Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), — who played a pivotal role in including state waiver options in AHCA — hadn’t read the full report yet, but initially said he saw it as “good news.”
When reporters pointed out the portion of the CBO report saying individuals with preexisting conditions in waiver states would be charged higher premiums and could even be priced out of the insurance market — destabilizing markets in those states — under AHCA, Meadows seemed surprised.
“Well, that’s not what I read,” Meadows said, putting on his reading glasses and peering at the paragraph on the phone of a nearby reporter.
The CBO predicted:
“…the waivers in those states would have another effect: Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive non-group health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all — despite the additional funding that would be available under H.R. 1628 to help reduce premiums.”
Republicans insisted in the days after AHCA’s passage that the health care bill would not weaken protections for preexisting conditions, citing the plan’s high-risk pools for sick people.
Critics argue those high-risk pools are not adequately funded, though. The Center for American Progress projected, before House Republicans passed AHCA in May, that its high-risk pools “would fall short by at least $19.7 billion per year, or by about $200 billion over 10 years.”
The CBO analysis was likewise adamant that AHCA’s current high-risk pool funding isn’t enough to cover sick people if states use the mandate waivers.
After reading the paragraph, Meadows told reporters he would go through the CBO analysis more thoroughly and run the numbers, adding he would work to make sure the high-risk pools are properly funded.
Meadows, suddenly emotional, choked back tears and said, “Listen, I lost my sister to breast cancer. I lost my dad to lung cancer. If anybody is sensitive to preexisting conditions, it’s me. I’m not going to make a political decision today that affects somebody’s sister or father because I wouldn’t do it to myself.”
“In the end, we’ve got to make sure there’s enough funding there to handle preexisting conditions and drive down premiums. And if we can’t do those three things, then we will have failed.”
Meadows indicated he would support less-conservative changes to provide more funding for high-risk pools in the Senate, if needed.
The man literally has no idea what it is his own bill or how it will affect people, despite people talking about this ever since this horrible idea began. But, hey, those people were liberals. And so are those CBO hippies so I’m sure the magic math behind TrumpCare will totally work. That’s Jesus math right there.