Statement on the Draft Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)

Partners for Better Care, a nonpartisan coalition representing more than 100 million patients, has significant concerns about the recently released draft text of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Partners members are patient advocacy organizations and a diverse group of healthcare stakeholders, including industry and payers, who are working together to develop the best solutions to today’s healthcare challenges. The BCRA as currently drafted would reduce coverage, raise out-of-pocket costs, and take significant steps away from the majority of Partner’s health care principles.

We remain committed to working with the US Senate to incorporate our nonpartisan 2017 health care principles in any health care legislation moving forward. With the strong backbone of our Patient Charter, Partners for Better Care urges Congress to ensure health reform legislation reflects the following patient-centered health care principles:

  1. Ensure health plans provide meaningful coverage and an appropriate scope of benefits. All plans – whether offered by employers or provided through the private or public market, including Medicare and Medicaid—must include coverage of preventive services, tools for management of chronic conditions, coordinated care and specialist care, innovative therapies and technologies, and mental health services
  2. Ensure access to quality care by preventing pre-existing conditions and rating restrictions, as well as maintaining diverse risk pools and restricting plans from excluding or limiting coverage for one type of patient or condition. We must ensure that all individuals, particularly those with chronic conditions, cannot be denied coverage, charged unreasonable premiums or denied renewability.
  3. Enhance affordability and reduce out-of-pocket costs by maintaining subsidies and seeking new, creative mechanisms to limit cost shifting to patients.
  4. Maintain the ban on annual and lifetime limits to ensure patients and their families receive needed medical care throughout the year and over a lifetime. For patients, annual and lifetime caps on treatments, therapies, and other care can contribute to significant complications, including limiting the ability to work.
  5. Continue to allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plan through age 26, which makes health insurance easier to obtain and more affordable for all. Young people living with debilitating conditions need consistent, affordable and accessible treatments and therapies.
  6. Ensure quality Medicare and Medicaid coverage so our nation’s seniors, disabled and low-income individuals in all states have access to the coverage, services and care they need.
  7. Encourage value, quality and cost innovations through the development of patient-centered approaches that incorporate the patient experience as well as data on policy development and value strategies.

Partners and its members believe that every American should have access to affordable, high-quality, patient-centered coverage in 2017 and beyond. We have sought to work with Congress to ensure that changes to the health system work for all Americans, especially those living with debilitating conditions.

 

About Partners for Better Care

Partners for Better Care is a partnership of patient and disease advocacy groups and industry leaders representing more than 100 million people living with chronic conditions nationwide. Partners and its member organizations are united behind the tenets of a bipartisan Patient Charter—a definitive policy roadmap that aims to make health care more accessible, transparent, affordable and culturally competent. To learn more about Partners, visit partnersforbettercare.org.

Updated July 12, 2017