Americans show strong support for mental health coverage

The bill known as the American Health Care Act, which is backed by House Republicans and President Trump, would repeal huge portions of President Obama's health care law.

Three weeks later, they're about to find out.

Just last week, Attorneys General Becerra and Schneiderman took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect health care access for millions of Americans, including more than five million Californians. The analysis will finally provide crucial figures that the Senate needs to move forward with crafting its own plan.

If the American Health Care Act, AHCA, were enacted in its present form, OH would have 81,000 fewer healthcare jobs in the next five years than if it stayed the course with the ACA, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit national think tank focused on low- and middle-income workers.

The CBO score is high-stakes.

As Republicans in Washington attempt to fulfill a campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, GOP leaders in Concord are bracing for the possibility they might succeed and eliminate Obamacare exchanges and subsidies.

If it doesn't, that's a fatal flaw, which means the House would have to vote again on a new bill that hits that target or forfeit its right to use the reconciliation process.

This new bill cuts Medicaid in a big way. But there is an additional hiccup.

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Herbert C. Smitherman Jr, MD, MPH, FACP is Vice Dean, Diversity and Community Affairs, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine/ Detroit Medical Center, President and CEO, Health Centers Detroit Foundation, Inc. and Board Chairman, Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. Patty Murray (Washington) and Ron Wyden (Oregon), the ranking members of the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees respectively, as well as Reps.

That one provision had the potential to require major revisions of the bill's effects on insurance coverage and the deficit, and in the past week some observers had wondered whether the Congressional Budget Office would conclude that the bill might actually cause the deficit to increase. It also forced some people, particularly those whose relatively good health once gave them access to cheap coverage, to pay substantially higher premiums.

This is the biggie.

The CBO score will also include an estimate of whether the number of Americans with health insurance would change and by how much. The Medicaid rolls would be 14 million lower than they would be under current law. Canceled insurance plans, lost doctors and soaring prices have left Americans frustrated.

U.S. Representative John Larson (D-1) talks health care, Social Security and other national issues during a public forum in Southington. It was a key refrain from the conservative House Freedom Caucus who had railed against the original version of the AHCA, but ultimately came on board with the revised option.

■ Under current rules, insurers can not charge older adults more than three times what they charge young adults for the same coverage.

The more recent amendments, which would weaken Obamacare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions, are also expected to lower premiums for healthy consumers, but raise them for the sick.

  • Ismael Montgomery