The Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) draft, that Republican speaker Paul Ryan presented on Monday is already drawing fire from critics. The AHCA is the Republican bill which is aimed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACT) or as it is better known, Obamacare.
Donald Trump has described Obamacare as a disaster. In his election campaign, the newly elected President was insisting that he has a plan to provide insurance to every citizen and keep the prices low for the healthcare plans. It seems that Trump falls short of his promises because the AHCA draft leads to exactly the opposite direction.
One would expect that criticism would come only from the Democrat side, trying to support Barack Obama’s healthcare reform. Actually, it is the Republican senators that are threatening to vote against the new Act because they expect a more thorough report on how the plan is going to be financed and because it doesn’t protect people that are already enrolled to the Medicaid program. If the new Act is voted for, low income citizens are going to be left without a healthcare plan. Having this in mind, 4 Republican senators announced that they can’t vote for a plan that doesn’t address these problems. With a slim majority of 52 Republicans against 48 Democrats in the Senate, it is clear that voting, based on the current plan, won’t be an easy task.
According to healthcare market experts the proposed Act is exactly the opposite from what Donald Trump promised to the American citizens. They say that it will reduce overall coverage, result in deductibles increasing and will phase out the Medicaid expansion which is vital for the coverage of poor people across the US. Termination of subsidies based on income will force citizens to take out more money from their pocket in order to have healthcare. Experts report that the House bill that was presented practically uses the savings from spending less on healthcare to eliminate taxes that pay for the Obamacare. An analysis from the liberal Center for American Progress indicates that “the repeal bill transfers money from the pockets of the low and mid income citizens to those of the wealthy ones.”
One of the main arguments of the Republicans was that Obamacare simply hands state budget money to individuals to pay for their insurance instead of working towards the reduction of the insurance cost. Analysts stress that the new bill doesn’t give any solution to this problem, on the contrary in some cases there is serious possibility that costs will be driven up.
The American Hospital Association said in a letter to Congress that it could not support the draft legislation in its current form giving a serious blow to the Republicans’ effort. Standard and Poor’s estimates that individual enrollment will be reduced from 10 million to almost 6 million in the future. 47% of Americans said that the federal government should have a major role in providing health insurance which is a significant increase from 39%, the first time that they were asked that back in 2012.