Written By Stevie Walker
Since the election of President Trump, the state of American healthcare has been a hot topic of conversation for all. One of Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and since his inauguration, the American people have been anxiously awaiting the GOP’s actions in regards to healthcare. The American healthcare system is incredibly complex, making it difficult for many people to understand and making it difficult for Congress to change. Many questions arise: what is Obamacare? What will change if a new bill is passed? Although this all may seem overwhelming, it is important that we grasp a firm understanding of our health care system because of the direct effects it has on all of us.
Before looking at the GOP’s new proposal for American healthcare, it is important to understand the Affordable Care Act and how it benefits the people. Signed into law March 23rd, 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires almost all citizens to obtain a minimum amount of health care coverage. Medicare, a government funded healthcare plan, was expanded to help cover more Americans. Companies with more than 50 employees became required to offer an insurance plan to all employees. For citizens who buy their own insurance, the insurance marketplace was expanded and made accessible to more people. New regulations were put in place to keep insurance providers honest and forbid them from inflating prices based on age, gender, or pre-existing conditions. Many other policies were outlined in the Affordable Care Act, but overall, the ultimate goal of the bill is to provide better, affordable healthcare to all, regardless of income. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 41 million Americans did not have healthcare coverage in 2013. In 2015, that number was reported to have decreased to 28.5 million people. Obamacare has helped greatly to provide healthcare to low-income Americans, but there are still many gaps to fill.
The Affordable Care Act is regarded as a very controversial bill by many, and ever since its passing, Republicans have been trying to repeal it. Now that President Trump has taken office and Republicans have a majority in both the House and the Senate, a new bill has been crafted to repeal and replace Obamacare. After three months of debating, the American Health Care Act was introduced by the Republican party. The laws laid out in the bill are still being reformed and changed, but some of the basic outlines of the bill include: stopping Medicaid expansion by 2020, eliminating many of the subsidies offered in the Affordable Care Act and replacing them with refundable tax credits based on age, getting rid of the requirement for large business employers to provide insurance, and prohibiting Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood clinics.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the American Health Care Act is projected to leave 24 million people who have insurance under Obamacare uninsured by 2026. Many Republicans in the House have expressed their disapproval of the bill because of this and other reasons. In fact, so many Republicans said they would not vote for the American Health Care Act that the bill was removed from the House floor by Speaker Paul Ryan on March 24th. As said in a CNN interview, Congressman Newt Gingrich is calling for Republicans to “take a deep breath, slow down” and take their time to craft a new healthcare bill that they believe will benefit all Americans. Republicans are currently developing revisions to the bill, but no agreement has been reached yet.
For the people of America, no changes have been made to the healthcare system at this time. It is hard to predict what changes are to come in regards to the Affordable Care Act, but there likely will not be any significant changes implemented until 2018 at least. It is vital that during this time American citizens educate themselves on their healthcare options and advocate for a healthcare system that will treat its people with fairness and quality.
Categories: School News