Despite such statements, the Senate version is very similar to the House and is actually worse than we thought. Sarah Kliff at Vox.com sums it up:
Updated: added a new section to our Senate plan explainer on how the bill lets states waive out of EHB requirements.https://t.co/Y8J6nKJho2
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) June 22, 2017
Furthermore, the bill significantly threatens anyone with a pre-existing condition, by allowing states to waive Essential Health Benefit (EHB) requirements. As Tim Jost at Health Affairs Blog points out:
Basically, yes, people with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied the ability to purchase health insurance. HOWEVER, that insurance might not cover any treatments or medicines they need. Without requirements for benefits to be covered, insurers will offer skimpy plans that won’t meet the needs of cancer survivors. Premiums will rise for more generous plans that people with pre-existing conditions need. Note: waiving EHB also returns annual and lifetime limit caps for millions of people.
Finally, what BCRA does to Medicaid, which millions of children and low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans rely on for health care is cruel. Per Sarah Kliff again:
Please call (844) 257-6227 TODAY and tell your Senators NO on the health care bill. Even if you’ve called before, please call again.
Call EVERY DAY until the Senate votes.
Senators in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia are crucial votes. Please share this message with friends and family members who live in these states, and ask them to call (844) 257-6227.