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Members have been recently emailing me about the possibilities for a group medical insurance plan in light of the health care debate now underway in the House and Senate as Republicans seek to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act known as “Obamacare.”
Thursday’s release of the Senate Republican draft legislation that has been worked on behind closed doors in a process led by Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provides yet another reason to carefully examine the plan being proposed and weighing them against your personal situation and major concerns regarding your own insurance. As drafted, the bill appears not to address any of the current problems with ACA, in particular ensuring all need Medicaid coverage will have coverage in the future. It also lets states and insurers off the hook on guaranteeing coverage for pre-existing conditions & core medical services like prenatal/maternity care.
Healthcare and the insurance that guarantees access to necessary medical care can often involve circumstances that are unique and highly specific. With insurance vendors operating currently in a marketplace in great turmoil, my conversations about finding a “one size fits all” solution to medical insurance as an ASMP member benefit have not been terribly productive recently. Vendors I have spoken with require a much larger pool than our current membership size to craft such a policy.
Notwithstanding the rebuffs thus far, I am continuing to pursue such conversations.
At the same time, I have real concerns about the federal legislation being proposed as the solution to address the “market failure” attributed to the Affordable Care Act.
I believe the responsible thing to do is to give you information gleaned from reputable news sources and to enable you to reach out directly to your U.S. Senators and House of Representatives Member on this issue.
Here are some relevant links that give you basic information as to what is at stake, and how the proposed Senate draft is being viewed by those making the decisions on legislation.
I have registered my own concerns on this issue with my Congressman and Senators and I urge you to do the same. If you believe the bills being considered do not address your concerns and you have specific changes you want to see passed into law, then it is essential to make your voice heard. While there still may be a lot more work ahead before a final bill comes up for a vote in each body, the time frame being suggested for an initial Senate vote means you must act now to register your concerns.
I urge you to stand up for yourself as individual creators and small business people to hold House Members and the U.S. Senators accountable for delivering a system that meets your needs, and if you believe the Senate should vote no on the current bill, you will need to contact your Senators before the amendment process and floor debate begin.
ASMP will continue to monitor the situation and make it known to key legislators that we expect them to produce legislation that shapes an effective health care system that allows people to have the coverage they need at an affordable price, with the health care providers they want to use.
Thomas R. Kennedy
ASMP Executive Director