“Republicans have promised for seven years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, under which around 20 million Americans gained health coverage. But they had no consensus on how much of the law should be repealed and had great difficulty devising a comprehensive replacement.” (A)
“Republicans are often right when they point out Obamacare’s shortcomings, like too few insurers on the exchanges in some states. That absolutely ought to be addressed. But snatching coverage from 24 million of our nation’s most vulnerable people to give as much as $1 trillion back to its wealthiest ones doesn’t fix that.” (B)
“The American Health Care Act…. could transform the nation’s health insurance system and create a new slate of winners and losers. (C)
Winners: High-income earners; Upper-middle-class people without pre-existing health conditions; Young, middle-class people without pre-existing health condition; People who wish to go without insurance; People who want less comprehensive health coverage; Large employers; Medical device companies, indoor tanning companies and a few other medical industries
Losers: Poor people: Older Americans, in most states: People with pre-existing health conditions, particularly in some states; State governments; Hospitals; Planned Parenthood
Some key concerns: (D)
– Some of Obamacare’s signature features would be gone immediately, such as the tax on people who don’t purchase health care, known as the “individual mandate.”
– States would have the option to get waivers from two of Obamacare’s requirements: that insurers cover “essential health benefits,” and that they charge the same price to everyone regardless of their health history. That would get rid of a key protection for people with preexisting conditions.
– AHCA would end Medicaid expansion in 2020, cut the program by $880 billion
– States could also opt out of Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement. This is the core set of medical services that the Affordable Care Act requires all insurers to cover.
– The AHCA would fund high-risk pools for those who lose coverage. Experts worry the bill doesn’t have enough money.
– The AHCA allows insurers to charge their oldest enrollees up to five times as much as their youngest ones.
The Senate goes next, all men on the Republican working Group. “Notably missing from the working group are any of the five GOP women senators, particularly Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, two moderate votes Republicans will need to get a bill passed through the senate.” (E)
(A) House Passes Measure to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act, by Thomas Kaplan and Robert Peer, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/politics/health-care-bill-vote.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Frobert-pear&action=click&contentCollection=undefined®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection
(B) New American Health Care Act is snake oil, Newsday, http://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial/american-health-care-act-problems-1.13567594
(C) Who Wins and Who Loses in the Latest G.O.P. Health Care Bill, Margot Sanger-Katz, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/upshot/who-wins-and-who-loses-in-the-latest-gop-health-care-bill.html
(D) The American Health Care Act: the Obamacare repeal bill the House just passed, explained, by, Sarah Kliff; https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/3/15531494/american-health-care-act-explained
(E) Here’s What You Need to Know About the Health Care Bill, by Benjy Sarlin, NBC News, http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-what-you-need-know-about-health-care-bill-n754611