For Immediate Release
May 1, 2017
Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102
Amended AHCA Is Not Repeal
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Federal Government Will Still Control Health Care, with No Guarantee of Lower Costs, Greater Choices or Broader Networks
ST. PAUL, Minn.—The biggest buzz in health care is the possibility of the passage of the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA), now that more conservatives and some moderates are supporting the latest changes.
But Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national health freedom and patient advocacy organization that has long called for the full repeal of Obamacare, says there’s still one major flaw in the amended bill—it’s not repeal.
“The fact is, regardless of the support the amended bill has garnered, this is not repeal,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “The federal government is still in control of health care, and states must ask permission for a variety of items, including waivers regarding pricing for state insurance premiums. Health plans will remain in control as well. AHCA does not return health freedom to Americans.”
Brase added that one “catch” regarding the state waivers is that the state legislature must decide to submit the waiver application. Exemption from Obamacare mandates is not automatic, and many states may not choose to do the politically difficult work of ending these benefits, despite their costs. In addition, although the application is approved for up to a period of 10 years if the state is not notified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 60 days, Brase emphasized that Dr. Tom Price will not always serve as the Secretary of HHS, and the next secretary may be much less willing to grant state waivers of Obamacare requirements.
Beyond the federal controls still in place, Brase also said that if the amended AHCA passes, it’s likely that Republicans will “own” everything remaining about Obamacare, and as soon as Republicans claim credit for “repeal and replace,” the public will view everything that happens as a result of not actually repealing the law as the fault of Republicans.
“The amended AHCA doesn’t expand competition,” she added. “It is essentially Obamacare with some permissive aspects—the totality of Obamacare minus most of its taxes, minus the individual and employer mandates, plus some potential freedom for states, but with it, mandates, penalties and billions of dollars of subsidies, without any guarantee of lower costs, greater choices or broader networks.
“Why waste time trying to resurrect AHCA or pass another Obamacare replacement bill?” Brase also wrote in a recent op-ed for The Washington Times on cost-sharing reduction subsidies. “Americans want Obamacare repealed.”
CCHF’s initiative, The Wedge of Health Freedom (www.JointheWedge.com), aims to use third-party-free direct payment to transform the entire health care system back to freedom and restore simplicity, affordability and confidentiality. Nearly 200 Wedge practices, where patients can find affordable, patient-centered care, are located in 44 states and listed online.
CCHF is a national patient-centered health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more about The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.
To interview CCHF’s Twila Brase, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096 x104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096 x102.