Revised Senate health care bill: Where are we now?

A revision of the BCRA Senate Health Care   bill has been released, but what’s different? We have the one-stop-shop for understanding the bill for yourself.

Some reports say that they want to vote as early as Tuesday. Get to reading and then get to calling!

Every call matters. Here’s the number for Senators across the nation: 866-426-2631

Find your states US Representative & contact his/her office

Find your state’s US Senator & contact his/her office

Read the new revised bill to make sure you discover everything for yourself.
Check out these resources to guide you:
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What was the original bill?

Full text of the original bill. Click on the image below, and  use the resources above to help you.
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How the BCRA will affect you, even if you don’t receive Medicaid

The topic of health care is not only in some ways oppressive on our minds but also overwhelming these days. Months ago, the House wrote the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they passed it on to the Senate. Then, the Senate must have found fault with the AHCA because they wrote their own version of the bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). If the Senate passes their bill, it will have to go to the House for their approval. We have seen months (years!) of coverage on the subject of health care, and it’s downright confusing at this point.

Let’s try to clarify some of the confusion by pulling a few articles together to show what will change with the Senate health care bill, the BCRA. (The AHCA doesn’t matter if the House approves the BCRA.) This research will show that nearly everyone who isn’t extremely wealthy will be affected negatively by the bill as it stands proposed today. If you care about, or are affected by, any of the following categories, you can expect changes to come to you and your family if this bill were to pass.

1. Medicaid Funding

“[T]he Senate bill would radically restructure all parts of Medicaid—not just the expansion provided under the Affordable Care Act.” 1

“The cumulative impact: a $772 billion spending cut over 10 years, versus current law, and 15 million fewer people enrolled in Medicaid in 2026.” 2

2. Essential Health Benefits

“But another change might have more far-reaching effects: eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s ‘essential health benefits,’ or EHBs. That shift could affect almost everybody, including the 156 million Americans who receive health coverage through their employers.” 5

Here’s a rundown of what they are: 4, 5, 6

  • Outpatient care — scheduled doctor visits, (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency room trips — ER visits and ambulance trips.
  • In-hospital care — All care people get as hospital patients, such as surgery.
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care — before and after birth
  • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services — (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services and habilitative services – help recovering from an injury or illness, but also treatment (therapy) for kids with autism or cerebral palsy.
  • Lab tests
  • Preventive services — vaccines, cancer screenings, etc.
  • Pediatric services — including dental and vision care for children.

3. Pre-existing Conditions Protections

“The BCRA retains the popular ACA provision that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged more for insurance because of their health status. However, weakened essential health benefits would hurt people with pre-existing conditions.” 1

“The Senate bill would retain some limits. It wouldn’t, for example, allow states to waive the prohibition on discriminating on the basis of preexisting conditions. But it would allow states to remove caps on out-of-pocket spending for exchange plans.” 3

4. Subsidies & Taxes

“One major difference is that the Senate bill provides subsides only up to 350% of the federal poverty level starting in 2020; the ACA currently provides subsidies up to 400%. In other words, while individuals earning up to $47,550 qualify for help under the ACA, only those earning up to $41,580 would qualify under the Senate plan. This means far fewer people will qualify for aid.” 1

Sources:

1 4 Things to Know About the Senate’s Health Care Bill

4 ways you probably didn’t know the Republican bill changes Medicaid

3  Crazy Waivers

4 What Are ‘Essential Benefits’ in GOP Health Care Bill Debate?

5 The 10 ‘essential’ benefits that could be eliminated under the GOP health care plan

6 What Marketplace health insurance plans cover

Ari

IMG_9906My sweet boy, Ari, has had 2 shunt revisions, ETV placement and will be having a major skull reconstruction surgery in 2 months. He is still working on head control as well as feeding. He has overcome so much and he has so much further to go … without Medicaid he would not survive. Being a single parent, the support given through Medicaid help ensure that he will receive all the healthcare support that he so desperately needs. I work full time and have private insurance personally, he is also on my plan, but TEFRA helps allow for him to have continued therapy, the wheelchair that helps him participate in all community/school activities and surgeries that he needs to survive and thrive. His birthday is this week and I can’t believe he will be 4!!

Facts & Faces of Medicaid

Share the facts and faces of Arkansas Medicaid.

