As Donald Trump once said: “No one knew health care could be this complicated.”
For many American’s, that’s exactly the case. With the new Republican healthcare bill in an intense evaluation, millions of Americans could see major cuts to their health insurance for those under Obamacare. But what exactly is in the new healthcare bill proposed by the Republicans in Congress? The University Chronicle decided to break down the facts, determine who the winners and losers are and weigh the positives and negatives of the legislation.
What exactly is the bill?
After months of speculation, minor outlines of The American Healthcare Act were released to the public in early March, details showed the bill would roll back on the expansion of Medicaid, and decrease the amount the government spends on public healthcare. Republicans plan to provide funding for health services through refundable tax credits if health insurance isn’t offered by the individual’s employer, according to USA Today.
Who are the winners?
Younger, healthier people will benefit from the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. According to National Public Radio, under Obamacare, Millennials were often forced to buy a larger bulk of coverage than they needed, so the new GOP bill would allow younger generations to buy cheaper insurance plans. Under the ACA, many young Americans drew back on purchasing healthcare packages because they were too expensive. Others who benefit from the repeal include individuals with higher incomes – especially those in the top one percent who will see a tax break on their assets and investments. Certain states will also reap benefits depending on how expensive the premiums are. A map from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows what residents in Stearns County could pay for health insurance by 2020:
Affordable Care Act Tax Credit in 2020: $2690
House Tax Credit in 2o20: $3000
Price Change from Affordable Care Act to House Tax Credit in 2020: $310
Percent Change from Affordable Care Act to House Tax Credit in 2020: 11 percent
Who are the losers?
According to the BBC, many of the people who voted Trump into office will be hurt most by the new health care bill. Particularly, individuals on Medicaid – which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act. This means poorer people who live in rural areas will be paying higher premiums and getting fewer tax credits to pay for their insurance. Another group who will be damaged by the American Health Care Act is older adults, who tend to require more care for various health problems. Despite people in their 50’s and 60’s getting higher tax credits, these individuals will have to pay five times the amount for health insurance than their younger counterparts.
One organization who doesn’t like the new healthcare bill is The American Hospital Association. In a recent press release, the organization stressed that a repeal and replacement of the ACA would have damaging affects on hospitals across the country as they cannot take care of people who don’t have insurance, especially when medical care costs are too high to pay out of pocket.
What are the positives of the American Health Care Act?
A major argument noted by the bill’s supporters is it would decrease the budget deficit from the federal government by 337 billion dollars over the next 10 years, due to the decrease of federal dollars going towards citizens healthcare.
What are the negatives of the American Health Care Act?
Despite a decrease in the budget deficit, The Congressional Budget Office states these decreases in costs will lead to 14 million people losing their health insurance within the first year, which could be damaging for the healthcare market, as fewer people would look at purchasing any plans because most current subsidized enrollees would lose their protection from an increase in premiums.
While the future is uncertain of where this plan will go and with many in Washington saying the bill is on ‘life support’ college students should continue to pay close attention to where the legislation will fall and how the costs will affect them and their families.