The Republican Party has devised a new way of reviving their healthcare system, and the overhaul may be the key that brings the party's ideas closer to passing their bill.
The far right conservatives within the GOP were the main reason why the Republican Party's American Health Care Act (AHCA) first tanked. The new amendments to the American Health Care Act seem to satisfy most of the demands made by the conservatives.
Below are a few of the critical changes:
The new changes allow the state to define the "essential health benefits." Under the old healthcare plan, the health insurance plans had a list of baseline health benefits that had to be adhered to. Under the new changes, each state is able to dictate what is to be considered as the baseline health benefit. The main reason for this is related to the cost of the health insurance. The idea is that if there's plenty of room for health insurance companies in terms of packaging their products, they would be able to provide cheaper plans. On the downside, this could result in insurance plans that are very slim and offer little benefits to the people enrolled.
Another new change is allowing the state to waive aspects of what is known as the community rating.
Under the old system, the community rating dictates that insurance companies must charge the same rate in a specific area. It also dictates who can be enrolled under the AHCA. Under the new change, the state is able to get around this rule if certain conditions are met. The main goal here is to allow people with preexisting conditions to receive care if there's a way the state can provide funding. On the downside, the new rule does not dictate where the state can get new funding. One possible result is that individuals with pre-existing conditions may be able to acquire insurance under the AHCA, but they could still end up paying more than anyone else.
These new changes may have addressed the conservatives' main irks against the old AHCA, but that does not guarantee that it will reach a vote.
On the upside, numerous conservatives are now in favor of the new system. Numerous members of the Freedom Caucus are also in favor of the changes.
Yet, it is still not a slam dunk. There's no question that the new changes are gaining momentum amongst the GOP. However, the biggest question is: Is it enough?
There are still a lot of influential people out there that are not in favor of the bill. One of them is Rep. Charlie Dent. Even with the new changes, he is still far from changing his mind.
While the Republican Party acknowledges that there are still a lot out there that needs to be addressed before they can gain enough traction so the new AHCA can finally reach the voting phase, they are optimistic about the current direction. While the new compromise gained new favors from the opposing side of the table, another question may be looming around the corner: How long can the GOP keep compromising until they give up on it entirely?