So here’s the truth. Republican Congresspeople passed a bill that would hurt a lot of people if it goes into effect. This has nothing to do with whether you vote Republican, hate Obama and on and on. These alleged representatives of the people voted for a bill they call the American Health Care Act that repeals a big portion of the Affordable Care Act and works against millions of Americans who don’t make a lot of money.
Twenty Republicans voted against the bill. No Democrat voted for it. Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted against it. Before the vote she said, “The bill’s consequences for South Florida are clear: too many of my constituents will lose insurance and there will be less funds to help the poor and the elderly with their healthcare.”
For this bill to become law, the Senate will have to approve it. And if approved as it stands people will lose insurance. Ultimately that number adds up to 24 million Americans.
The big losers:
People who got insurance because Medicaid was expanded in many states. Poor people without children will lose insurance. The Congressional Budget Office projects that 14 million people will lose insurance in 2018.
People who need what’s called “essential services” under the Affordable Care Act would lose, too. That means the House approved a rollback for maternity and emergency care.
Older people will lose as well. People too young for Medicare will have to pay more for their insurance and may face unaffordable deductibles as high as $25,000.
People with pre-existing conditions may find themselves unable to get insurance. The Affordable Care Act prevents insurers from denying you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes.
But the Republicans got rid of that idea. Their bill sets up a high risk pool with about $23 billion to help people with pre-existing conditions get insurance. Healthcare analysts at Avalere say it falls short and will cover only 110,000 people in the country with pre-existing conditions. Consider that 2.2 million people covered today have pre-existing conditions.
If you don’t have insurance continuously for at least 63 days, and you have a pre-existing condition, it looks like you will have a tough or an impossible time getting insurance.
Under this new American Health Care Act, states can opt out of certain provisions. And that, says Avalere’s Caroline Pearson, poses a big problem. “If any large states receive a waiver (to opt out), many chronically ill individuals could be left without access to insurance.
Planned Parenthood, which provides healthcare services to women, will lose about 30 percent of its funding for one year unless it stops providing abortion services. After that who knows.
Yes, winners. Rich people who earned over $200,00 for an individual and $250,000 as a couple will not have to pay a .09 percent increase on the Medicare payroll tax and a 3.8 percent tax on investments that helped fund the Affordable Care Act.
Young middle-class people without pre-existing conditions will also pay less.
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said, “The bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster. It really has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous shift of wealth from working people to the richest Americans . . . Our job now is to rally millions of Americans against this cruel bill to make sure that it does not pass the Senate. Instead of throwing tens of millions of people off of health insurance, we must guarantee health care as a right to all.”