McCarthy ‘Confident’ Repeal Bill Will Not Affect Those Covered By Employer Plans

Chieko Hara/The Porterville Recorder

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday said he is “confident” that the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will not affect people who receive coverage through large employer plans, though health care experts have suggested that the bill could have major implications for consumers in the large group market.

“Under this plan, is there a chance that people who get health coverage through their employers could lose protections that limit out-of-pocket costs in a case of catastrophic illness?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked McCarthy.

“No,” McCarthy said. “If you’re getting your health care, if you have Medicare, you’re getting your health care from your business or others, this doesn’t deal with it.”

“Are you sure?” Bash pressed. “Because there’s a report, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that there’s a loophole in the fine print that would allow just that. Are you telling me you are confident that is not true?”

“We are confident when we went through the amendments,” McCarthy replied.

He also told Bash that Republicans are “not taking a benefit away” from anybody.

“Nobody on Medicaid is going to be taken away,” McCarthy said.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that people who have health coverage through their employers could be “at risk of losing protections that limit out-of-pocket costs for catastrophic illnesses” due to a provision in the revised Republican repeal bill.

Health care experts told TPM whether that happens likely depends on how Trump’s administration interprets Obama-era guidance regarding the definition of essential health benefits. An amendment to the current repeal bill would give states a waiver to opt out of the 10 coverage areas insurers are currently mandated to offer.

By allowing states to opt out of certain insurer mandates established by Obamacare, the Republican repeal bill would open the door to imposing limits on previously protected coverage for everyone, including those with insurance through an employer, policy experts said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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