Health

Consumer Reports Gives House GOP Health Plan An 'F'

| by Ray Brown

Consumer Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, gave the GOP's replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act a failing grade in a recently released report card of the plan.

"The American Health Care Act today received a failing grade from Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports," the report card stated. "The consumer group sent a dismal report card to House members, along with a letter outlining the many failures of the health reform proposal. The report card comes the day before the House Budget Committee markup is scheduled.

The report card continued: "As proposed, the bill would lead to tens of millions of consumers losing their insurance coverage (with poorer health outcomes and more premature deaths as a result), higher premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for many others, devastating cuts to Medicaid, and incentives for healthy people to stay out of the insurance market altogether. This is not the future that Americans deserve and is, simply, unacceptable."

The following shows how Consumers Union graded the AHCA:

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The replacement ensures broad enrollment in coverage -- Grade: F
Coverage must provide meaningful access to healthcare -- Grade: F
Coverage and healthcare marketplaces must be easy to navigate -- Grade: F
Reforms must address underlying reasons for high costs -- Grade: F
National standard that sets basic consumer protections -- Grade: F

The failing grades in every category have raised eyebrows about the quality, or lack thereof, of the GOP's proposed plan to replace the ACA.

“Would you buy a toaster that Consumers Reports gave an F? Not me," tweeted D’Avanzo, a senior policy analyst at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. "We should be pretty worried about their grade of the ACA repeal plan."

The AHCA has not scored well in recent polls, either.

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According to a Fox News poll from March 15, 54 percent of Americans oppose the GOP's replacement to the ACA, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."

And when asked the reason for their opposition, 67 percent said it was because they believe the AHCA makes too many changes to Obamacare.

Among Republican voters, support for the AHCA was higher than the average: 69 percent. But among Democrats, opposition to the bill was nearly unanimous at 86 percent.

Numbers in a Politico/Morning Consult poll were slightly better, with more in favor of the AHCA than opposed, but still falling short of the majority of voters.

According to that poll, 46 percent approve of the AHCA, while 35 percent disapprove.

"Given the wave of criticism from both parties following the rollout of the bill, this is a relatively strong starting point for GOP leaders and the White House," said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. "However, it will be important to track how public opinion stands up as more information is released in the coming weeks."

Sources: Consumer Union, Fox News, Politico, Ben D'Avanzo/Twitter / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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