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The Republican plan to replace Obamacare

The House of Representatives finally approved the American Health Care Act with a vote of 217-213, which President Donald Trump considers a replacement and repeal to Obamacare. The bill received no votes from democratic Representatives, and one can easily see why in the context of the plan.

Although the government will scrap Obamacare if the Senate approves the bill, some aspects of the previous federal healthcare system will remain. Children will stay on the insurance plans of their parents until they are 26, and insurance companies cannot discriminate against pre-existing conditions, including any conditions for which a patient has already received medical advice or treatment prior to enrollment in a new medical insurance plan.

Republicans assure that the bill is strictly catering toward the patients by creating a system that provides greater choice and at a lower cost, yet components of the plan conflict with this idea.

By dropping Obamacare, the GOP looks to stop Medicaid expansion. Many relied on Medicaid because the program provided an amount of financial support proportionate to the amount needed. Basically, the worse the patient’s condition, the more money he or she would receive. People who rely on home- and community-based services through Medicaid, such as personal attendant care, skilled nursing, and specialized therapies, could lose access to the services they need.

Subsidies also played a role in helping those who needed support rather than those who did not. Subsidies are refundable tax credits based on a person’s income and and the cost of living in the area. However, the American Health Care Act will use tax credits solely based upon age with an income cap.

Medicaid was more beneficial to those below the poverty line rather than the new tax credits. Families could easily have had access to what they need fast. The new Trumpcare will make that cost rise into the hundreds of thousands, which some families cannot afford. Premiums from the Obamacare plan will stay in place for all of 2017, so families can have time to prepare if the bill is passed.

Without Medicaid, large families will have trouble. This applies especially to those with low incomes that have children, considering that premiums will soar with the new healthcare bill. The numbers will be so high that low-income families will not be able to afford insurance.

The rise in premium cost will have a greater effect the older you become. This is because insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums based off of a customer’s current health. This can be a huge problem for the elderly that may have pre-existing conditions. Arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes are just a few problems that senior citizens may not get coverage for if they cannot afford the premiums set because of these conditions.

In the terms of the plan, states were given the ability to waiver, or choose what is required of healthcare providers. One such waiver applies to the 10 essential health benefits included in the Affordable Care Act. If the bill were to pass, insurance companies would not have to cover benefits originally thought to be essential under Obamacare.

Another waiver concerns pre-existing conditions, which allows insurance companies to set premiums with a consumer’s current health in consideration. Basically, if an insurance company believes that a customer is going to have expensive medical bills in the future based upon a current health condition, they can raise the premiums and make them pay more of the bill if or when the time comes.

The new plan is underhandedly asking for insurance companies to ignore anyone in a high risk pool. These groups are full of people, who usually have pre-existing conditions, that insurance companies try to avoid so as not to spend a fortune on medical bills. With the new bill, those patients can now be denied coverage.

Freshman Nick Addeo says, “The high risk pool can make millions of Americans lose all their coverage; the amount of lives at stake is huge and the people should not have to worry about losing their lives.”

People with pre-existing conditions will have a large problem, but the new insurance bill says it will come up with a plan to find a way to help. There are as many as 129 million people with pre-existing conditions, and they could be turned away by insurance companies in the near future.

Pre-existing conditions are not only limited to diseases and conditions, but also rape and domestic violence. The victims could get no coverage at all and would have to pay for medical bills or even therapy by themselves.

Sophomore Deep Patel says, “It sounds ridiculous how someone will be denied coverage because of another’s horrible actions.”

Other significant changes include dropping the tax placed on citizens without healthcare, the inability for lottery winners to receive financial aid, and the elimination of the requirement for employers to provide insurance if there are 50 or more employees.

The bill does have some positive factors to it. The majority of poor citizens do not have any form of coverage, but do not have to pay a tax anymore for being uninsured. Big companies will also benefit from the major tax cuts, which could potentially open up the job market and bring the unemployment rate down.

Republicans have had a major presence in the House of Representatives since 2014, which is why the bill is geared toward the beliefs of the Republican Party. Obamacare received most of its funding from wealthy parties because they were taxed the heaviest. Now, Trump aims to give the wealthy tax cuts.

Senior Erica Fisher says, “Tax breaks are only going to the top 1-2 percent, which does not benefit the American people as a whole.”

Not one democrat in the entirety of the House voted for this bill, and only 20 republicans disagreed as well. Representatives fear they may not be reelected for choosing to side with the bill, but only time will tell if the act will make it through the Senate.

Freshman Paul Barsa says, “Modifications in the Senate can improve the bill while still offering liberations from the big government of the Affordable Care Act. If the bill is not up to par, it will not pass.”

What aspects of this bill do you agree or disagree with? Would you like to see this bill passed and if so, what changes would you want to see in the bill?

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