By: Roger Caldwell
After 50 times in the last 4 years of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Republican lawmakers in the federal government now have the numbers to kill and dismantle the law. House Republications have released a long awaited bill to replace the ACA, and it is called the “American Health Care Act.”
The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, President Trump, and White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer are ecstatic with the release of the bill. “Today marks an important step toward restoring healthcare choices and affordability back to the American people,” says Sean Spicer.
We must remember that the truth usually does not matter when Trump or his team is speaking.
“ Obamacare is gone, because we repealed all those taxes, those mandates, those subsidies. There’s nothing left there, and we’re giving Americans freedom like they’ve never had before to buy healthcare that’s right for them,” says Kevin Brady (R-Texas) Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
But after hearing other Republicans attack the bill and call it ”Obamacare Lite,” they appear to be divided and confused. The Republican leadership quickly put together a bill, and the plan’s impact on the federal deficit is unclear, because they did not release a cost estimate with the proposal.
Based on their recent town hall meetings, many Republican lawmakers are not sure if repealing the ACA is the right action to take. In a Kaiser poll after the election, many Republicans are having unfavorable responses, when it comes to gutting Obamacare. At the present time, only 26% of Americans, according to the poll favor a full repeal of the health care law (ACA).
Overall, the survey finds that some key provisions of Obamacare are very popular among Democrats and Republicans. For example, 85% favor keeping young adults on their parent’s insurance plan until 26. Sixty-nine percent (69%) like the prohibitions on insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
There are now over 20 million Americans that have insurance, that never had it before, and the number is growing under the ACA. Instead of trying to fix the problem areas in the plan, the Republicans have released their plan, and it’s a disaster for low income Americans and seniors.
According to AARP, 50 and 60 year-olds will face premium increases of up to $3,000 a year, and Planned Parenthood would be defunded. Medicaid as we know it would be destroyed, and the tax credit system would provide less help for low-income residents.
On Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released early estimates that the AHCA would lower the federal deficit by $337 billion over the next decade. The CBO and JCT also estimate that 14 million more people will be uninsured by next year and 24 million will be uninsured by 2026.
There are 3 phases to the American Health Care Act, and that is still being worked out as the Republican leadership tries to push something through both Houses that is not completed. Immediately Americans would no longer be forced to have insurance, and the upper-income families would receive a high tax cut.
The bill would also eliminate billions of dollars of federal aid, which allowed states to expand Medicaid programs to millions of poor people. Once Americans cannot afford their insurance or miss their payment, the insurance company can charge a 30% surcharge to get their policy reinstated.
Older Americans will be forced to pay more out of their pockets, but in 2020 the second phase starts. Starting in 2020, the federal government would phase out billions of dollars to the states, and they would be forced to find money for their health care.
The Democrats and some Republicans would prefer to fix Obamacare. Obamacare is working and there is a movement in America to fix what we have.
Trump and the Republicans refuse to give President Obama any credit, but over 20 million Americans have health insurance as a result of Obamacare. Health care should be a fundamental right for all Americans, and if we are willing to spend trillions of dollars on our military,” What about the health of our citizens?”