Over the last weekend when President Trump clashed with Face The Nation's John Dickerson, in the interview he said that he and House Republicans' new approach to repeal and replace the affordable care act was that their replacement bill -- the American Health Care Act -- would cover pre-existing conditions. As Blasting News detailed in an article about House Republicans resorting to "Trumpism," it referred to two lawmakers who Trump convinced to vote yes. They initially wouldn't because, under the AHCA their constituents would still be rejected by insurers for pre-existing conditions.

Regulation waivers are a 'must' for Republicans

An article by CBS News titled: "Is Trump right that pre-existing conditions are covered in the GOP health care bill?" looks at whether this is possible or not, saying that the new amendment that was put forward by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) states that no issuers of health insurance should limit access to health care coverage if individuals have pre-existing conditions.

In order to do this; Republicans have been very adamant about doing away with Obamacare regulations and so they agreed to the Freedom Caucus' demands that three different regulation waivers be provided to states.

They would get the waivers if they could prove that they would:

  • reduce average premiums
  • increase choice on health care plans
  • help stabilize the health insurance coverage market

The article said that one of these waivers deals with pre-existing conditions which would allow insurers to use health status to set insurance premiums.

In order to cover those costs, they've agreed to budget an additional $8B to high-risk pools (a demand made by moderate conservatives) over five-years to an existing $130B, which experts have said falls short of what's needed to cover those in need.

One article by Business Insider titled: "The Republican healthcare bill still has a massive problem," explains that the $130B was originally set aside as a state stability fund but was never meant to be ear-marked for high-risk pools, though, they could still be used for it under the AHCA.

The Kaiser Family Foundation said that at least $25 million would have to be set aside per year because high-risk pools need a lot of money.

Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, if you can afford them

In many discussions with House Republicans passing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), there appear to be more questions left about the coverage than answers. It appears that with President Trump still knowing very little about what the bill offers, Trump is still making promises that the bill clearly doesn't guarantee. There is some discussion that it will be something that could be built upon and open ended for the states to "plug into." Pre-existing conditions are determined by the insurer but many in Washington are referring to the states as what will determine which conditions could be covered.

As the Blasting News article which refers to Trumpism above suggests, Many Senate Republicans are already saying they won't build on the House bill and write their own.

Many opponents of the bill -- which include medical organizations -- are saying that the House's version of the bill will actually limit coverage for pre-existing conditions because it would allow insurance companies to sell plans with higher deductibles, making it unaffordable. In fact, this comes back to those high-risk pools, and, as explained, would not have enough money available for people to afford the coverage if it wasn't already too expensive to begin with. In the end, millions would be back to square one before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- otherwise known as Obamacare -- made it more affordable to more Americans. Republicans at that point can just as easily say that they did their job and provided the coverage, and if you can't afford it, tough.