NEW YORK, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association today condemned the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that will seriously hurt the health, independence and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) and other pre-existing conditions.
"It is important to know that lives are at stake," said James Weisman, United Spinal's president and CEO.
The Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) has an amendment that makes it worse for people with disabilities.
This amendment would allow states to cut off people with disabilities from the general exchange pool. The bill goes as far as cutting Medicaid $880 billion over 10 years and takes away cost protections for older and low income Americans over the age of 55.
United Spinal has activated its national membership to call their Senators and tell them to reject the House AHCA bill that narrowly passed 217-213, with an amendment that would allow states:
- To let insurers charge much higher premiums to people with disabilities/pre-existing conditions.
- To have the ability to reconfigure "essential health benefits" and potentially completely exclude critical health coverage items such as rehab and habilitation services and devices.
- To cut off people with disabilities from the general exchange pool and eliminate consumer protections such as bans on lifetime limits or benefit caps.
The AHCA financially penalizes people who have interruption in their health coverage, and directly penalizes lower income people with disabilities who must manage multiple out-of-pocket healthcare costs, but who cannot go longer without essential coverage.
"The AHCA will hurt people with disabilities through higher health care costs, less coverage, and a greater risk of institutionalization," said Weisman.
"Critical services such as personal care, mental health treatment, prescription drugs and rehabilitation services should also not be cut to save money," added Weisman.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
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United Spinal Association
SOURCE United Spinal Association