by: Maggie Amjad
This is the third installment of my Service Learning Capstone project on Healthcare in the US. The first article examined the history of healthcare in the United States and the second covered the Affordable Care act. Throughout the Spring, the rest of findings will be published on HB in Retrospect. This installment analyzes the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the proposal of the American Healthcare Act. Look for interviews with those at the forefront of healthcare in Cleveland next!
Healthcare was a hot button issue throughout the 2016 Presidential Election. Trump continually called for repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and began to work towards this once inaugurated.
The main Republican proposal has been the American Health Care Act. Changes from the Affordable Care Act include no healthcare requirement, though those without healthcare face extra fees. States will have more power over their own healthcare and set their own regulations. This specifically means that those will pre-existing conditions will no longer be guaranteed insurance. Medicaid will shrink and expenses will be cut by $800 billion over 10 years.
The largest problems with this plan is that it leaves about 14 million more people would be uninsured and projections show that within the next nine years, that number will jump to 38 million. This plan was pulled from the floor March 24th of 2017.
Since then, new legislation has been crafted. The Better Care Reconciliation Act was voted on by the house last May and passed onto the Senate. It will reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over 10 years and leave 23 million more Americans without health insurance, compared with the current law under the Affordable Care Act.The revised version held on to some Obamacare taxes on the wealthy. It would also allow people to pay for insurance with pre-tax money, and would provide financial support to help low-income people purchase healthcare. It also includes a $45 billion dollar sweetener to fight the opioid epidemic to appease moderates. By July of 2017, this bill was declined passage in the senate.
The final piece of Healthcare legislation supported by Trump is the Right to try Act. This act will allow doctors to employ risky medical innovations and operations when a patient is in a life or death situation and there are no other options. Unlike the previous legislation, this bill has bipartisan support though it takes a significant amount of power from the FDA who approves such procedures.