The American Health Care Act (AHCA) basic principles were announced yesterday in a press conference in the White House. Donald Trump made his promise true and yesterday’s announcement puts an end to Obamacare which the President called “a disaster”.
Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, told the journalists that “AHCA will is a plan to drive down all health costs, it will revive the competition between companies and, eventually, is going to give the average American citizen affordable healthcare”. Ryan insisted that “ a unified Republican administration will deliver peace of mind to millions of Americans that suffered under Obamacare”, probably meaning around 20 million people that had the opportunity to be insured for the first time.
While Ryan was speaking, Republican senators took to the stage of various beloved Trump media outlets like Fox News to promote the new plan so they can hail its benefits. Unfortunately for the administration, the AHCA is already drawing fire from patient advocacy groups that attacked Trump for empty rhetoric and promises. Republicans say that it is the first time that insurance companies will be required to cover pre-existing conditions and that an adult, until the age of 26, can be covered by its parents’ insurance.
Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democrat minority in the Senate, expressed his view that the new Act will force millions of Americans to pay much more money out of their pockets for less care. Democrats believe that the number of Americans insured under Medicaid, will be cut severely and the insurance companies will be allowed to charge 5 times more the elderly. The new plan will allow companies to add a 30% surcharge to premium s for people that don’t have insurance for too long. The bill also eliminates the individual mandate, which required Americans to have insurance or pay a fine.
Analysts say, that the new legislation will possibly abolish current income-based subsidies for purchasing insurance. They have expressed serious concerns because the new Act will cut and cap Medicaid, it will sure defund the very important Planned Parenthood program and will create new burdens to people’s available budgets.
But it’s not only the Democratic senators that will try to go against the new health act. Some Republican senators are very skeptical, because they see a lack of information on how it this reform will be implemented. The new legislation hasn’t been fully scored yet by the congressional budget office. Senators are reluctant to vote for the elimination of programs that provide poor people with healthcare. This might prove an important factor, because the majority (52-48) that Republicans have in the Senate is very fragile.