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Healthcare up in the air

Posted on 04.05.2017

The American Health Care Act of 2017, referred to by the acronym AHCA and nicknamed Trumpcare or Ryancare, was a bill to the United States Congress, that would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed by President Obama on Mar. 23, 2010.

House Republicans publicly released AHCA on March 6, as a plan to repeal the ACA bill, often referred to as Obamacare. The AHCA would have repealed the parts of the Affordable Care Act within the scope of the federal budget, including provisions contained within the Internal Revenue Code such as the individual and employer mandates and various taxes and also modifications to the federal Medicaid program.

The idea to reform the healthcare system is admirable and many Americans do in fact support such plans because Obamacare is far from perfect. However, the way the change was approached was a disappointment. Not only was the act rushed and not fully developed, it raised some serious concerns.

Some key concerns identified by healthcare experts is that the tax credits funded at the level proposed in the bill are insufficient to pay for individual insurance and could lead to Americans dropping out of the healthcare market. The bill’s elimination of the ACA’s community rating provision, which would charge older adults more than younger adults and would ultimately increase cost disparities among age groups and premiums for Americans more prone to illness.

Experts from across the political spectrum—liberal, moderate and conservative—all agreed that AHCA was “unworkable and suffered from fatal flaws,” although, specific objections varied. Experts agreed that the bill fell short of the goals laid forth by President Donald Trump and House Speaker, Paul Ryan. It was supposed to make healthcare affordable for everyone and lower deductibles and healthcare costs, provide better care and make zero cuts to Medicaid. Experts predicted that it would actually reduce overall healthcare coverage, increase deductibles and would phase out the Medicaid expansion.

However, after Trump issued an ultimatum to the House of Representatives on March 23, the AHCA bill was pulled the following night on March 24 after failing to gain conservative support and was
canceled after it appeared that Republicans had failed to get enough support from within their own party for it to pass.

When interviewed by Robert Costa of The Washington Post, Trump said that the bill would not be readdressed anytime soon. According to CBS News, Ryan said that Obamacare will “remain the law of the land” until it is replaced, which should relieve many Americans who depend on Obamacare as their sole source of medical insurance. However, for those who currently are uninsured because of the high premiums and deductibles of Obamacare, this news came as a disappointment. Many Americans who don’t qualify for Obamacare or simply can’t afford it supported the AHCA in the hope that the change would be beneficial to them.

Trump also told Maggie Haberman from The New York Times that health care was now “the Democrats’ problem” and that he thought they would be ready to negotiate when Obamacare failed, which is a narrow-minded outlook on the issue.

As president, Trump should be working closely with both parties to create an affordable and effective healthcare system that will benefit all Americans, not just a select few. Whether that means coming up with a new healthcare act or just simply revising the ACA in place now, leaving the future of healthcare to one party will not help anyone.

The AHCA was supposed to remedy the issues with Obamacare, such as high premiums, copays and deductibles. But with the AHCA pulled because of serious concerns and doubts about the bill, Trump and both parties in Congress have time to revise the bill and work out the issues.

Rejecting the bill is ultimately what is best for the time being until both parties can work together. Not only will both parties benefit from their working together, the people will benefit as well.

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