Health Care For All?

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), proposed by House Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, often referred to as Obamacare), suffered a great setback this past week. On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan entity in charge of analyzing the economic and budget impact of proposed legislation, released a report that threatens the approval of the new health care act in Congress.

The main takeaway from the report is that the AHCA is expected to decrease insurance coverage. The estimation is that close to 24 million people would lose their health insurance in the next decade, with 14 million losing insurance by 2018 alone. According to FiveThirtyEight, the uninsured rate would be higher than it was before the passing of the ACA. The percentage of Americans without insurance has been decreasing constantly since 2010 from around 18% and the CBO projections for the next decade is that it would be around 10%. The approval of the new health care bill could threaten that progress.

According to Los Angeles Times, if the AHCA it’s approved, the average premiums for individuals who purchase their own insurance would be lower than the Obamacare levels after 2020, mainly because the proposed plans will cover less. However, in the next few years, many of these consumers will have to pay more than what they do today.

Critics of the proposed bill agree that those who will be most affected by this new legislation would be lower-income and older individuals, not only because of the initial increase in premiums, but also by the cuts related to Medicaid and proposed changes to how subsidies are calculated.

In this scenario, the passing of the bill could be more complicated and the public support could decrease. As of today, even some GOP governors are not totally convinced. A group of Republican governors, including Rick Snyder (Michigan) and John Kasich (Ohio), have raised their concerns, saying that the bill is not enough for the insurance needs of some of their most vulnerable residents (Detroit Free Press).


Daniela Oliva

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