May 2017: House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a health care repeal and replacement bill. In May 2017, House Republicans voted to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. In May 2017, The New York Times reported that the bill:
Would eliminate tax penalties for people who go without health insurance. It would roll back state-by-state expansions of Medicaid, which covered millions of low-income Americans. And in place of government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, the bill would offer tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on age… The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the first version of the bill would trim the federal budget deficit considerably but would also leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance after a decade. Average insurance premiums would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher in 2018 and 2019, but after that, they would be lower than projected under current law.
Politifact found that AHCA ‘Would weaken protections’ for those with pre-existing conditions, ‘Would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more.’ In May 2017, Politifact found that AHCA “Would weaken protections” for those with pre-existing conditions and “Would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more.” Politifact reported:
An ad by the American Action Network says that under the American Health Care Act ‘people with pre-existing conditions are protected.’ The only kernel of truth here is that the amendment has language that states insurers can’t limit access to coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. However, the ad omits that the House GOP health plan would weaken protections for these patients. The legislation would allow states to give insurers the power to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition. While Republicans point to the fact that those patients could get help through high-risk pools, experts question their effectiveness. Current law does not allow states to charge people with pre-existing conditions significantly more. We rate this claim Mostly False.
Politifact noted, “If the AHCA passes, it would allow for people with pre-existing conditions to be charged more per year for their insurance coverage – possibly to the tune of thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars more per year, some studies have found.” [Politifact, 5/24/2017; 5/4/2017]
Huff Post: AHCA a ‘net transfer’ from ‘the old and the less affluent to the young and the more affluent,’ allows insurers to charge the old up to five times as much. According to Huffington Post in March 2017, the AHCA would provide tax credits “that vary only by age, starting at $2,000 a year for people who are younger than 30, and peaking at $4,000 a year for people who are older than 60.” Huffington Post reported: “It would be a net transfer of federal resources from the old and the less affluent to the young and the more affluent ― and it’s a big reason that, according to several studies, such a scheme would lead to millions of newly uninsured.” Further, Huffington Post reported “The Affordable Care Act limited insurers from charging older customers more than three times what they charge younger adults. The House bill would raise that to five times.” [Huffington Post, 3/6/2017]
CNN: Asthma and cancer considered pre-existing conditions. In September 2017, CNN reported that asthma and cancer are considered pre-existing conditions:
The new Republican plan to repeal Obamacare would bring preexisting conditions back to the individual market, allowing insurers to charge sick people higher premiums — or deny them coverage outright… Anything else — a cancer diagnosis, a history of breast cancer, a mild case of asthma — is fair game. In states that did pursue and receive these waivers, health plans would have full authority to charge sicker patients higher premiums to offset their costs.”
AHCA would repeal requirement that Medicaid plans cover preventive services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings. In May 2017, the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published the report entitled, “Ten Ways That the House American Health Care Act Could Affect Women,” that said the AHCA would repeal the requirement that Medicaid plans cover preventive services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings:
Currently, all private plans, Medicaid expansion programs, and Medicare must cover recommended preventive services without cost sharing. Important services for women include: breast and cervical cancer screening, osteoporosis screening, pregnancy related services, well woman visits, and contraception… The AHCA would maintain preventive services requirements for private plans, but would repeal the requirements for the Medicaid expansion population. Preventive services for adults are covered at state option for other Medicaid beneficiaries. States could opt to roll back coverage of preventive services for this group.
AHCA would allow states to opt out of requiring insurers to cover prescription drugs, emergency services, pediatric care. According to Vox in May 2017, the AHCA would allow states to opt out of the ACA’s essential health benefits requirement, “the core set of medical services that the Affordable Care Act requires all insurers to cover.” These services reportedly include:
May 2017: CBO estimates show 41,300 fewer people will have coverage in CA-39 as a result of AHCA. According to the Center for American Progress in May 2017, based on data from the Congressional Budget Office, an estimated 41,300 fewer individuals in the California 39th District will have health coverage under the AHCA. [Center for American Progress, 5/25/2017]
More than 48,000 already uninsured in CA-39. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 2016 and 2017 surveys, 48,716 people in CA-39 are uninsured. Of that number, 5,360 are children. [U.S. Census Bureau, Accessed 9/14/2018]
March 2018: Urban Institute finds AHCA will cause insurance premiums in California to increase by 17.8 percent. According to the Urban Institute Health Policy Center in March 2018, changes made to the ACA by the AHCA will result in a 17.8 percent increase of insurance premiums in California, as a result of “expanded Short-Term Limited-Duration (STLD) policies and [the] loss of individual mandate.” [Urban Institute, 3/2018]
March 2018: Kim said the ACA gave people ‘Nothing but broken promises.’ In March 2018, Kim said at a North Orange County Chamber of Commerce forum:
The Intent of Obamacare was to ensure that there is access for all Americans to be insured. But what it did at the end of the day is that it gave us nothing but broken promises. While it may have given a lot of Americans access to healthcare, it has given less than acceptable quality healthcare. The premiums have gone up. And there is a penalty clause if you don’t have the healthcare. It’s an inability to give you know the original intended promise.
[CA39 Footage Youtube, 1:09:56, 03/13/2018]
March 2018: Kim said she opposes the Affordable Care Act (ACA), citing ‘less than acceptable quality healthcare,’ premium prices and individual mandate. In March 2018, Kim said at a North Orange County Chamber of Commerce forum:
The intent of Obamacare was to ensure that there is access for all Americans to be insured. But what it did at the end of the day is that it gave us nothing but broken promises. While it may have given a lot of Americans access to healthcare, it has given less than acceptable quality healthcare. The premiums have gone up. And there is a penalty clause if you don’t have the healthcare… I will not ask for a complete repeal unless there is a solution that can be sensible and ensure all Americans can be provided with quality care with the, not too much high, premiums should not be too much for this, so I will be willing to sit down with you and discuss a successful solution. Until I see a good replacement, complete repeal is not the way we do it.
[CA39 Footage Youtube, 9:57, 3/29/2018]
May 2018: 54 percent of California voters ‘less likely to reelect their representative if that member of Congress voted to repeal’ the Affordable Care Act. According to the Los Angeles Times in May 2018,
Sixty percent of registered voters statewide [in California] approved of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare… A majority of voters, 54%, said they would be less likely to reelect their representative if that member of Congress voted to repeal the healthcare law.
[Los Angeles Times, 5/23/2018]
September 2018: Kim said she wants to repeal ACA if replacement could protect people with preexisting conditions. In September 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Kim is only open to repealing the Affordable Care Act if there were a replacement that met her criteria, including bringing down health-care costs and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. [The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/2018]
As of September 2018: Healthcare not an ‘issue’ Kim identifies as important to 39th district on campaign website. As of September 14, 2018, Young Kim does not list healthcare as an issue to address in her campaign. Among issues Kim identifies are immigration, education, and honoring veterans. [Young Kim for Congress, Accessed 9/14/2018]