The American Health Care Act, or AHCA, is a bill that was created by the United States Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. On May 4, 2017, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the AHCA, and then sent the bill to the senate. The AHCA would increase the number of uninsured people by 23 million over the course of 10 years, but would also decrease the federal budget deficit by $119 billion over the same time period, mainly by cutting medicaid coverage for low-income Americans. The bill also states that premiums (an amount to be paid for an insurance policy) for younger, wealthier people would probably decrease, while premiums for older and poorer people would increase.
What are Americans saying about this? Well, according to a CBS news poll that was taken between September 21 and 24, 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the AHCA. That’s around 162 million people. 20 percent of Americans supported the bill, and 28 percent of Americans were clueless as to what they thought about the bill. Also, major health groups united in opposition of the GOP bill, such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association. Theresa Treece is among those worried that she’d have to gain more health insurance due to the GOP bill. She has rheumatoid arthritis, and feels that Obamacare covered most of her health insurance. “The GOP has not come up with anything better or cheaper. I don’t care what they say,” she says. Treece is a former Trump supporter, and now she doesn't know what the bill will do next.
The AHCA is definitely different than any other health care bill the United States has ever seen, whether it is the BCRA or the ACA. Unlike the ACA, the AHCA will increase premiums for younger people, where the ACA had more premiums for older poorer people. It will continue the ACA rating rules, except age rating of 5:1 is permitted starting January 1, 2018, unless states adopt a different ratio. Hopefully it will keep Americans in good health for the four years the President Donald Trump is in office. What do you think of this new bill?
Story by Madeline Tate
Sources: CNN and CBS