Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve legislation that will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This legislation, called the American Health Care Act, was passed by a vote of 217 to 213 and will reshape American health care without imposing mandated insurance coverage.
To no one’s surprise, the bill has been received by a litany of lies and half-truths – many coming just short of claiming that the elderly and the poor will immediately die after the legislation is signed into law. Let’s clear a few of those up.
What Does the Bill Actually Do?
The Republican health care bill offers several benefits to the American public. It will completely overhaul the current insurance system from one that is based on premium costs, government subsidies and income to one that is based on tax credits. Like the current Affordable Care Act, the credits could be used towards premium costs. The tax credits would also increase with age so older individuals would receive higher credits.
One of the biggest changes with the Republican health care bill is that it would end tax penalties for persons that decide not to buy insurance. Instead, insurers would apply a 30 percent increase surcharge to customers who let their insurance coverage lapse for more than 63 days in the past year.
The healthcare bill would also block federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year, and end tax increases on higher-earning people. Other changes with the Republican health care bill include cuts to the Medicaid program for low-income people. The bill supports individual states imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
Would 23 Million People Really Lose Coverage?
Many liberal news agencies have argued that 23 million people will lose coverage if the Republican Healthcare Bill goes into effect. The New York Times recently reported that the GOP health care bill would leave 23 million more people uninsured in a decade citing a report by the Congressional Budget Office. But those claims are misleading.
So, what is the truth? Let’s take a closer look at the facts.
The analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office did report that by the year 2026, there would be fewer people insured under the Republican Health Care Act than under the current Affordable Care Act. Twenty-four million fewer Americans would be insured under the American Health Care Act. However, they would not have their coverage ripped away from them or lose their current coverage as the liberal news media reports. The numbers indicate that some people would decide that they don’t want to have insurance, some would lose it, and others would even gain coverage.
The CBO’s report of 14 million people becoming insured by 2018 refers to the fact that the American Health Care Act would eliminate the individual mandate that imposes a tax penalty on individuals that do not have insurance. It is likely that some of the people that decide not to have insurance did not want it in the first place. They choose to be covered under the current law just to avoid paying a harsh tax penalty. So, with the threat of sanctions disappearing, they would then just forgo being insured.
The rest of the 14 million people that would lose coverage refers to those who would no longer be eligible for Medicaid coverage as well as a decrease in coverage provided by employers. People that do not qualify for Medicaid may either make the decision not to have insurance or to buy insurance and receive a tax credit under the American Health Care Act.
So, although the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million fewer Americans would have insurance under the American Health Care Act, that number does not tell the whole story. Most of the individuals affected by the new law won’t have their insurance ripped away or be thrown off their current plans. Instead, the will decide that they no longer wish to be insured or they will no longer be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
The bottom line is that the estimates from the Congressional Budget Office are being manipulated by the liberal news media to make it appear that 23 million people would have coverage ripped away. These assertions are simply misleading and do not tell the whole truth about the proposed bill, which offers a number of benefits to the American public, including eliminating the mandate that poses a penalty for choosing not to have insurance.
It would also solve a tremendous problem — the fact that the United States government cannot afford the overall surge in health costs that is currently taking place because of the Affordable Care Act.
~ Conservative Zone