North Country Rep. Stefanik disputes reports that new health care act won't cover pre-existing conditions, limit Medicaid
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 11:48 am

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, is defending her support for the controversial American Health Care Act as many continue to criticize the legislation.

“Friends, there has been a lot of misinformation written about American Health Care Act. I wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight on a few of the false claims that my office is hearing and help explain this important bill to fix our broken healthcare system,” she said in a issued statement.

Stefanik says it’s a myth that members of Congress are exempt from the American Health Care Act.

“This claim is false. In fact, I was proud to co-author legislation that passed the House unanimously to ensure that, if the AHCA becomes law, Members of Congress and our staff would abide by the same rules as everyone else. Congress should live by the same laws it passes onto the rest of the nation. This is why I currently receive my healthcare through the Obamacare exchanges, though I decline the congressional subsidy. I was proud to help lead this effort to ensure that members of Congress do not receive any special treatment,” she said.

Stefanik also says that the ongoing claim that the American Health Care Act does not protect those with pre-existing conditions in untrue.

“A core commitment of mine throughout this process was to ensure those with pre-existing conditions are protected. Under this legislation, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition; they are banned from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition; and prevented from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. The bottom line is that this legislation protects those with preexisting conditions and New York State regulations further protect them,” she said.

Stefanik says the American Health Care Act will not take away coverage for people on Medicaid either, despite reports that the bill will cap Medicaid funding.

“One of my top priorities in any Obamacare replacement package was to ensure that no one had the rug pulled out from under them. The American Health Care Act makes no changes to Medicaid until 2020. After 2020, anyone currently on Medicaid will still keep their coverage,” she said. “The American Health Care Act allows New York State to decide if they want to continue their expanded Medicaid program at a reduced federal reimbursement rate.

Stefanik says that after 2020, tax credits will be made available for people to purchase “high quality private insurance plans.” She says these changes to Medicaid allow states to “target funding for this important program towards those who need it most.”