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Report: Chronically Ill Will End Up With No Health Care

President Donald Trump's health care reform bill will provide protection for only 5 percent of people with pre-existing health conditions, a new study claims.

Avalere Health's investigation was published just hours before Republicans held a successful vote in the House to pass the American Health Care Act, CNBC reported.

Of a total of 2.2 million people who currently hold insurance and have pre-existing medical conditions, 110,000 would receive coverage in the $23 billion in funding made available in the Republican plan.

"Texas alone has approximately 190,000 enrollees in its individual market with pre-existing chronic conditions, nearly 80,000 more people than the funds earmarked for the entire country would cover," noted Avalere. "Florida has 205,000, nearly 95,000 more than the funds allotted nationally ... would cover."

States will have the option of joining the program to assist those with chronic conditions.

"Given the amount of funding in the bill, the program can only afford a few small states to opt into medical underwriting," said Avalere Senior Vice President Caroline Pearson. "If any large states receive a waiver, many chronically ill individuals could be left without access to insurance." 

The failure to provide adequate coverage for people with pre-existing conditions caused at least one Republican to vote against the bill.

"Despite amendments and changes, the AHCA still fails to provide for the needs of my constituents," said Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. "I will not support a bill that has the potential to severely harm the health and lives of people in South Florida and therefore I remain steadfast in my commitment to vote no on the AHCA."

Supporters of the bill say removing protection for large numbers of people with pre-existing conditions will reduce insurance premiums for everyone else.

The AHCA won the backing of 217 Republicans in the House and represented a victory for Trump and Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

No Democrats backed the bill in the House vote.

"There's only one word for HouseGOP voting for Trumpcare & taking healthcare away from millions of families," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts wrote on Twitter, reports CNN. "Shame."

Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California suggested the Republican vote would have consequences for the party.

"Most Americans don't know who their member of Congress is," the Democrat said, according to The Guardian. "But they will now when they find out that you voted to take away their health care."

Democrats promised to focus the 2018 midterm election campaign on the legacy of the Affordable Care Act.

As well as undermining coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, critics have attacked the Republican bill for defunding Planned Parenthood and reducing funding for Medicaid by $370 billion over the next decade.

Sources. CNBC, CNN, The Guardian / Photo credit: Office of the Speaker/Wikimedia Commons

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