Gibbs Statement on American Health Care Act


Date: May 4, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

After voting in support of the American Health Care Act, Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement:

"Since I first got to Congress, one of my top priorities has been to get rid of Obamacare. Today, I voted to provide relief to the millions of Americans impacted by Obamacare's individual mandate, its taxes and penalties, and the regulations that have driven up insurance costs for so many Americans. Obamacare is collapsing and the American people are suffering because of it. We cannot afford the status quo with premiums set to skyrocket again next year and insurance companies continuing to pull out of exchanges, leaving Americans with fewer options. This bill continues the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare with a plan that lowers costs, increases choices, and gets rid of the individual mandate.

"Introducing free market principles and incentivizing the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) is an effective way to lower costs and return the power of healthcare decision-making to patients. This bill expands on the ability to use HSAs, continues protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and provides support for states to create high risk pools to help low-income Americans afford health care. It also boosts funding for hospitals that have a high proportion of Medicaid and Medicare patients.

"Today's vote is one more step in the right direction but the effort to repeal Obamacare is not over. I urge the Senate to take up this legislation, debate it, and work with the House to provide relief for Americans from Obamacare's broken promises."

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

The MacArthur Amendment specifically prevents insurance companies from charging people with pre-existing conditions more for health coverage.

Insurance companies are still prohibited from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

States can only apply for waivers on coverage limitations AFTER they have instituted their own risk pool.

The Upton-Long Amendment provides $8 billion specifically to provide relief for Americans with pre-existing conditions who have experienced a lapse in insurance coverage.

AHCA creates the Patient and State Stability Fund which provides $130 billion to help states increase availability and affordability of care for vulnerable patients.

Community rating waivers do not apply to Americans with health care coverage provided by employer-sponsored plans or government programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VA benefits).

Preventing Exemptions for Congress

Separate legislation, HR 2192 was passed to ensure that no Member of Congress or their staff is exempt from any provisions in the American Health Care Act.

Obamacare Taxes and Mandates Repealed by AHCA

Individual Mandate

Employer Mandate

Tax on Over-the-Counter Medications

Obamacare's Tax Increase on HSAs

Medical Device Tax

Repeals Elimination of Tax Deduction for Medicare Part D

Cadillac Tax

Tanning Tax

Net Investment Tax

Tax on Prescription Medications

Health Insurance Tax