For some time now, Republicans have spoken of the idea to both repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, and the first step happened when Donald Trump put his executive order in weeks ago. Now we’re finally seeing an actual plan put in play. Republicans have mentioned numerous times that they want to replace Obamacare, with most Americans thinking it was a good plan to at least change part of the bill if not all of it.
However, under President Obama, it seemed like this would not happen so once President Trump came in, the perfect opportunity was there. The House of Representatives are now controlled by Republicans, so there is no better time to put a bill in than right now. That finally came about today as the House pushed out their new bill. According to Reuters, The bill is set to repeal much of the Obamacare healthcare law, even including its expansion of the Medicaid program for poorer people.
At this point, it is uncertain if it had enough support to pass through Congress. It goes on to see two House committees for review. Eventually, it would either be turned down and the Republicans will, of course, try again, or it would then be pushed through and the new healthcare would become the law of the land. A lot of interesting things would then go down, which is interesting to note.
Enrollment in Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid program would freeze on January 1, 2020. Of course, states that expanded Medicaid could still sign people up until the end of 2019, which would allow for people to enter 2020 covered. They would continue to receive enhanced federal funding according to Republican aides. After this, however, federal funding for Medicaid would be capped.
Interestingly, one of the new additions to the Republican-led bill will eliminate income-based subsidies for those purchasing insurance through Obamacare. Instead, there would be an offer of age-based refundable tax credits. Those would be capped for upper-income earners, claimed Republican aides. The two are similar regarding age and income, but it’ll be interesting to see the differences on a long-term basis.
“While subsidies would be repealed in the new bill, they would be replaced by monthly tax credits. The credits, worth between $2,000 and $14,000 a year, could be used by low-and-middle-income families who don’t get work- or government-sponsored insurance to buy state-certified plans,” according to Fox News.
The legislation would repeal Obamacare-taxes on January of 2018 and immediately repeal the penalty for people and employers forcing people to buy insurance. This was one of, if not the most controversial part of the Obamacare system. Several employers lost money due to it and millions of Americans did as well. Taxes seemed to be major on people and it was seemingly a universally hated system in the Obamacare legislation.
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady weighed in on the proposed bill to replace Obamacare by his fellow Republicans, saying the following.
“Our legislation transfers power from Washington back to the American people.”
While Republicans have been trying for years to repeal and then replace Obamacare with another system, Democrats claimed that there is a risk of throwing the entire U.S. healthcare system into panic if there is a repeal on Obamacare. The bill was passed when Democrats ruled Congress in 2010, while Republicans did not vote it in. While everyone agreed a new healthcare system was needed, Republicans simply did not agree with various parts of Obamacare then and still do not now.
The Obamacare system was quite useful to Americans, however, as it has aided around 20 million people that were uninsured before the bill. Obamacare also allowed children to stay on their parents’ insurance until they were 26-years-old, but most importantly it did not allow anyone to be turned down for insurance due to what they did for work or if they had a preexisting condition. The days of being too high of a risk were gone.
The Obamacare act has had many flaws and even Democrats have agreed on this. The question is, will the new Republican-led bill end up working better for Americans, and will it save people money when it finally goes into effect? We will also learn more about what problems this bill provides as well as what benefits Americans in comparison to Obamacare if it does get pushed through in Congress.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]