Show people who Medicaid cuts would hurt. Don’t give up. Keep calling and sharing.

Data source is credited. We have gathered several of KFF’s posts here to save you some time.

Senate Healthcare Bill Released

Updated: 7/9/17 4:08 pm

By now, you’ve probably seen more than 10 different news stories about the Senate healthcare bill. Maybe 10 per day! But what’s the truth? Will it really cut Medicaid? Will it really affect everyone? Well, the only way for you to know is for you to read it yourself. And we can help you.

You need to read, but also, don’t stop responding. The Senate wants to vote on this bill as soon as they can come to an agreement. They’re having many negotiations behind closed doors. Let your voice be heard through those doors! These are the Arkansas Senators to contact:
Sen. John Boozman (202) 224-4843
Sen. Tom Cotton (202) 224-2353

If you’re not from Arkansas, this info pertains to you as well. Every call matters. Here’s the number for Senators across the nation:  866-426-2631

Find your states US Representative & contact his/her office

Find your state’s US Senator & contact his/her office

Contact information for all of AR Congressmen.

What’s truly in the bill?

Make sure to read the bill to form your own educated opinions. Click on the image below to access the full text, and  use the resources above to help you.
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AR Works Changes – How Legislators Voted

SB3 | Act 6 – TO AMEND ARKANSAS WORKS TO REDUCE INCOME ELIGIBILITY LIMITS AND IMPOSE WORK REQUIREMENTS; TO ALLOW THE FLEXIBILITY TO SELECT WHETHER TO BECOME AN “ASSESSMENT STATE” OR A “DETERMINATION STATE”; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

AHCA – Contact U.S. Senators & Representatives

Many of us feel overwhelmed by the information coming out about the American Health Care Act. Whether you support or oppose it, you need to let your federal representatives know how you feel.

If you’re not sure whether you support or oppose it, read the report from the House Budget Committee and the latest official information about the bill.

Some of you may fully support it, and it always helps to contact your legislators and tell them exactly what you like about it so those things won’t change.

We’ve seen many lawmakers oppose it, and they’re making amendments now to improve the bill. Our own Senator Cotton released a statement saying he can’t support it even with the recent amendments, while Westerman thinks it’s very patient-centered. Read about how our other Congressmen plan to vote. This bill has the capability to be devastating for Medicaid recipients. If this bill affects you, you need to contact all Arkansas US Senators and Representatives. Tell them what’s important for you.

Many National Advocacy groups and organizations are concerned about the AHCA, and they’ve asked Congress to protect Medicaid by changing what’s currently written.

The following is information provided by the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families:

“This week the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that would repeal many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and impose a per capita cap on the Medicaid program. In its current form, the bill would be a major step backward for health care coverage for our children, their parents, seniors, and the disabled.”

Read more about the AACF’s concerns.

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“In exchange for cutting and capping funds, states are allowed unprecedented flexibility to set eligibility standards, benefits, families’ out-of-pocket costs, and provider payments.”

“Under the proposed AHCA, the children in the state who rely on ARKids First are at risk of losing the coverage they need and deserve.”

“The Medicaid reductions would also translate into a loss of coverage, fewer benefits, and lower provider payments… including [for] those with special health care needs like autism, Down syndrome, and other conditions that require special care.”

Make sure you contact US Congressmen, list the bill (AHCA), and briefly explain how it will affect you.

More from the AACF: http://www.aradvocates.org/aacf-statement-on-the-american-health-care-act-ahca/

Regular Session Bills to Watch (AR 91st General Assembly)

The Regular Session of the 91st General Assembly began on Monday, January 9, 2017. Bill filing began on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, and the final deadline to file legislation was on Monday, March 6. The session ended on Monday, April 3, 2017. The amount of bills submitted that affect Medicaid may seem overwhelming, but this list will give you access to each bill’s history, actual language and details, as well as how your Legislators voted for these issues.


Passed

HB1706 | now Act 775 – TO CREATE THE MEDICAID PROVIDER-LED ORGANIZED CARE ACT; TO DESIGNATE THAT A RISK-BASED PROVIDER ORGANIZATION IS AN INSURANCE COMPANY FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES UNDER ARKANSAS LAW; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

HB1901 | now Act 958 – TO CREATE THE VOLUNTEER HEALTH CARE ACT.

