Statement on the American Healthcare Act

Earlier today, Coalition founder & president Jonathan Bydlak released the following statement on the American Healthcare Act (AHCA).

Later this evening, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Healthcare Act (AHCA).

As you know, we’ve been outspoken about the issues with this legislation from day one.

And while we acknowledge that the leadership’s bill would make some important progress, I remain deeply concerned.

As supporters of the bill note, the legislation would increase health savings accounts (HSAs) and swap the individual mandate with “continuous coverage” provisions, while promising to eventually roll back the expensive Medicaid expansion.

Representatives who decide that the pros of this bill outweigh the cons (or that the AHCA is the best we can do!) will not have violated the Coalition’s pledge.

However, I would be remiss if I did not note the very real issues with this framework.

While the bill is a net spending cut, it also does little to control healthcare costs over the medium to long term and essentially creates a new entitlement.

What’s more, it replaces Obamacare’s individual mandate with a provision that simply burdens insurance companies and consumers by a different method, while keeping alive many costly regulations that are threatening the stability of the market to begin with.

Even if every spending cut proposed in this legislation comes to pass, the bill fundamentally fails to control healthcare costs that are increasingly burdening taxpayers.

At best, this is a missed opportunity — at worst, it’s bad policy and a net loss for the country as the essential framework of the Affordable Care Act is kept alive without significant attempts to deal with underlying problems.

While leadership insists that this legislation does all that is possible in a Reconciliation bill and that further reforms are coming soon, both assumptions warrant serious skepticism.

Too often, fiscal conservatives are promised spending cuts down the road in exchange for new spending or bigger government today.

As the saying goes, fool me once…

Barring significant changes, we urge Members of Congress to oppose the AHCA.