GOP Health Bill Could Undermine Coverage Under Employer Plans

Under the GOP’s repeal of Obamacare, the most wealthy get a tax break, while the poor will have benefits rolled back under the Medicaid program, according to an analysis by the New York Times.

But what about those who get their health insurance through their employer? Not our problem, right? Think again.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many people who obtain health insurance through their employers could be at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs of catastrophic illness. That’s about half of the country, folks.

“It’s huge,” Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama told the Wall Street Journal. “They’re creating a back door way to gut employer plans, too.”

Hardly noticed among the debate over pre-existing conditions, this change came in a last-minute amendment to the House Republican health-care bill that passed by four votes.

The House bill would allow large employers to choose the benefit requirements from any state including those that are allowed to lower their benchmarks under a new waiver, The Wall Street Journal reported.

By choosing a waiver state, employers looking to lower their costs could impose lifetime limits and eliminate the out-of-pocket cost cap from their plans under the GOP legislation.

 

Health care analysts say the real question is, would employers do this?

“Many wouldn’t,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Many employers offer quality benefits to attract employees. But employers are always looking for ways to lower costs.”

Fifty-nine percent of covered employees who were in an employer plan had a lifetime limit on how much their insurance plans would cover before the ACA, Mr. Levitt said.

To read all of the Wall Street Journal story click here.

 

Polls: Support for Obamacare hits all-time high

Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that the Trump Administration will end “America’s Obamacare nightmare.”

But it appears more and more Americans don’t view the Affordable Care Act the same way as Republicans in Washington D.C.

President Trump and Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare but have been subject to backlash when they head back home to talk to voters at town halls.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, in its latest Health Tracking Poll, found support for the insurance safety net at an all-time high. It’s survey found that 48 percent of Americans view the law favorably, compared to 42 percent — the highest level of favorability measured since the tracking started in 2010.

Voters who say they are registered independents contributed to the boost, half of whom view Obamacare favorably compared to 39 percent who don’t.

FILE - President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act as Marcelas Owens, 11, left, whose mother died lacking insurance, looks on, in Washington, March 23, 2010. The Affordable Care Act has shifted the nation's baseline expectations for how health care should work. With the law on the precipice of repeal, public opinion has suddenly tipped in its favor. (Doug Mills/ The New York Times)
President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act on, in Washington, March 23, 2010.

And the Kaiser poll doesn’t seem to be an outlier. The Pew Research Center found 54 percent of Americans approve of the ACA — which is also the highest level record by Pew.

To read more on the Obamacare polls read CNN’s by clicking here.