Status of the American Health Care Act: June 2017

On May 4th the House passed a health care bill by 4 votes to repeal/replace major parts of the ACA. Every Democrat and 20 Republicans voted NO, while 217 Republicans voted YES.

By voting YES, Wyoming Representative Cheney demonstrated a disregard for the health of the people of Wyoming.

The House bill contains these provisions

  • Ends the ACA mandate, which spreads health insurance costs among all citizens, making it possible for those with health problems able to afford coverage.
  • Ends premium subsidies for lower income Americans
  • Allows insurance companies to charge people 60+ years old as much as 5 times the rate of younger customers
  • Provides tax cuts for the rich by repealing a tax on high-earners that was intended to fund insurance subsidies
  • Allows states to obtain waivers for essential care such as pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, prescriptions, and hospitalization
  • Cuts 880 billion dollars from Medicaid

The Congressional Budget Office has determined that this bill would cause 24 million people to lose health insurance.

The bill (called the American Health Care Act or AHCA) is now in the Senate.

Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo) is the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee which must decide if the House health care bill meets budgetary savings requirements before the Senate can take it up for action.

Under complex budget rules known as “reconciliation,” the AHCA must save $1 billion in each of the committees with jurisdiction over health care: Senate Finance, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees.

Enzi has determined that it saves the required money. Other Senators disagree and want the Senate parliamentarian to decide.

Much is at stake: a verdict that the House bill complies with budget rules allows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to seek approval of the package by a simple-majority vote instead of the usual 60 votes required to avert a filibuster. A call that it doesn’t comply with budget rules means the House might have to re-vote on its measure, which would not be easy given the drama the first time around.

Let Enzi, Barrasso, and Cheney know that you do not support the AHCA in its current form. Tell the staffers what you would want health care in America to look like. Let them know specifically what parts of the AHCA concern you.

Also let the Senators know that you expect full debate in the Senate on any health care legislation.


Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know Senator Enzi/Barrasso’s position on passing the AHCA bill without full debate in light of serious concerns that the bill removes health care coverage for many in Wyoming?     

Staffer: Thank you for calling! The Senator knows what he is doing.

Caller: That’s not enough. It remains to be seen whether the House-passed bill qualifies for reconciliation in the Senate and the congressional budget office has said this bill would cause 24 million Americans to loose insurance. I am disappointed that the Senator would choose to support the AHCA rather than listen to concerns about the bill’s cost.

Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator

Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know why the Senator has made up his mind. I’m eager to hear how he can explain his support for the AHCA.

Links for more information:

Senator Michael B. Enzi

Washington Post
The Health 202: Amid Comey drama, a health-care skirmish is unfolding

U.S. News & World Report
GOP Medicaid Cuts Hit Rural America Hardest, Report Finds

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