Remember all that talk during the health reform debate about why men should have to pay for maternity care? What politicians were really arguing about was the "essential health benefits" provision in Obamacare.
In an attempt to make the insurance marketplace fairer and more viable, the law required insurance plans sold in the individual market, the fully insured small-group market, and through Medicaid expansion to cover a list of 10 "essential health benefits." The 10 included pretty basic medical care — like pregnancy and maternity care, mental health and addiction treatment, and lab tests.
Republican Congress members have been consistent about their desire to scrap this part of the law. It has driven the cost of premiums up, and, they argue, limited Americans' freedom of choice.
Now, with a new Obamacare repeal and replace plan under consideration, they'll have another shot at doing away with the EHBs, as they're called among health wonks. In a push to win support from the Freedom Caucus members, the latest draft of the American Health Care Act would reportedly get rid of the law's EHB requirement for the individual and small-group markets. (The previous drafts of the American Health Care Act already did away with the EHB requirement for Medicaid expansion enrollees.)
Getting rid of the EHBs could mean the unraveling of the individual insurance marketplace and a return to even skimpier plans than those that abounded before Obamacare. It would also have the cruel effect of leaving the people who need insurance the most unable to afford it once again.