The U.S. House of Representatives voted today (Thursday May 4) to approve a bill to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”) with new legislation known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA). The measure was passed on a 217-213 vote.
Among other things, the ACHA would make profound changes to the state-federal partnership program known as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, including reducing by $880 billion the amount of federal Medicaid dollars to states. These changes would significantly impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive critically necessary health services in public schools. The changes would require schools to compete for limited Medicaid funding, which would likely result in arbitrary caps on the amount of Medicaid reimbursements made to public schools.
Because of these impacts, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) joined fifty-nine other organizations in a letter to Congressional leadership urging members of Congress to oppose H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The letter outlines unintended consequences of the legislation and details the harmful effect the proposed bill will have on public schools serving students with disabilities and students in poverty.