Without reading the bill in full, or holding any in depth hearings, Republicans in the House of Representatives pushed through the "American Healthcare Act" aka "Trumpcare" legislation last Thursday, May 4, 2017.
After falsely attacking Democrats in the past for previously "pushing through" Obamacare, Republicans did the very thing they claimed to have loathed with Trumpcare. The Congressional Budget Office, which does analysis on legislation to accurately figure out costs, was not even given the chance to analyze the bill in full before it was voted upon. Many House Republicans even admitted to not having read any of the bill at all, but voted for it anyway.
So, what does this mean?
Obamacare, as it stands, it still the law of the land. The Senate will have to approve the House measure for it to move on. From there, Trump will have to sign it into power, if it passes in the Senate. The Senate is likely to make major revisions, or, claim the legislation is dead on arrival by refusing to vote on it.
If there were no changes to the bill, this is what would be likely to occur if it stayed untouched, and as it is now.
If passed by the Senate, how would #Trumpcare aka the #AHCA function?
Sure, there would be no requirement/tax if you decide not to get healthcare. There would be no requirement for any citizen to obtain healthcare. This may seem like a positive for many angry over the mandate and fee associated with Obamacare if one does not currently have healthcare. However, someone has to pay for the healthcare costs patients without healthcare accrue, and inevitably, can't always pay. If someone without healthcare gets sick, they may not be able to afford life saving treatment or medication. Some of the costs of that treatment may be left over to the patient's care provider, forcing the care provider to foot the bill - and sending our medical facilities further into debt. It leaves care providers, and of course, most importantly, patients, at financial risk.
Medicare and Medicaid will be slashed. Medicare provides health insurance to older Americans aged 65 or older, who have worked and paid into the system through payroll tax. leaving those in poverty possibly without any healthcare at all. Medicaid is public health insurance assistance for low income Americans of all ages. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health coverage for low-asset citizens, including children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, people with disabilities and elderly in need of home nursing care. Cuts to these programs would leave older Americans, and those living in poverty at risk of not receiving the healthcare they need, due to not being able to afford the costs.
Pre-existing Conditions Protections would be GONE.
This is one of the scariest facets of this bill. Thank Representative Tom MacArthur, of New Jersey, who suggested this amendment that allows states to waive the requirement that insurers sell policies to people with previous health conditions and NOT charge them with higher rates. So, the states would decide what pre-existing conditions they would and would not cover. What are pre-existing conditions in the AHCA/Trumpcare?
Here is the comprehensive list of which pre-existing conditions will get you denied health insurance under the GOP plan that just passed in the House.
AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer's/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, bipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities, Down syndrome, eating disorder, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues, migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, OCD, organ, transsexual healthcare, transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson's disease, postpartum depression, pregnancy, rape, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, and ulcers.
The list of what the GOP considers as pre-existing conditions is lengthy, including everything from pregnancy and rape to mental health, cancer, and acne. Basically, being a woman is a pre-existing condition in this legislation. Mentally-ill individuals could get access to a firearm, but not healthcare. Rape victims would be denied healthcare coverage due to being considered as "damaged goods" by being labeled as pre-existing conditions, instead of their rapists. Trans individuals could not get access to the hormones they need. People will cancer, or cerebral palsy could be denied coverage. Almost every major health ailment is a pre-existing condition, and then some completely unethical issues added on top of those.
What this means, is if your state decides any or all of these GOP mandated pre-existing conditions isn't eligible for coverage, you won't be covered under any insurance and probably won't be able to afford coverage for care you need.
Your employer could opt out of certain coverage.
This bill will also hurt individuals who get their healthcare through their workplace because it allows states to waive a requirement under Obamacare that forces insurers to cover essential services. Federal regulations allow employers to opt into the rules of any state when determining healthcare coverage. This means your employer, depending on your state could decide on what to cover, and what not to cover - possibly leaving out care you particularly needed for your personal health.
Rich Americans would receive tax breaks for having health insurance. Younger Americans may pay less initially as well ( as long as their illness isn't considered a pre-existing condition ), BUT there's a catch. Older, more vulnerable Americans will end up paying five times more simply due to their age. Under current rules, insurers cannot charge older adults more than three times what they charge young adults for the same coverage. The House bill that was passed would allow them to charge five times as much. If grandma can't afford her insurance now, just wait.
Planned Parenthood Would be Defunded
On top of this bill basically claiming that almost every major medical situation someone with a uterus or vagina may encounter ( pregnancy, sexual assault, cervical cancer, postpartum depression, AIDS/HIV ) is a pre-existing condition, House Republicans would strip Planned Parenthood of the federal money it receives to provide birth control, cancer screenings, mammograms, abortion services, gynecology exams and other low cost health services to about 2.5 million people, who just happen to mainly identify as women.
This bill is classist, misogynistic, selfish, lacking any empathy, and downright dangerous. The Senate can still vote "No" on this legislation or refuse to vote on it at all. You can call your Senators at this number: (202)-224-3121. Simply just give your zip code, and inform them to ensure this bill becomes dead on arrival.