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House Passes Health Care Reform Bill

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House Passes Health Care Reform Bill

By the slimmest of margins the U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation reforming the Affordable Care Act. It now moves to the Senate.

NAATP joined organizations in the addiction and mental health field in opposing some of the specific changes included in the bill. It would allow states to opt out of providing the ten essential benefits contained in the Affordable Care Act, including for SUD treatment. Should it become law in its current form, that provision would significantly reduce access to care.

The House Bill also modifies how states may deal with requirements for covering preexisting conditions. That language would also reduce coverage for treatment.

The U.S. Senate will now be responsible for considering the bill. It appears highly unlikely that the Senate will pass the same legislation. The rules of the Senate also provide that 60 votes are required if policy decisions such as repealing the essential benefits is included. That threshold means that it must be a bi-partisan vote. That would be impossible without significant changes to the bill.

NAATP will continue to be involved in the process. We urge our members to voice their concerns to their members of the Senate.

Mark Dunn
NAATP Public Policy Director
Washington, DC