Sen. Burr Statement on Discussion Draft of Health Care Bill

June 22, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Senate Republican health care discussion draft legislation that will help stabilize the collapsing insurance markets that have left millions of Americans with few options:

“This draft legislation outlines a number of initiatives that are good for North Carolina. While not perfect, the bill does provide the funding we need to support our most vulnerable North Carolinians. I’m encouraged that it keeps the law protecting people with pre-existing conditions. The legislation also reverses $31 billion in cuts made to Medicaid by Obamacare, extends millions of dollars in funding to our Community Health Centers, and provides $2 billion to the fight against the opioid epidemic.”

The following policies will benefit North Carolinians and provide relief from the broken promises, high costs, and few choices created by Obamacare:

Protecting North Carolinians with Pre-existing Conditions: The Senate bill keeps current-law protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, prohibiting the denial of health insurance coverage for this reason. It also continues the prohibition against lifetime limits on insurance plans and lets children maintain coverage on their parents’ plans until age 26.

Strengthening North Carolina Medicaid:

  • Restores hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars to North Carolina hospitals and health systems that serve our most vulnerable, reversing the cuts made to Medicaid by Obamacare.
  • Increases Medicaid funding for doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that participate in the Medicaid program in North Carolina.

Combatting the Opioid Crisis: Provides $2 billion in additional resources to battle the opioid epidemic in 2018.

Maintaining Access to Care: North Carolina is proud to have over 200 Community Health Center (CHC) sites that provide care to 480,000 North Carolinians. This legislation provides an additional $422 million to CHCs across the country to ensure they can continue to provide access to care in rural and hard to reach places, including in North Carolina.

Improving the Insurance Market:

  • Better targets the tax credit to low-income individuals, with an additional 219,000 North Carolinians now eligible to receive a subsidy to help pay for their health insurance plan, and decreasing the subsidy for higher earners.
  • Premiums in North Carolina have seen double digit increases every year since Obamacare went into place. With the inclusion of cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments in this bill, 2018 would be the first year since Obamacare was put in to place that many North Carolinians do not experience a double digit increase in the cost of their health insurance premium. 
  • Stabilizes the individual insurance market for the almost 600,000 North Carolinians who currently rely on the insurance exchange, providing insurers with more flexibility to bring down prices and increase choices.

Supporting North Carolina’s Economy: A recent report shows the medical device tax could cost our country 53,000 jobs by 2021 – many medical device innovators call North Carolina home, and the repeal of this tax will allow for new and innovative medical devices to reach Americans more quickly, and maintain these jobs in North Carolina.