HB1283 | now Act 902 – AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES – DIVISION OF AGING AND ADULT SERVICES APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

SB195 | now Act 835 – AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES – DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SERVICES APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

HB1284 | now Act 852 – AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES – MEDICAID EXPANSION PROGRAM APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

HB2177 | now Act 892 – TO CLARIFY THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO POST-ELIGIBILITY TREATMENT OF INCOME OF INSTITUTIONALIZED INDIVIDUALS OF LONG- TERM CARE MEDICAID.

HB1954 | now Act 802 – TO REQUIRE A PROGRAM SAVINGS PLAN FOR THE MEDICAID PROVIDER-LED ORGANIZED CARE SYSTEM.

SB564 | now Act 978 – TO CLARIFY THE SCOPE OF HEALTHCARE FRAUD; AND TO UPDATE THE MEDICAID FRAUD ACT AND THE MEDICAID FRAUD FALSE CLAIMS ACT.

HB1162 | now Act 141 – TO AMEND ARKANSAS TAX LAW CONCERNING INCOME TAX, SALES AND USE TAXES, AND THE SOFT DRINK TAX; AND TO SUPPLEMENT THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM TRUST FUND TO OFFSET DECREASED DEPOSITS FROM TAX REVENUES.

HB1033 | now Act 50 – TO AMEND INITIATED ACT 1 OF 2000, ALSO KNOWN AS THE TOBACCO SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS ACT, TO REDUCE THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES WAITING LIST; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

HB1025 | now Act 46 – TO AMEND THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM ACT TO ALLOW ACCESS TO THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM

SB81 | now Act 83 – AN ACT FOR THE OFFICE OF MEDICAID INSPECTOR GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

HB1200 | now Act 120 – AN ACT FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS FOR MEDICAL SCIENCES – REYNOLDS CENTER ON AGING, BOOZMAN COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ARK. BIOSCIENCES INSTITUTE, & THE AREA HEALTH ED. CENTER IN HELENA APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

SB146 | now Act 203 – TO AMEND THE LAWS CONCERNING TELEMEDICINE; AND TO CREATE THE TELEMEDICINE ACT.

HB1491 | now Act 230 – AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES – DIVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES GENERAL IMPROVEMENT APPROPRIATION.

HB1016 | now Act 517 – TO CONVERT THE HOSPITAL REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEMS UNDER THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM TO DIAGNOSIS-RELATED GROUP METHODOLOGY.

HB1919 | now Act 605 – TO CODIFY THE PROCESS FOR THE REVIEW OF RULES IMPACTING STATE MEDICAID COSTS; AND TO EXEMPT MEDICAL CODES FROM THE RULE-MAKING PROCESS AND LEGISLATIVE REVIEW AND APPROVAL.

HB1501 | now Act 591 – TO MODIFY AND REPEAL LANGUAGE REFERENCING THE SUPERSEDED ELDERCHOICES PROGRAM.

HB1626 | now Act 568 – TO AMEND THE PROHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES.

HB1264 | now Act 546 – TO PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HEALTHCARE SERVICES PERFORMED BY A WALK-IN CLINIC OR EMERGENT CARE CLINIC WHEN THE PATIENT DOES NOT HAVE A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER ASSIGNED.

SB206 | now Act 699 – TO AVOID UNNECESSARY EXPANSION IN MEDICAID COSTS AND SERVICES RELATED TO REHABILITATIVE SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS; AND TO CODIFY THE REHABILITATIVE SERVICES FOR PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS MORATORIUM.

HCR1012 | approved by Gov – TO ENCOURAGE THE GOVERNOR TO SUBMIT A STATE PLAN AMENDMENT TO THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO COVERAGE FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN FROM THE COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION ISLANDS.

  • Check history
  • Senate votes – concurred
  • House votes – concurred
  • Read bill

HB1646 | now Act 745 – TO AMEND VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF THE ARKANSAS CODE CONCERNING PUBLIC EDUCATION.

SB196 | now Act 1045 – AN ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES – DIVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES APPROPRIATION FOR THE 2017-2018 FISCAL YEAR.

HB1183 | now Act 1092 – TO PROVIDE CONSISTENCY AND EFFICIENCY OF CHIROPRACTIC COVERAGE IN THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM; AND TO ALLOW MEDICAID RECIPIENTS DIRECT ACCESS TO A CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIAN WITHOUT REFERRAL FROM A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN.

