WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Martha McSally (AZ-02), Thomas MacArthur (NJ-03), and Tim Murphy (PA-18) together worked with House Republican Leadership and the Trump Administration to further improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
The members successfully negotiated to provide states, through the Patient and State Stability Fund, with supplemental funding so they have the ability to obtain additional resources that will provide new mothers and those struggling with mental and substance abuse disorders access to care while the nation transitions to the new health care system. House leadership and the White House has agreed to incorporate these changes into the AHCA.
Representative Stefanik said: “Throughout negotiations with Congressional leadership and the White House, I have insisted that protections for maternity care must be included in any final package. I spoke out in support of protections for mothers and children in meetings at the White House and with the House Leadership and Committee Chairs who have drafted this replacement legislation. I am pleased that I was able to secure this critical amendment. Since I ran for Congress in 2013, I said that we must keep the parts of the Affordable Care Act that are working as we fix our broken healthcare system, and this amendment will maintain significant funding for maternity and preventative care, especially in states that do not have the insurance protections we have in New York. This is a win for families across the district and the country, and I will continue to work to improve this legislation and to achieve a 21st century healthcare system for the nation.”
Representative McSally said: “The amendment we successfully negotiated today is another important win for families. It secures an additional $15 billion to offer crucial care for mothers and their newborns, and for those who struggle with mental health disorders and substance abuse. The Affordable Care Act simply isn’t working, and this victory is another step in the right direction. By giving the states support to implement a smooth and stable transition, this amendment will prevent individuals who need healthcare the most from slipping through the cracks. We aren’t landing a helicopter, we are landing a 747, and we need a lot of runway to ensure a smooth transition to a system that lowers costs, expands choice, and increases quality of care. This amendment lengthens that runway.”
Representative MacArthur, who is both the co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group and the co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, said: “The addiction crisis has touched so many families throughout the United States, especially in my home state of New Jersey where in Ocean County—located in my district—there’s one overdose death every 43 hours. After adding $90 billion for older Americans and $60 billion for low-income seniors and the disabled, we’ve won another victory for the most vulnerable in our society. This bill is not perfect—no bill is—but I decided when I got here that Congress has enough obstructionists and I’ve been working constructively over the past weeks to improve it by offering specific proposals that will ensure Americans will be able to receive affordable quality care.”
Representative Murphy said: “We are building on our successful record of helping families in mental health and addiction crisis. This $15 billion investment, which is five times the size of the federal mental health block grant, represents the largest surge in behavioral health funding in recent history. This is a big win for all the families who for too long have lived in the shadows, for all the patients who have been left out of America’s health care system. Alongside President Trump and Secretary Price, we're going to keep our promise to deliver treatment before tragedy.”
Speaker Ryan said, “We accepted this additional amendment to the AHCA which includes funds for mental health, maternity, and substance abuse care. I am thankful for Reps. McSally, MacArthur, Stefanik, & Murphy whose involvement continues to improve this bill. The AHCA has been, and continues to be, a member-driven initiative, as this negotiating process exemplifies. Our goal is to provide Americans with a better health care plan by expanding choice, lowering costs, and increasing the quality of coverage—and that’s what we continue to strive toward.”
Inclusion of this language builds on changes that Rep. McSally, Rep. MacArthur and Rep. Stefanik fought to include in amendments to the AHCA earlier this week that provide a smoother transition to the post-Affordable Care Act healthcare system and additional resources for our most vulnerable citizens.
Additionally, these changes are another step towards fixing our broken mental health care system—a multi-year effort by House Republicans, led by Rep. Tim Murphy, that saw a major leap forward with passage of the 21st Century Cures healthcare reform package.