The American Health Care Act also dubbed as “Trump Care” has surfaced to the level. It is a new and “improved” version of the slowly dying Affordable Care Act, placed by former democratic president Barack Obama.
The new bill served by a collective of republican leaders was not only criticized by democrats, but also by fellow republicans. Republican opposition stems from the claim that the new bill is far too similar to the Affordable Care Act. They want to see more changes in the new bill for their definitive agreement. Democrats feel as if the new bill is in poor quality compared to the older one, especially with concerns of lower income people being unable to buy health insurance after the new bill.
The American Health Care Act is a compromise between the current act and republican concerns.
Despite many changes and revisions, there are still noticeable remnants of the current bill. Dependents up to 26 do not have to worry about moving out of their parent’s plans, insurers cannot discriminate based on factors of race, sex, age, sexuality, they certainly cannot deny coverage based on preexisting issues, etc. Clearly, it is not a completely new bill; it is the conservative version of a “universal” healthcare coverage bill.
However, the changes of the new bill certainly do overwhelm the existing similarities. The amount of people who would be covered for health insurance differs under the new bill. Individual Americans will no longer face penalties for opting out of healthcare insurance for themselves. The same concept is applied with large employers that do not provide health insurance for their employees. This raises many concerns among democrats who feel that Trump is pandering to the wealthy corporations, rather than the common man.
Rather than using subsidies to cover the costs of low-income consumers, the American Health Care Act will solely use tax credit. The tax credits are categorized into five age groups from 20 to 60+. Factors such as income and geography will no longer be able to help lower income people buy healthcare coverage under the new bill.
Medicaid will also face limits in the new proposed bill. It will no longer serve as a complete entitlement program for anyone who qualifies. Funding for Medicaid will be adjusted for each state’s fiscal year spending. Starting in 2020, Medicaid will cease to provide patients with substance abuse and mental health services.
There will also be a one-year freeze on federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Consumers will also be barred from buying health plans that include abortion in their services with their tax credits.
The changes are inevitably different from the current program at hand. However, such change is expected from a democratic to a republican transition. The pendulum will swing from the left to the right, and vice versa. Only time will tell how this new bill will affect Americans.