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Congressman Perry Offers Support for American Health Care Act

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Perry joined his house colleagues today to vote on a measure to repeal significant portions of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The proposal originally failed in March. That led moderate and conservative groups in the House to join together to amend the proposal significantly. Following the modification, Perry offered his support for the bill in the following statement:
“The Affordable Care Act is broken. Over the last seven years, we’ve seen less choice and skyrocketing costs for basic medical care. Five states and one-third of U.S. counties have one choice for health insurance this year. Premiums are up about 25 percent this year. Hundreds of constituents have shared their stories of how rising costs devastate their families and small businesses,” said Perry.

“For these and other reasons, I made a commitment to the people of my district to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and I have every intention of fulfilling that commitment.”

“While it's important to recognize the American Health Care Act (AHCA) does not repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, it is a first step, albeit an imperfect one. Recent changes in the AHCA will give states more flexibility to tailor health care policies to meet the specific needs of its citizens and help reduce premium costs over time, while explicitly maintaining protections for those with pre-existing conditions.”

I will support these changes, but will continue my efforts to improve our health care system and lower costs for the hard-working people of the 4th District.”

Perry went on to highlight aspects of the policy which were critical to earning his support including added protections for those with pre-existing conditions, ensuring Congress has the same healthcare as everyone else and added flexibility to the states.

AHCA will specifically protect those with pre-existing conditions by prohibiting the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions and prevents insurance companies from rescinding coverage to this vulnerable group. The proposals will also prevent premium increases on these individuals as long as they maintain continuous coverage.

In addition, the plan creates a specific Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program (FIRSP), which will ensure those with pre-existing conditions who need coverage can get access to care and provides $23 billion in federal funding to offset premiums and out-of-pocket costs for those vulnerable populations who may reside in states that choose to implement waivers for essential health benefits, have a pre-existing condition, are also uninsured because they have not maintained continuous coverage, and purchase health care in the individual market.

Perry reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring Congress does not have special healthcare privileges. “Congress should have the same healthcare as the American people,” said Perry. “It's also important to remember that the Obama Administration excluded itself from the ACA but Congress didn’t and rightly so.” He went on to explain that given the nature of the Senate rules, Congress was forced to pass a separate bill to close a loophole that originally exempted Congress from provisions of the AHCA. “We had to pass two bills instead of one but by passing both, we are making sure that Congress isn’t given any special benefits and we can still move toward improving our healthcare system.”

The proposal now goes on to the Senate for further consideration.

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