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TrumpCare priorities skewed

Demi Le, Staff Writer

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The American Health Care Act of 2017, also referred to as the AHCA or in more colloquial terms, the GOP bill or TrumpCare, has been a topic of heated controversy due to its many complicated provisions to repeal the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare.

The AHCA was introduced onto the Union Calendar by the House of Representatives on March 30th, 2017, and passed the House.

Before it becomes law, it will undergo revisions in the Senate before it will be voted upon.

If the bill passes through the Senate and is signed into law by Trump, it intends to change financial assistance for those who are older, have low-incomes, increase cost of health insurance, and stop Medicaid expansion.

This means that potentially millions of people will be forced out of proper medical assistance because our government lacked moral responsibility. It is a basic human right to be provided proper health care when sick.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, it is estimated that about 14 million more people will be uninsured under the legislation by 2018 if it passes, and another 10 million will be uninsured by 2026.

Health insurance is important in that it connects people to a network of care providers, offers different possibilities for treatment, and reduces financial strain and barriers so that people don’t have to pay out of their pocket for care; especially those who have low incomes or require extensive medical attention for their conditions.

Medicaid will face extensive changes as Trump seeks to change funding for the federal-state insurance program. Medicaid provides health coverage to not only those who are 65 and older, but to low-income adults, children, and people with disabilities. It is a safety net for those who are most vulnerable and require the most assistance, yet the bill fails to recognize the consequences of their provisions towards Medicaid beneficiaries and insurance beneficiaries across the U.S.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2015 analysis, about 62.4 million people are insured under Medicaid, which is 20 percent of the U.S. population. Under the AHCA, power will be returned to states which will allow them to make various decisions for Medicaid. For example, states can refuse Medicaid expansion and require Medicaid recipients to work.

Under the AHCA, insurers are allowed to exclude certain benefits that they are required to cover under Obamacare, charge more for health insurance relapses, and even impose yearly and lifetime caps on coverage for essential health benefits which was outlawed by Obamacare. In other words, a person with a fatal or life threatening condition could exhaust their lifetime coverage, leaving them ultimately, with no options.

Financial assistance under the AHCA won’t be nonexistent. However, it will be very limited. The new tax credit proposal provides subsidies according to a person’s age, only giving fixed amounts. Meaning that those who are low-income or pay a high cost of insurance will not receive additional help. Especially older people will suffer from the tax proposal, because insurers will be allowed to tax them up to five times more than younger individuals. Overall, this will severely impact low-income adults, making it difficult or impossible to afford health insurance in addition to being subject to increased premiums if you are uninsured for longer than two months.

If the AHCA is signed into law, those with low incomes will find it harder to afford health insurance while those with high incomes receive more benefits. Insurers will have far more power and funding for Medicaid will be cut, completely stopping expansion of the federal program.

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The Student News Site of Branham High School
TrumpCare priorities skewed