By Jesse B. Valbrun | 12:31PM. March 7th 2017
One might begin to think, that all the tweets, ridiculous comments and general tomfoolery that has accompanied the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration simply functions to pull the wool over our eyes.
While Ben Carson characterized slaves as immigrants, and Donald Trump signed a revised new order banning travel from six Muslim majority nations in the interest of national security, the House GOP released their replacement for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, which may threaten the security of millions of American citizens. During his campaign, Trump prioritized the repeal and replacement of the ACA deeming it a disaster, driving up cost for small businesses and providing deficient healthcare.
“Obamacare has proven to be a disaster with fewer options, inferior care, and skyrocketing costs that are crushing small business and families across America,” Spicer said in a statement. “Today marks an important step toward restoring health care choices and affordability back to the American people. President Trump looks forward to working with both Chambers of Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
The prelude to what is now being referred to by the twittosphere as TrumpCare, was released yesterday March 6th, and the House of republicans are calling the replacement The American Health Care Act.
The new bill would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate which maintains coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26. Additional changes include offering individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance and the reconstruction of the medicaid program for low income families. Changes that even some Republicans argue are simply entitlement programs…the irony. Although the bill appears to maintain the protection of those with pre-existing conditions, it would enable insurers to charge higher premiums for non-payment. The bill would also strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a move conservatives have been yearning for.
“The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition, and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them. Working together, this unified Republican government will deliver relief and peace of mind to the millions of Americans suffering under Obamacare. This will proceed through a transparent process of regular order in full view of the public.”
Serious question to pose to Mr. Ryan though, millions of Americans suffering where? In contrast to Paul’s claims of American dissatisfaction with their healthcare options, a CNN poll suggest that Sixty-eight percent of Americans are largely happy with their insurance coverage and 78% are satisfied with the quality of health care they receive. The other percentages are probably those in the healthcare field and individuals who would have no issue with the Affordable Care Act if it was never coined as Obamacare. One might only need to watch footage of republican town halls concerned with the repealing of healthcare to observe the level of impassioned skepticism many American’s have with its repealment. Luckily for you, this can be viewed below:
The twittosphere has also been active in offering its criticism for the bill, including the likes of outspoken U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren:
Here’s a look at some of bills major components:
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
- Provides tax credits for people purchasing their own health insurance. The subsidies would be keyed primarily to age, rising as people get older.
- Financial assistance would be phased out for individuals making more than $75,000 and married couples earning more than $150,000.
- Subsidies could be used to buy any plan approved by a state.
- Eliminates cost-sharing subsidies in Obama’s Affordable Care Act that helped people with modest incomes meet the costs of insurance deductibles and copayments.
- States, however, would have the option of providing similar assistance with federal financing.
- Greatly expands contributions to health savings accounts, which allow people with high-deductible insurance to cover expenses that their plans don’t pay for.
- Protects people with pre-existing health problems from being denied coverage.
- However, consumers must maintain continuous coverage – otherwise, they would face a flat 30 percent surcharge on top of their premiums.
- States could use federal money to create high-risk pools as insurers of last resort.
- Preserves ACA provision that let young adults stay on parental coverage until they turn 26.
- Allows insurers to charge their oldest customers up to 5 times what they charge young adults. The ACA limits that to 3 times.
- Prohibits use of tax credits to purchase any plan that covers elective abortions. Currently if a health plan covers abortions it must collect a separate premium to pay for such procedures.
- Maintains the ACA’s higher federal financing for expanded Medicaid through the end of 2019.
- After that, states can only continue to receive enhanced federal payments for beneficiaries already covered by the expansion, which has mainly helped low-income adults with no children living at home.
- But for newly enrolled beneficiaries, the federal government would provide a lower level of financing.
- Overhauls the broader Medicaid program to end its open-ended federal financing.
- Instead, each state would receive a limited amount based on its enrollment and costs.
- That federal payment would be increased according to a government measure of medical inflation.
- Imposes a one-year funding freeze on Planned Parenthood, a major provider of women’s health services, including abortion.
PENALTIES & TAXES
- Repeals the ACA’s tax penalties on people who remain uninsured and on larger employers who do not offer coverage. The repeal is retroactive to 2016.
- Repeals the ACA’s taxes on upper-income earners, investors, health insurance plans and medical device manufacturers.
- Repeals 10 percent sales tax on indoor tanning.
- Expected to cover fewer people than the Obama-era law, but final estimates are not yet available from the Congressional Budget Office.
– Associated Press
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