Day 6- The Affordable Care Act replacement plan

The GOP House Republicans have released their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (or as most know it, Obama Care). If you follow me, you know my feelings that we need to move toward a single payer system like most of the modernized world and after a transition period, we could actually pay less per person on health care than we do currently. But that aside, there are some serious issues with this proposal as it stands today. This will trickle down and affect every American and hurt each of us worse than the ACA in my opinion.

  1. Medicaid will be restructured to essentially a block grant system, which will then at the state level be given out as tax credits for people to purchase health insurance. It also rolls back the Medicaid expansion starting in 2020. In addition, instead of receiving federal dollars to cover the costs incurred by individuals on Medicaid, states will now receive just a lump sum per person, which is not guaranteed to raise as medical costs increase.
  2. Tax credits will vary only by age of the individual, not financial need. So a person younger than 30 will get $2,000 per year and up to $4,000 per year for older than 60. If you make more than 75K (or 150 as a couple) the tax credits go away. This is regardless of insurance cost, financial need, and does not guarantee coverage, just an incentive for coverage.
  3. Removes the ACA provisions that limited insurance companies from charging more to older customers to 3 times what they charge younger customers. The new plan allows for at least a 5 times more than young people.
  4. Removes the individual mandate to have coverage (the most decisive portion of the ACA). The problem with this is if there is no penalty for not having insurance, those who are healthy and younger will start dropping out, and those who are sick and needy will stay on, which will tax the system more. In addition, they are touting this as a pro choices argument, that people have more access to different plans. That’s great and wonderful, but if there are 2 plans or 100 if you can’t afford it, then it’s not giving you coverage. If they would give the ACA time and provide incentives to companies to stick it out, deductibles and plans would go down if everyone was covered, right now it’s just an influx of poor sick people.
  5. They did a good thing and left the preexisting condition clause and the ability to stay on your parent’s coverage until you are 26, but then opened up a new way for insurers to deny people by saying if a person has a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days, they could start charging more to them. So if you got sick and couldn’t work and then lost your job and insurance, it would now cost you more to get it.
  6. The bill also eliminates penalties to employers who don’t offer coverage to their employees.
  7. It also immediately eliminates all tax expansions that came with the ACA which helped fund the program.
  8. Planned parenthood will lose all federal funding. For those that are pro-life, I ask if no federal funds have been used for an abortion since 1971, why such a hate for a program that offers critical health screening for poor women and allows them to get birth control, which would keep them from unwanted pregnancies, which means less abortions? In addition, there is a provision in the tax credits byline that says in a women’s insurance plan covers birth control and/or abortions, they would not be eligible for the tax credits.

So one has to ask, who does this new plan help?

The wealthy- increased tax cuts

Corporations- no longer required to provide medical insurance to employees

The young and healthy- No longer required to have it, and if you do have it you get the same tax break regardless of income

Who does this plan hurt?

The elderly- losing Medicaid funding

The sick- insurance rates will continue to go up as people drop insurance

The poor- If you can’t afford a plan that is less than 2000 a year, you have no support to help out with the difference.

Women- getting rid of affordable women’s health options and removing tax credits for plans that address women’s health

*If you don’t think this is an attack on the poor, take the words of one of the writers of the plan as your proof.

“We’re getting rid of the individual mandate. We’re getting rid of those things that people said that they don’t want,” he said. “And you know what? Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice and so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest it in their own healthcare. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”

So I have to ask, if this is what they think of everyday Americans and our struggles to pay our medical bills? This just shows how out of touch they are. Perhaps they shouldn’t be given federal insurance for life and $175000 per year and have to try to make on SSI and Medicaid for a year to really understand what it is like. 

Plus name me 1 medical procedure I can get for the cost of an iPhone. Most medical plans if you are lucky enough to get one cost a hell of a lot more than an iPhone

Because facts still matter: at AT&T, you can get an iPhone 7 Plus with 30GBs of data for about $150 a month. An Obamacare bronze level plan for a single 30 year old non-smoker is $311 per month. That comes with a $6,100 deductible.

Things I like- Keeping the preexisting conditions provision, allowing for competition across state lines (Though it’s hard to know if it will really lower costs)

What I hate- No reference to rising pharma costs, attack on women’s rights, more tax breaks for billionaires without any real assistance or middle or low-income Americans, most likely will cause all premiums and deductible to go up even more.

 

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