The Republican controlled House of Representatives, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, is set to vote on the American Health Care Act tomorrow. The American Health Care Act will repeal many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and fulfill the campaign promises of the last 7 years from Republicans of "repealing and replacing" Obamacare. The legislation still would need to be voted on in the Senate and signed by the President before becoming law.
This is a terrible bill. The initial draft of it raised premiums, dropped coverages and would send the health insurance market into a period of extraordinary uncertainty. The non-partisan CBO score estimated 24 million people would be without health insurance by 2026. Now, in order to appease a faction of hard-line G.O.P members, there is talk of stripping popular elements of the Affordable Care Act, including
- Prohibition on denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions
- End of Medicaid expansion anywhere between 2018 and 2020
- Requirement that all plans cover 10 essential benefits, including mental health
- Lifetime limits and out of pocket caps
Effectively, this will be a boon to insurance companies who will be able to sell high priced plans to high risk people without regulation. Additionally, almost 10 million Medicaid recipients would lose coverage very quickly.
There are some positives, such as premiums decreasing by 2026 and savings of greater than $300B over 10 years.
I am against this bill. I am not necessarily for the Affordable Care Act, but I do believe that the law should be improved, without repeal. We'll see what happens Thursday, and then in the months beyond.