American Healthcare Act Raises Concerns Nationwide
BY CHRIS FURGUSON
On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the United States House of Representatives passed their American Healthcare Act, also known as “TrumpCare” or “RyanCare” after the two major proponents of the bill, President Donald J. Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The new bill, which passed 217-213 with all approving votes coming from Republicans, seeks to begin the process to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.
This passage alone has drawn concern and fear to many within the entire country, including Imperial County, over their healthcare coverage. In an area like Imperial County, one of the poorest in the nation, having access to health care can be a matter of life and death.
“What happens now? Am I just going to lose my health coverage after all these years?”
After last week’s House passage of the AHCA, the bill itself will go to the United States Senate, where it will be discussed and debated once again. While the Republicans also have a majority in the Senate, many on that side of the debate have expressed reservations about the House bill.
If the Senate passes a version of the AHCA that doesn’t exactly match the Representatives version, it then goes to a “conference committee” of senior members from both houses to create a compromise bill that must also pass both full houses.
All this needs to happen before President Trump is able to sign the bill into law and any legal challenges can take place, including any injunctions against implementation of the new law while the courts handle the case.
Until then, most insurance coverage should remain the same, barring any funding changes made by this Congress.
“I’m just worried about my family. We’re pretty healthy right now, but we might not have enough to pay the bills if anything happens.”
At the current moment, healthcare coverage will remain the same until a bill reaches President Trump’s desk.
The proposed bill that the House passed, however, does shift the responsibility of health care payments to sick and elderly patients while cutting taxes on young taxpayers and those making over $250,000.
The shift in financial responsibilities could mean that more Americans could lose insurance coverage under TrumpCare than the amount that were able to acquire health insurance under ObamaCare.
Additionally, without protections guaranteed under Obamacare, those with pre-existing conditions may be denied coverage. This could include mental and physical trauma or any number of diseases and physical ailments.
Coverage rules would also change for those under the federal Medicare system. For residents in California, which includes Medicare coverage in their program, rates will likely increase due to the state’s reliance on Medicare.
In response to the ObamaCare repeal attempts in Washington D.C., California legislators have begun the process of implementing a “single-payer” system in the state. The bill, called “Senate Bill 562,” is currently in front of the Senate
Appropriations committee to see if the proposal is economically viable for the state.