A little-noticed amendment to the Obamacare repeal effort now before the House would let U.S. employers gut health coverage, The Wall Street Journal reported. Such a provision would affect about half the country, and the amendment lets states obtain waivers from certain Affordable Care Act regulations, freeing insurers from a mandate stipulating that they cover 10 types of health services, including prescription drugs, mental-health treatment, hospitalization, and maternity care, and set lifetime limits. “It’s huge,” said Andy Slavitt, the former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “They’re creating a backdoor way to gut employer plans, too.” Still, other experts said the impact would be much smaller. “The real question is, would employers do this? Many wouldn’t,” said Larry Levitt, who serves as a senior vice president for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Many employers offer quality benefits to attract employees. But employers are always looking for ways to lower costs.” The House is set to vote on the measure Thursday.
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) May 4, 2017