Health care reforms are certainly among the priority concerns of any straightforward and liberal minded administration. When Obama got to power, he introduced, what according to him, was a better alternative to resolving the long-term healthcare issues in the US. At that time Democratic members did all they could to sail the Affordable Care Act through. However, that, in turn, cost the Democrats the control of Congress.
So to say, the Republicans voted enormously to repeal and replace the Obama Care. In January, Donald Trump made it number one issue. Upon getting to power, he ordered various government agencies to subdue and avoid the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Trumpcare 101: Insights on Obamacare
It goes without saying that Obamacare did a lot of good to many people. As an example, Obamacare guaranteed citizens with preexisting health conditions undeniable protection from insurance companies. With Obamacare, the poor are able to avoid paying to insurance companies. The affordable care act also reduced, by 20 million, the number of uninsured citizens. Access to primary health care, surgery, medicines, specialty care and medical attention for chronic conditions increased significantly. With this, the number of patients who skipped medical attention due to cost issues reduced. To prove its effectiveness, studies conducted at Harvard demonstrated that Affordable Care Act saves tens of thousands lives annually.
The Republicans’ Dilemma
The majority of Americans get their healthcare coverage from their employers. The Obamacare brought various changes to the process. Some of these changes include uncapped coverage, 26 age limit inclusion for children, coverage of pediatric dental, vision care, mental health care, preventive care with no co-payments in addition to primary care by insurers. Any administration aiming at scrubbing off such benefits from a health scheme would be an enemy of the citizens.
As mentioned before, Obamacare is responsible for the reduction of the number of uninsured people among the poor. However, Republicans and other government critics claim that the program funding is quite heavy. Therefore, the Trump administration plans to cut back these funds and send the remaining money to the states.
Republicans are divided. The red party is not sure how to handle the ten percent of Americans who can’t get medical insurance from employers. These are the people who work as independent contractors and freelancers. Such citizens do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. Therefore, they have to rely on individual’s health insurance. Before the introduction of Obamacare, these people represented the vulnerable group of citizens. However, with the Affordable Care Act, they are able to sign up for health benefits at a low price. The covers are subsidized based on the individual’s income.
Republicans, led by President Trump, promised to get rid of the insurance mandate. However, what alternatives do they have to offer? A better alternative would be one that maintains a continuous health care coverage, affordable premiums and deductibles with low annual limits. Weighing all these options, President Trump introduced the Trumpcare.
What is Trumpcare? And what does it prioritize?
What Trumpcare prioritizes is taxes! High-income individuals and industries would have to pay more in taxes if Obamacare is still in place. In other words, Trumpcare is a form of tax reduction for employers.
The Republicans and Trump administration drafted a health care bill. However, in a surprising turn of events, they were forced to pull the bill off before being voted on. This implies that Republicans have only two alternatives. They either have to continue watching how Obamacare continues its current path or they will have to opt for compromising with Democrats in the House. With that said, what are the major health care act’s points brought in by Trumpcare?
Trumpcare: 5 Things You Didn’t Know
1. Tax credits
With the introduction of this health care act, tax credits will be made available to people without health insurance from their jobs. The bill offers between $2000 and $4000 in credits, depending on individuals’ age. Americans aged between 50 and 64 will also benefit from the $75 billion set aside for the Senate to rewrite tax credits provision. Better than Obamacare? Not sure!
Initially, 31 states had signed up for higher federal Medicaid payments. In a way, this scheme provides immense funds that help in driving medical issues and aids in various states. However, as more states signed up, the overall wage bill increased significantly. However, with this, federal funding for Medicaid will be capped for the first time. With this bill, no new states will be able to sign up for Medicaid payments. Additionally, Medicaid expansion will be over entirely in 2020. With this, doctors and patients will have to look for money for their health care needs if the state does not pay.
3. No Penalties
As you may know, individuals without health care coverage or those who don’t renew their covers for more than a year are subjected to penalties. Introducing this bill will lift the penalty charges for individuals who don’t have health coverage. Besides it, the current employer mandate will be eliminated. Employers will be able to avoid paying for health coverage of their employees.
4. Uninsured Population
There is a huge population of Americans without health insurance. As mentioned before, Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured by 20 million. Taking the parameters of this bill into consideration, analysts objectify that the new Health Care Act (Trumpcare) may raise the number of the uninsured by 24 million by the year 2026. This will have watered down all Obamacare did. Approximations reveal that this would take the number of the uninsured people up to 52 million. Crazy!
5. Retained Obamacare Aspects
Despite the need to eliminate Obamacare completely, some beneficial aspects of the bill had to be maintained. For instance, the provision allowing citizens to remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years and the provision of insurance cover equally without considering pre-existing medical conditions. Certainly, eliminating these clauses from the current Health Care Act would have more negative impacts than the positive ones.
Pitchforks agree that crafting health care policies can be quite daunting and relatively delicate. There is need to have a sober thought process. Despite being a political battle tool between Trump and Obama, the healthcare sector is not one to play around with. Probably, this is why the bill was recalled before getting to the floor of the House.