This archived article was written by: Alex Holt
Ever since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Republicans and conservative groups have been working to repeal it, but so far, have been unsuccessful.
This might be because a majority of Americans want to keep Obamacare and fix it as opposed to a repeal and replace approach. A poll done by the Hart Research center on March 7, found that nearly 68 percent of Americans would like to keep what works in Obamacare and fix the rest.
Despite this, Republicans have come up with the American Heath Care Act, quickly becoming known as Trumpcare or Obamacare 2.0. This plan would be disastrous for many Americans enrolled in the ACA’s program and organizations such as the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) who have come out against this plan.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 14 million people would lose insurance under the new plan in the first year, with nearly 52 million people losing health insurance by 2026.
This reduction in the amount of insured comes from the plan’s removal of Obamacare’s individual mandate that requires people to have health care, budgetary reductions in Medicare/Medicaid, loss of income based tax credits and higher premiums.
Lower subsides than current Obamacare-level coverage plans would skyrocket prices for health-care for the poor but also give a tax relief for the rich, an estimate done by the Tax Policy Centers says it would provide over $275 billion in tax cuts for the rich, all while draining the poorest Americans for their money.
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said this when talking about Medicare and Medicaid, “We are defederalizing an entitlement, block granting it back to the states and capping its growth rate.”
Doing this not only prevents Medicare and Medicaid to grow along with inflation, force states to come up with differences between those blocks and current levels of subsides, but also allow Congress to attach other things to these grants.
For example, if a conservative controlled Congress wanted California to remove all their Planned Parenthood Service Centers, they could threaten the state with a lower grant or remove the grant altogether for that fiscal year, allowing Republicans to force their agenda unto the states.
Loss of income-based-tax credits further cut subsides, as John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight points out. “Let’s say you live in Woodward County, Okla., your 65 years old and you earn $50,000 a year. Under Obamacare, you get $13,350 a year toward insurance, but under the new bill you get just $4,000…”
That is over a two thirds reduction which could lead to more out-of-pocket costs. This example would be played over and over again in many situations across the United States and the largest harms fall unto those who voted for Trump as well as younger Americans.
Trump responded with “Oh, I know.” But has not moved in any efforts to revise and meet with House Republicans to go over and reform the bill to make it more friendly to the poorest Americans.
In fact, six pages of the bill is related to a situation when a person eligible for the low subsides, wins the lottery, to which the bill forces states to remove them from the program. The fact that a significant amount of the bill is dedicated to such a situation shows how horrifically undedicated to Republicans are to healthcare and more dedicated to their own pocketbooks.
Healthcare is a complicated issue and everyone has known that for years. There will not be a perfect plan for many years to come, but wiping the slate clean and starting over will not only cost Americans money, but perhaps even their lives.
Much more undedicated to getting Americans healthcare is Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R-Utah) solution- Don’t buy that next iPhone. This not only portrays healthcare as affordable in Trumpcare (which it isn’t), but demonizes the poor and opens up the idea that poverty is a choice (which it isn’t).
Students across the country will feel the effect of Obamacare’s repeal as many students are crossing over from their parent’s insurance to plans of their owns, the new plan would make that transition harder with higher insurance costs coupled with the difficulties of moving into the work force, forcing many to go without insurance and the ability to pay for healthcare services.