Parents wonder how new health care law will impact costs

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The news of the passage of the American Health Care Act has left many families in Arizona wondering what will happen to their own costs.

Nine-month-old Winnie Splisbury was born with Tetrology of Fallot, a combination of four heart issues, that we now know Jimmy Kimmel's son also has. She had open heart surgery when she was 2 months old.  

"The prognosis is long-term care," said Winnie's father, Ryan Spilsbury. 

Every six months, Winnie has a check-up, and she'll have a cardiologist her entire life. Now, the Spilsburys wonder what will happen to the cost of those visits. 

"I feel like the people with preexisting conditions need health insurance the most," she said.

"We're concerned," said Debbie Johnston with the Arizona Hospital & Healthcare Association. "We are concerned about folks with preexisting conditions, we're concerned about the medicaid population."

Johnston said she is worried that, while people with pre-existing conditions might not be denied insurance, they might not be able to afford it. 

"Insurers will be allowed to charge sicker and older individuals more than they currently can," she said. 

Though this bill still has to get through the Senate, an amendment proposed would provide $8 billion to help cover patients' costs. 

"$8 billion over five 5 years, and we're concerned it's not enough," Johnston said. She added that if the uninsured rate spikes again, hospitals would bear the financial burden. And we could see more declaring bankruptcy. 

"Every hospital is anticipating these changes and they're doing what they can do cut their costs to manage the sick population as well as they can," Johnston said. She said they will be working with Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to iron out some of their concerns with the new bill. 

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