Republicans finally rolled out their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act on Monday and it is even worse than expected.
While the full ramifications of the “Make America Sick Again” plan, (or as Republicans are calling it, the American Health Care Act) are still being discovered as everybody sifts through the 123-page bill, here is a quick overview of what is understood so far.
First. the good news. The new plan will keep two important provisions of Obamacare. Protections for pre-existing conditions will remain in place and parents will continue to be able to keep their children on their policies until age 26.
Now, the bad. And boy is there a lot of that.
- Say goodbye to the Medicaid expansion, the one that covers 10 million people in 31 states. As of January 2020, it’s gone.
- Planned Parenthood, along with any other organization that offers abortion services, will lose all Medicaid funding.
- Effective in 2019, tax subsidies are gone. Instead, you get a tax credit at the end of the year — but it’s lower than what we have now.
- Cost-sharing subsidies for stuff like co-pays and deductibles — gone.
- Old people are really getting screwed. Their premiums will skyrocket as they will now have to pay five times what younger people pay.
Corporations and billionaires, on the other hand, make out like fat rats under the Republicans’ replacement plan.
- Employers no longer have to provide insurance to full-time employees.
- The insurance mandate is gone. You will no longer have to pay a penalty to the federal government if you don’t carry insurance. BUT, if your coverage lapses for more than 60 days, you will now find yourself paying 30 times the premium rate for that year.
Not all Republicans are on board with the replacement bill, though. Four Republican senators — Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — all signed a letter arguing that the plan would be a disaster for their states, as well as others, who had expanded Medicaid.
Three more Republicans, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, have all made it known that they have serious reservations about the bill.
Naturally, there is much more detail and specifics than I have covered here. You can read the full bill below.
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