Health

11.6 Million Constituents Of AHCA Backers Could Suffer

| by Robert Fowler

While the current incarnation of the American Health Care Act has yet to receive an official score from the Congressional Budget Office, an analysis based on a previous estimate has found that up to 11.6 million constituents of the House Republicans who voted for the bill could have their health insurance impacted if it is signed into law.

On May 4, the House passed the AHCA by a vote of 217 to 213. The replacement for the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act received no Democratic support, while only 20 House Republicans voted against it, Business Insider reports.

The legislation had originally failed to pass during a scheduled floor vote on March 24, but managed to garner enough GOP support after several amendments were added. One change would allow states to waive health care regulations mandated by the ACA, which critics assert could result in millions of Americans with preexisting conditions being charged more for their insurance coverage, according to Vox.

In March, a CBO score of the AHCA estimated that 24 million fewer Americans would have access to health coverage by 2026 than if the ACA was kept in place. House Republicans pushed for a floor vote on the amended AHCA before it could receive a new CBO score.

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On May 5, the Washington Post provided an estimate of how the revised AHCA would impact Americans district-by-district, based on a previous analysis of the original CBO score conducted by the Center for American Progress.

The estimate found that the AHCA's implementation could potentially result in 11.6 million fewer Americans having insurance in the districts represented by the GOP lawmakers who voted for the bill. These constituents wouldn't be guaranteed to lose their insurance, but would have a higher likelihood of maintaining their coverage by 2026 if the ACA was kept in place.

The analysis found replacing the ACA with the AHCA would potentially result in 11.4 million fewer Americans having coverage in the districts represented by House Democrats.

CAP also found that there are more Americans living with preexisting conditions living in districts represented by House Republicans who voted for the AHCA than those living in districts represented by all the lawmakers who voted against the bill.

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The data indicates that the GOP lawmakers who voted for the AHCA committed a political gamble, supporting legislation that could more negatively impact their constituents than those of their colleagues.

On May 4, Republican Rep. Thomas Garrett of Virginia revealed that he had not fully read the latest version of the AHCA despite casting a vote in support of it.

"Let's put it this way: People in my office have read all the parts of the bill," Garrett told MSNBC. "I don't think any individual has read the whole bill, but that's why we have staff."

Sources: Business InsiderMSNBC, Vox, Washington Post / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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