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Congressman Andy Barr

Representing All the People of Kentucky's Sixth District

Myth vs. Fact: American Health Care Act

As the House prepares to vote on the American Health Care Act, it is important to debunk some of the myths surrounding the bill and answer your questions:

How does the AHCA affect those with pre-existing conditions?
Under the AHCA, insurance companies cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And your health status cannot affect your premiums, unless your state asks for and receives a waiver—a condition of which is the state having other protections in place for those with pre-existing conditions. Even if your state does obtain a waiver, so long as you’ve been continuously covered, you still cannot be charged more. And the bill provides added resources to help people in waiver states who have not been continuously covered to gain coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions in the legislation. 

Does the MacArthur Amendment allow states to waive protections for pre-existing conditions? 
No. This amendment preserves protections for people with pre-existing conditions while giving states greater flexibility to lower premiums and stabilize the insurance market. To obtain a waiver, states will have to establish programs to serve people with pre-existing conditions. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

What is the Upton amendment?
The Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion for states seeking a waiver. These resources will allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care. 

Are Members of Congress exempt from this provision?
No. Members will not be exempt. This was initially included for technical reasons to comply with Senate rules, but the House is voting to fix this before voting on the AHCA.

Would the AHCA limit access to women’s health services?
No. In fact, we’re expanding women’s access to health services by redirecting Planned Parenthood dollars to community health centers, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics.

Would 24 million people lose their health care coverage if AHCA becomes law?
No. AHCA will ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, but we’re just not forcing people to buy insurance. Moreover, that estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage.