Mixed reaction to health care bill; trucking impact uncertain

Doctors, hospitals and insurers criticize Republican plan; business groups applaud bill for lowering costs

Mirroring the view throughout the nation, the trucking industry is mixed on its initial thoughts regarding the U.S. House of Representatives passing an Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) replacement bill on Thursday.

While the American Health Care Act (AHCA) targets the individual market, it could cause a ripple effect on employer-based plans and it almost certainly will affect individual truck drivers.

The bill has been sent to the U.S. Senate, but news reports indicate it has little chance of being passed as is. How the two houses will reconcile the differences remains to be seen. At this point, much like President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan announcement, the House bill seems more like a starting point than an end point.

The American Medical Association was one of several medical groups to blast the bill.

“The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question,” Dr. Andrew W. Gurman, president of the AMA, said in a statement. “Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system.”

The bill has also been criticized by hospitals and insurance companies.

“The American Health Care Act needs important improvements to better protect low- and moderate-income families who rely on Medicaid or buy their own coverage,” Marilyn B. Tavenner, chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade group, said in a statement.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.