The Republican proposal to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House last week would bring big changes to health-care coverage for many Americans. Unfortunately, politicians are arguing over what will ultimately affect you and your household. Here are 3 things I think you should know:
1. It’s still a bill
The House narrowly approved legislation to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act delivering on their promise to reshape American health care without mandated insurance coverage. But don’t panic – it’s still a bill not a law.
The vote, 217 to 213, held on President Trump’s 105th day in office, is a significant step on what could be a long legislative road, because it still needs to pass through congress before becoming a law. Which means you still have time to call your Representative to voice your concerns.
2. It will vary by State
Despite Republican assurances that the proposed law “protects” people with pre-existing conditions, a recent amendment allows states to choose which health benefits they require insurers to cover — meaning maternity, mental health care, and more could be out depending on where you live — and to permit insurance companies to charge based on health status rather than age.
This is a major shift. In unveiling their first bill, House GOP leaders had explicitly said insurers should not be allowed to charge consumers more and their reversal caused some members who had previously supported the legislation to waver.
A Center for American Progress analysis concluded that this amendment would raise premiums by thousands — and in some case tens of thousands — of dollars for individuals with asthma, pregnancy, autism, kidney disease, cancer, and more.
3. It cuts Medicaid
It cuts Medicaid, which was expanded under Obamacare, by $839 billion over a decade, changes the program’s structure, and uses the savings to do away with taxes on wealthier Americans and medical industries that were used to pay for the ACA.
Large numbers of Medicaid patients would lose their coverage: 14 million fewer people would be on the program after a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. For instance, many school services for disabled children who rely on that funding.
It also gets rid of Obamacare’s system of subsidies for people who don’t get insurance through work or government programs and replaces it with a less generous system of fixed tax credits.
Do you know how your Representative Voted? It was reported that some elected officials didn’t read the bill before voting on it. Here’s how they voted.