The House will not dawdle as the American Health Care Act makes its way through the Senate. As we know, the American Health Care Act is only Phase 1 of our three-phase plan to repeal and replace. While HHS Secretary Tom Price uses his regulatory authority in Phase 2, we continue to pass legislation through regular order to fix the American health care system with Phase 3. Below are the four Phase 3 bills we will consider this week:
- Tuesday: The Verify First Act (H.R. 2581) ensures no tax credits in Obamacare or the American Health Care Act go to people in the country illegally. Right now, when people apply for Obamacare subsidies, the law assumes they are eligible and sends the money out, meaning folks here illegally get taxpayer subsidies that we can never get back. The Verify Act would require the executive branch to confirm that recipients are here legally before they send out any advanced tax credits.
- Wednesday: The Veterans Equal Treatment Ensures Relief and Access Now (VETERAN) Act (H.R. 2372) ensures veterans have the choice to stay in the VA or instead get financial support for a private health care plan. While the VA delivers for some veterans, no veteran should be stuck in a health care system that doesn’t work for them.
- Thursday: The Protecting Access to Care Act (H.R. 1215) is the tort reform legislation everyone has long called for. By capping malpractice payouts at $250,000 for damages that don’t have a direct economic impact like lost wages or medical expenses, we can reduce the cost of health care in America and drastically reduce the cost of medical malpractice insurance and the cost of defensive medicine. We’ve seen it work in California. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the same reforms were applied at the federal level, they would save more than $50 billion over a ten-year period. Billions more would be saved in the private sector, boosting wages for workers and bringing down the cost of health care for consumers.
- Friday: The Broader Options for America Act (H.R. 2579) makes sure people don’t fall through the cracks by expanding access to American Health Care Act tax credits to those who receive COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) continuation coverage. This way, people who lose their jobs, have their working hours reduced, or others who would receive COBRA continued coverage won’t be faced with overly expensive health care options.
Health care reform doesn’t stop with the American Health Care Act, and these bills will make our system fairer, better, and cheaper.