The U.S. Senate is back in session this week trying to come up with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
University of South Carolina Social work professor Teri Browne, who has studied ways to reduce health disparities among kidney disease patients, told South Carolina Radio Network that some of the changes in the current proposed bill could be devastating for people with health problems like kidney disease.
“This bill would actually have a pretty dramatic effect on people in South Carolina and across the country with chronic illnesses,” said Browne.
She said through her experience working with people with kidney disease she is afraid of what the legislation could do to them. “I know this bill would have a lot of impact on that population,” Browne said.
Browne said the bill would hurt not only individuals with kidney disease, but also anyone with persistent health problems. “This bill would have many different negative consequences for this population and anyone with a chronic illness.”
“This bill allows governors to get rid of what we call essential health benefits. And these are things like outpatient services so for people with kidney disease that would mean dialysis. It would be hospital stays so that could mean kidney transplants.” Browne said.
She said it would also allow governors to permit insurance to impose limits on what they have to pay. “This bill would also allow governors to bring back annual and life time caps for what your health insurance will pay.”
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, wanted something passed before their July 4 break, but gave his Republican colleagues an extension to pass the American Health Care Bill.