Mississippi's state insurance commissioner says it's too soon to know what the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act means for Mississippians. Commissioner Mike Chaney says it's far from being a done deal.
State Insurance Commissioner, Mike Chaney says the American Healthcare Act is still a work in progress, despite a House vote to pass the measure. The act includes: removing the individual and business mandates to buy health insurance or pay a fine; bases subsidies on age instead of income and premium costs; and allows states to decide if insurers can charge more for pre-existing conditions. Chaney says would impact 55,000 Mississippians.
"We really need to wait and see what the Senate passes out and then actually what could be adopted. The effect on Mississippi, it would effect around 55,000 people at the most under the ACA because that's the number of people we have covered today," said Chaney.
The resolution allows states to waive providing some of the 10 essential health benefits of the Affordable Care Act, such as substance abuse treatment and maternity care. Chaney has no plans to change that. He's concerned about Medicaid funding, which could impact approximately 35 percent of Mississippians; 75,000 of them children. The American Healthcare Act would provide block grants to states or place a cap on Medicaid coverage. Dr. Lee Voulters is with the Mississippi State Medical Association. He agrees it's too soon to know what it will mean for the state.
"Everyone admits including the president and the Republican leaders that there's going to have to be major significant changes. There's going to have to be. There's no way the Senate is going to support this bill the way it is now," said Voulters.
Dr. Voulters says he's optimistic coverage for pre-existing conditions will be in the final resolution. He says the state medical association wants a product that expands access to affordable, high quality healthcare.