States brace for big decisions under GOP health care changes

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — Even as the Republican health care overhaul remains a work in progress, states are planning for big changes that could swell the ranks of the uninsured and hit them with higher costs.

The changes contained in a bill that passed the U.S. House last week are welcome in some states that want more autonomy but are causing alarm in others that embraced former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

That is especially true for states that expanded Medicaid and face the potential loss of billions in federal dollars.

The current GOP plan would undo the mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion. It provided coverage to about 11 million newly eligible low-income Americans.

The plan also would allow insurance companies to charge far higher premiums on older Americans and some people with pre-existing conditions.