 


Withdrawn

HB1803 | WITHDRAWN – TO CREATE THE MEDICAID PROVIDER-LED ORGANIZED CARE ACT; TO IMPOSE AN INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX ON RISK-BASED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

SB765 | WITHDRAWN – TO HARMONIZE THE INTERPRETATION OF FEDERAL MEDICAID REGULATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND THE OFFICE OF MEDICAID INSPECTOR GENERAL IN REGARDS TO PROVIDER AUDITS.

HB1916 | WITHDRAWN – TO REQUIRE ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES TO USE THEIR OWN MEDICAID PROVIDER NUMBER OR A MODIFIER TO A MEDICAL CODE WHEN BILLING THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR HEALTHCARE SERVICES.


UNRESOLVED – When the session ended, these were still in committee:

HB1878 – TO CREATE THE MEDICAID PATIENT BILL OF RIGHTS.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1809 – TO REFORM MEDICAID SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

SB593 – TO REFORM THE HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM WITHIN THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM FOR SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill.

HB1903 – TO CREATE THE ENHANCED ELIGIBILITY AND AUTHENTICATION ACT.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB2124 – TO ELIMINATE THE ASSET OR RESOURCE TEST FOR LONG-TERM CARE MEDICAID WITHIN THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM FOR VETERANS.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB2145 – TO CREATE THE MEDICAID PROVIDER-LED ORGANIZED CARE ACT; TO IMPOSE AN INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX ON RISK-BASED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1271 – TO CREATE THE ARKANSAS HEALTH INSURANCE INNOVATION ACT OF 2017; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1300 – TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO PRIORITIZE SPENDING WITH THE DEPARTMENT AND THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM TO FULLY FUND HOME- AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1810 – TO CLARIFY AND ESTABLISH AN APPROPRIATE MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT METHODOLOGY FOR SMALL INTERMEDIATE CARE FACILITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

SB603 – TO PROVIDE NECESSARY MEDICAID FUNDING TO COVER INCREASES IN COSTS INCURRED BY RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

SB604 – TO ESTABLISH THE MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT ADEQUACY COMMISSION; TO PROVIDE FOR REGULAR REVIEWS OF MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT METHODOLOGIES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

SB756 – TO IMPLEMENT COST SAVINGS AND MANAGE GROWTH IN OUTPATIENT BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROGRAMS DURING THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION TO PROVIDER-LED ORGANIZED CARE.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

SB175 – TO REQUIRE MEDICAID PROVIDERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO DISCLOSE OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1981 – TO AUTHORIZE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS TO DELIVER HEALTHCARE SERVICES TO SPECIFIC MEDICAID POPULATIONS; AND TO REFORM THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

SB503 – TO PROVIDE FOR CONSISTENT TREATMENT IN REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EDUCATION OF ARKANSAS STUDENTS DURING PLACEMENT IN A FACILITY IN A BORDER STATE.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

SB434 – TO REMOVE THE ENROLLMENT CAPS IN THE LIVING CHOICES ASSISTED LIVING MEDICAID WAIVER PROGRAM.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

HB1502 – TO CREATE AN EXEMPTION TO THE DEFINITION OF RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITY AND THE DEFINITION OF ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

SB355 – TO TERMINATE THE MEDICAID EXPANSION PROGRAM, ALSO KNOWN AS THE HEALTH CARE INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM WHICH IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE “PRIVATE OPTION” AND THE ARKANSAS WORKS PROGRAM.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes – referred to committee
  • House votes
  • Read bill

HB1182 – TO AUTHORIZE THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM TO ALLOW AN ADVANCED PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSE TO BE A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

SB120 – TO AMEND ARKANSAS TAX LAW CONCERNING INCOME TAX, SALES AND USE TAXES, AND THE SOFT DRINK TAX; AND TO SUPPLEMENT THE ARKANSAS MEDICAID PROGRAM TRUST FUND TO OFFSET DECREASED DEPOSITS FROM TAX REVENUES.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill

HB1257 – TO CREATE THE COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER ACT.

  • Check status & upcoming events
  • Senate votes
  • House votes – referred to committee
  • Read bill