First, let’s start with a little refresher in case you are confused about what the new bill is proposing (or even what the name of it is). The American Health Care Act has the intention to appeal major portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act or what was often referred to as “Obamacare” that President Obama put into effect in 2010.
One thing to take note of is that “repealing and replacing” Obamacare was one of Trump’s key campaign promises. A few months ago with the help of Paul Ryan, Trump introduced the new bill – and it did not pass the house. Now there are added amendments – and the bill has a chance to completely overturn Obamacare.
There are several things in “Obamacare” that President Trump plans to keep the same in the American Health Care Act.
Two key proponents staying in the bill are the out-of-pocket premium limits and that adults under 26 are allowed to stay on their parent’s insurance. In the old healthcare bill, out-of-pocket limits existed so that if a person paid a certain amount, out of their coverage, the bill would cover any other additional charges– if the person went to doctors or hospitals that were in their network. This allowed for people with low premiums (amount paid for health insurance every month) to be able to afford major health costs.
As for people 26 and under being allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance, this allowed for many young adults to not be forced to get health insurance that they cannot pay for because under Obamacare everyone was required to have health insurance. For the future, maintaining this factor will be beneficial for us young adults.
Now down to the major changes the bill will bring.
Before, Obamacare issued tax credit based on household income. Now, refundable tax credits will be based on a person’s income and age. Having credits being additionally established by age may allow for higher insurance premiums as well as lower tax credits. Now, the credits will now range from $2,000 for 20-year-olds to $4,000 for people in their early 60s.
Yes, you read that right. In the past, older Americans would typically receive higher tax credits compared to young adults. There will now only be a $2,000 difference between these age categories.
The biggest change will deal with the Patient and State Stability Fund. In the past, Obamacare had a national coverage for healthcare that no matter where a person needed coverage, hospitals or doctors had to give the same treatment everywhere. With the American Health Care Act, it gives states more control.
In an interview President Trump said, “the Federal Government should be focused on other bigger things like North Korea than if someone hurts their knee.”
This will thus, give states more control over healthcare issues if passed and may lead to a weaker treatment of pre-existing conditions among people– or allow for higher prices. Along with this, the state waivers for Medicaid will also be changed. The GOP would give states a fixed amount of money that they would decide how much of it is spent and on how many participants.
The last major change will be tax cuts and repeals.The new bill would be eliminating taxes for the wealthy, major drug companies, medical device companies, and heath insurers. Previously a 3.8% tax on investment income was added and a 0.9% Medicare payroll tax on incomes over 200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples who filed jointly was added. These two taxes would now be eliminated.
According to CNN Money, people earning between $500,000 and $1 million annually would get a tax cut of nearly $55 billion over a decade, while those with incomes of between $200,000 and $500,000 would save about $53 billion.
This bill has caused many Republicans to be cautious about passing it until it is perfected since it might actually fail and influence their re-election campaigns. (The Whip Count for this bill would drive Frank Underwood absolutely crazy.)This is a lot of information about the bill to take in. But, I hope that this can at least provide some information for why the vote in the House on Tuesday is so important.
This is a lot of information about the bill to take in and is really only the beginning – the best thing we can do as Americans, is educate ourselves on this health care law, and voice our concerns and opinions directly to our representatives.