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Addressing the Misinformation Campaign Targeting the American Health Care Act

May 8, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC - As the untruthful misinformation campaign targeting the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) continues, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) released the following statement today to address some of the highest profile lies:

“One of my top priorities in Congress has been to improve healthcare in America, which is why I have always supported the repeal and replace of Obamacare.

Obamacare has resulted in higher premiums, higher deductibles, lost doctors, and cancelled policies, among many other challenges. Deductibles are so high, many people now feel like they don’t even have insurance anymore. One-third of the counties in our country only have one option left under the exchange. That’s not choice. That’s a monopoly. Almost everyone agrees that our current system is deeply flawed and that healthcare must be improved. Doing nothing is not an option. 

Under the American Health Care Act, the individual and employer mandates are being removed, Obamacare’s taxes are almost entirely eliminated (over $800 billion in tax relief), and there will be more choices, competition and affordability than under current law, while continuing to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent’s policy as they can under current law. This is one important step of a three step process to ensure a smooth transition to a better reality for health care in our country.

There is so much misinformation being circulated on this bill, especially on social media. Here are some specific facts to set the record straight regarding untruthful claims being made over social media and elsewhere:

Is it true that under the current plan Members of Congress will be exempt? No. At the same exact time the American Health Care Act was passed in the House of Representatives, the House also passed legislation (H.R. 2192) to make it crystal clear that Members of Congress would not receive any special treatment whatsoever. 

Is it true that Members of Congress receive special health care insurance coverage not currently available to the general public? No. 

Is it true that the American Health Care Act changes the definition of pre-existing conditions? No. 

Is it true that under the American Health Care Act, 310,000 NY-1 residents with pre-existing conditions will lose their health insurance? Not within a million degrees of accurate in any way, shape or form. 

Is it true that in New York insurers will be able to charge people more if they have a pre-existing condition? No. New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health insurance coverage for their pre-existing condition and cannot be charged more for their pre-existing condition. 

But what if New York asks for a waiver? New York is not asking for a waiver, but even if it did, New Yorkers still cannot be denied health insurance coverage for their pre-existing condition and as long as they maintain continuous coverage without a lapse for more than 63 days then they cannot be charged more either. Even if there is a lapse for more than 63 days, states remain required to protect people with pre-existing conditions to ensure they have access to affordable policies, which comes with financial help from the federal government. It is hysteria to claim that people with pre-existing conditions are not protected even if the protection is a little different than in non-waiver states.

Is it true that there was no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score for the American Health Care Act? No. The CBO has already weighed in on almost this entire bill.

Is it true that no one actually read the bill? No. Speaking for myself, I sure did. It's only 138 pages long. Three amendments were added last week, and I read those myself before the vote.