The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers.
The bottom line: As many as 27 million Americans could face annual limits on their coverage, and 20 million could be hit with lifetime limits, according to the analysis.
That's more than eight million people in the big Trump states: Florida, NC, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan who will get screwed by annual limits, and five million plus who will get lifetime limits on their employer-based coverage.
But that's what you voted for, America.
Why it could happen: The Affordable Care Act bans lifetime and annual limits, but only for the 10 categories of "essential health benefits" defined in the law. If a state decides that, say, prescription drugs or maternity care aren't essential benefits anymore, insurers can bring back annual and lifetime limits for them.
Why it could spread beyond those states: Large employers that operate in several states can choose which state they want to use as the basis for their benefits. So if an employer operates in 15 states, and one of them has a waiver from ACA benefit rules, it can set all of its benefits based on that state.
How the study was done: CAP based its estimates on a Willis Towers Watson survey of large employers, in which 20 percent said they'd bring back annual limits and 15 percent said they'd bring back lifetime limits if the ACA rules were repealed. It also used survey data suggesting how many people get their health insurance from large employers.
So that means that big blue states like California, New York, and Illinois would get screwed too as long as they provide insurance in red states who will waive protections on patients. That's what those states didn't vote for, but hey.
And remember, this is the Senate bill we're talking about. The details are still hidden because Mitch and the boys don't want America to see the cockroaches scatter in the light. America overwhelmingly hates this plan, but it looks more and more like we're going to get it anyway, and Trump will sign it into law and screw tens of millions of us.