American Health Care Act
What is AHCA?
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would repeal the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 landmark healthcare reform law that has extended healthcare coverage to an additional 22 million Americans, including many who are LGBTQ.
LGBTQ People and Healthcare Reform
The ACA has served as a lifeline for millions of LGBTQ people, who have too often found themselves cut off from critical healthcare services and report some of the lowest insurance rates of any population in the country. The ACA has made it possible for many in our community to obtain health insurance for the first time in their lives. The ACA also includes the first federal protections from discrimination in healthcare on the basis of sex, which has been interpreted to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
AHCA and HIV/AIDS
As a result of the ACA, thousands of low-income people living with HIV have been able to obtain health insurance through the Medicaid expansion before becoming disabled by the virus. In addition to repealing the Medicaid expansion, the AHCA fundamentally changes Medicaid by imposing a per capita cap funding structure, for a total cut of $834 billion in federal funding from state Medicaid programs. The magnitude of the lost funding will have a swift, stark, and devastating impact on the most vulnerable among us including those living with HIV/AIDS. The legislation also strips the requirement to cover essential health benefits under the Medicaid expansion, leaving millions without access to the critical benefits they have come to rely on. AHCA’s reliance on refundable tax credits would also place healthcare coverage out of reach for most people with HIV. These individuals could be charged up to five times more than young adults for their coverage.
AHCA Cuts to Reproductive Care and LGBTQ People
AHCA prohibits Planned Parenthood clinics from participating in essential public health programs. This severely undermines the ability of these providers to deliver preventive healthcare services that many in our community rely on including cancer screenings, STD and HIV testing, and services like transition-related care. Often, health centers like Planned Parenthood offer the only culturally competent healthcare available to LGBTQ people, especially in rural and isolated areas.
What is the Current Status of the Bill?
AHCA was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dianne lack (R-TN) on March 20, 2017. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017.