearly 650,000 Illinois residents added to the Medicaid rolls since 2014.
The Illinois legislature did address the possibility of reduced funding in 2013. If the federal government pays less than 90 percent of the expanded Medicaid coverage, Illinoisans who received that coverage will be dropped. With one in four residents on the expanded Medicaid program, it may increase the state's costs to maintain their coverage if the AHCA is passed into law.
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