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Senate Releases Draft of Healthcare Reform Bill

June 25, 2017 06:10 PM

On Thursday June 22, the United States Senate released a discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), which is their version of a healthcare reform bill.

The Senate’s bill:

o Applies per capita caps to Medicaid, essentially changing Medicaid from a system where the federal government “matches” payments for all medically necessary services a state chooses to provide to beneficiaries, to one that provides states with a capped amount of money to spend for all beneficiaries

o Increases out-of-pocket costs for premiums and cost sharing and raise the deductibles for millions of people by reducing the tax credits and subsidies that are currently available to help low-income people pay for healthcare coverage.

o Places an “aging tax” on older adults by both reducing available tax credits and allowing health insurance companies to charge them more.

o Allows states to waive the essential health benefit requirements that help ensure coverage of the services such as habilitation, rehabilitation services and devices, and behavioral health services.

The Senate is expected to vote on the BCRA sometime during the week of June 26th. 

We encourage our members and others to exercise your rights and responsibilities as citizens and consider participation in the democratic process in the following ways:

• Call or email your legislators to express your opinions on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

• Attend advocacy events in your home district.

• Meet with your state and federal legislators in their home district offices.

• Follow AMTA Advocacy activities on social media.

The American Music Therapy Association’s Government Relations Department will continue to monitor the Better Care Reconciliation Act as it progresses.   As new information becomes available, we will update members accordingly.