President Donald Trump keeps on expressing, especially on Twitter, how proud he is about his administration’s new proposals when it comes to American health. But, a group of hospital representatives recently shared their fears on the new healthcare bill designed by Republicans. How can Trump’s health bill harm the poor Americans?
The Health Bill Replacing Obamacare
Trump is currently backing the bill American Health Care Act. The new healthcare bill would finally replace former president Barack Obama’s Obamacare. It focuses on limiting funding for Medicaid, abolishing the requirement that everybody must be insured, and replacing subsidies with credits from tax. It plans to support fewer Americans unlike Obama’s Affordable Care Act or ACA, which helped a lot of insured people.
Let’s go further in the content of the American Health Care Act:
Preexisting Medical Conditions
Insurers must charge an increment of 30 percent on the premiums of consumers who let their healthcare coverage lapse. This affects greatly the insured consumers who suddenly have an accident or an illness. For the critics of the new bill, they thought 30 percent is too much as an increment, especially for poor consumers.
Purchase of Coverage from the Individual Market
Insurance gets more expensive because of the elimination of federal subsidies for people who belong in the lower and middle class. To replace subsidies, the bill aims to use tax refunds instead. The range starts from $2,000 for people below 30 years old, and $4,000 for people past 60 years old. The annual limit is $14,000. However, tax credits would be unavailable for individuals earning $75,000 or more annually. Same goes with married couples earning a total of more than $150,000 annually.
The sad reality of the new healthcare bill, based on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s data, is that it is just too expensive. With ACA, old people in their 60s can gain at least $6,000 from the subsidy. Unfortunately with the new bill, it would only be at most $4,000 taken from tax credits. It would also provide too much freedom for the insurers to charge more.
Medicaid Expansion Program Members
People under Medicaid expansion have until 2020 to take advantage of the program. New enrollees or returnees would not be allowed to join anymore.
Regarding the funding, the bill proposes a new formula in giving Medicaid subsidy. The average medical costs last 2016 affecting PWDs, seniors, adults and children, and the medical consumer price index would be the main points of the formula. Healthcare advocates sensed trouble with this formula because they believed that it is potentially based on flawed mathematics. The formula might excessively reduce the number of people who may use Medicaid.
Some big employers would not be required anymore to offer healthcare insurance. This can lead to possible problems such as some employees not being covered by insurance.
Planned Parenthood Clients
Planned Parenthood clients would not receive any Medicaid reimbursement for a year.
The Cry of Healthcare Advocates
The American Hospital Association, or simply known as AHA, claimed that Trump’s health bill might affect the insurance of poor American citizens. They were worried that the “most vulnerable” of the country would be exposed to more difficult healthcare privileges. Medicaid serves as support for citizens with low income, but Trump’s administration wants it gone.
AHA really had something to say about matters regarding health because it is representing at most 5,000 health networks and hospitals. Its president Rick Pollack criticized the Congressional Budget Office of inaccurate estimation leading to a weak assessment of the bill. He believed that the Medicaid service program will always be needed by the poor.
AHA was not the only organization voicing out its opinions regarding the American Health Care Act. The American Medical Association, a big group of doctors, also made a plea to the Congress to think twice about lessening the poor’s insurance privileges. Meanwhile, the AARP, which supports programs for older citizens, feared that insurance for older Americans would be reduced too.
Trump Administration’s Defense
House Speaker Paul Ryan was all praises for the American Health Care Act. He believed the demands of the bill were “conservative” and “monumental.” He stated that the bill has always been a dream of Republicans.
One of the pros of the new bill is stopping insurers from discriminating consumers with preexisting medical conditions. It also allows adults up to the age of 26 to be covered in their parents’ insurance plans.
More importantly, it counters Obamacare’s blunder, which discriminates individuals with higher annual income. Obamacare doesn’t include Americans who earn $48,000 and above despite old age. Many of Trump supporters expressed rage towards Obamacare. They didn’t believe that earning $60,000 annually is enough to be considered rich. Instead, they believed that their income only fits the average. They also couldn’t fathom why some people are privileged for free healthcare when they couldn’t even contribute something in return. This must be one of the major reasons why Trump’s supporters are mostly composed of people earning from $50,000 to $100,000 yearly.
Republicans fully believe in the promise of the American Health Care Act. They even called it as the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.”
Trump has been vocal ever since about his hate for Obamacare. He rigorously campaigned against it. He believed that Obamacare struggles from lack of choices and rising premiums. On Twitter, he called it a “disaster.”
The American Health Care Act has not been approved yet. It has to gain the majority’s vote first. Senator Rand Paul underestimated the proposed bill by implying that it would never win in the Senate.
After all the big differences, critics still considered the American Health Care Act and Obamacare as two similar healthcare bills. Come to think of it, the new bill retained some sections of Obamacare. While waiting for updates regarding the bill’s success, take advantage of the time to research about its pros and cons. We have to get ready of the bill’s outcome, so we won’t be left out if ever there are changes. As Americans, we have no choice but to follow the administration’s new rules. But, we still have to keep our heads up for awareness.