President Trump’s Affordable Health Care Act

House+Republicans+introduce+a+bill+to+repeal+and+replace+Obamas+Affordable+Care+Act.

Fox News

House Republicans introduce a bill to repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Natalia Torres, Staff Writer

One of President Trump’s basic promises to the American people was the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (A.C.A), otherwise known as Obamacare, with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This legislation is a starting point for Republicans to completely dismantle the former president’s signature policy.

The proposed bill drastically changes many of the signature points of the Affordable Care Act, in order to further Republican interests. Essentially, the AHCA is founded upon principles that cater to the free market. This is accomplished by repealing the mandate that made health insurance mandatory, favoring policies that prompt citizens to purchase insurance. The bill would also repeal the employer mandate, meaning large companies would no longer be required to provide health insurance to their employees and subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, the Republicans’ take on health insurance further dismantles the A.C.A. by changing mandates on premium subsidies, Medicaid expansion, health savings accounts, and restrictions on charging more for older citizens.

If this bill is passed subsidies would be distributed on account of age rather than income, federal funding for new Medicaid users would be restricted, and citizens would be allowed to place much more money in their health savings accounts. It would also allow companies to charge older citizens a substantial amount more than younger ones, for coverage.

Pullquote Photo

The proposed health care bill tries to change Obamacare simply for the sake of saying they changed it. Republicans have created an “Obamacare Lite” which takes away subsidies for poor people yet still retains many of the central tenets of Obamacare such as forbidding discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. It is my belief that this bill will fail and Republicans will have to pay the price for it in the next election.”

— sophomore Pablo Hanono

Although the bill repeals and replaces many portions of the A.C.A., it also keeps popular mandates such as allowing children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 and the pre-existing conditions policy, which prevents companies from overcharging or rejecting customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

“The health care bill that was proposed by the house Republican delegation is a step backward from attaining affordable and quality coverage for the working class,” freshman Joaquin Bierman said

While the basis of the bill appears to be bipartisan, further stipulations reveal interests that undermine both Democratic and Republican interests. Despite health care no longer being mandatory, if citizens remain uninsured for over 63 days they will be charged a 30 percent penalty upon returning. Additionally, while the bill does not explicitly place restrictions on female reproductive rights, beginning in 2020, it allows states to define essential benefits and cut funding for those it does not deem essential.  Most controversially, the legislation proposes reducing funds for Planned Parenthood by implicitly referring to them as “organizations that provide abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or health of the mother”. Experts expect millions to lose coverage with the AHCA, but this is just the first draft of many; the bill will most likely go through the House and the Senate several times before being sent to the President for approval.