What changes will Republicans make to the AHCA? Here's what's proposed.


Lacking the votes within their own party to pass the American Health Care Act — the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act — Republican leaders offered a series of proposed changes to woo House conservatives to support the bill.

The three proposed changes have not been analyzed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to determine what the impact would be on both the federal deficit and the health care system.

Nevertheless, Republicans insist the House is going to vote on the AHCA and these changes on Friday.

Here are the proposed changes:

Repealing essential health benefits guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act 

The ACA — known more colloquially as Obamacare — required insurers in health care exchanges to offer 10 "essential health benefits" to enrollees. 

Those benefits include emergency services, hospitalization, mental heath care, prescription drugs and maternity care, among others. 

The AHCA would nix those requirements — a demand from the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers in the House.

Delaying repeal of ACA tax

The ACA levied a .9% tax on high-income Americans — those making more than $200,000 a year — to help pay for Medicare, according to the New York Times

The earlier version of the AHCA repealed this tax.

However, one of the three changes proposed to the legislation is delaying the repeal of that tax for six years, according to the Associated Press.

Adding money for states to deal with health care costs

Because one of the changes would nix the essential health benefit requirement that plans cover substance abuse treatment, another change would provide states $15 billion to address health care needs — including mental health and substance abuse treatment.

With many states facing an opioid crisis, nixing coverage for substance abuse treatment is politically perilous. 

This proposed change could soften the political repercussions Republicans would face for eliminating the mandated coverage for substance abuse treatment.