The Republican-authored American Health Care Act (AHCA) or Trumpcare hasn’t been signed into effect yet but that hasn’t stopped it from confusing everyone from the American public to the ones who are writing it. Here are 7 things you need to know about this proposal.
1. You Still Can’t Be Denied Coverage Based On A Pre-Existing Condition
Before the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010, you could be turned down by insurers for having a pre-existing medical condition. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this means one half of America’s non-elderly population alone could have been denied. If the AHCA goes through you still couldn’t be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. You could also stay on your parent’s health insurance until you are 26 and women still can’t be charged more than men. However…
2. Being “Denied” And Priced Out Of Coverage Aren’t The Same Thing
Even though House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “The Amendment is very clear: under no circumstances can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” that doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions. The MacArthur Amendment, added to satisfy those who felt the AHCA was too similar to Obamacare, would let states seek waivers to bypass aspects of the proposed bill such as the cap on what insurance companies can charge. If you have an illness, you can’t be denied coverage…but you might end up paying more than you (and most people) can afford.
3. Say Goodbye To The Individual Mandate
Under the ACA, individuals were required to obtain health insurance or they would be receive a tax penalty. The AHCA does away with this allowing a young healthy individual to simply not purchase health insurance. But if that young healthy person decides they want to sign up for a new health insurance policy after not having any for 63 days, they would be paying a 30% surcharge for a year.
4. People Getting Insurance Through their Employers Could Be Affected
The AHCA would remove fines placed on large employers for not providing health insurance to their employees. In other words, your boss would decide whether or not they want to provide health insurance. On the other hand, many employees at these companies have the choice to leave and seek a job with better benefits so this could encourage employers to keep you covered.
5. It’s All About The Ladies
Under the proposed plan, Medicaid could not fund any clinic providing abortion services which would hit Planned Parenthood hard. Half of the women who use Planned Parenthood are people of color living in rural areas. These women would have to seek other places to receive a Pap smear, get an STD test or access effective contraception. The Congressional Budget Office suggests that the resulting unintended pregnancies would end up costing taxpayers 130 million dollars.
6. Viagra and Vasectomies Remain Covered In The Proposal
Although women would be taking a hard hit, some are taking issue with the fact that childless men would be required to pay taxes to support prenatal care which is considered an essential health benefit (EHB) under the ACA. Presumably, there are no pregnant women around to ask why they should pay for Viagra, high blood pressure medication or prostate exams.
7. The Bill Would Provide 1 Trillion Dollars In Tax Relief Over The Next Ten Years
By cancelling all tax cuts and ACA spending on American’s health, the bill would cut 1 trillion dollars in tax relief over the next 10 years. 270 billion alone would come from abolishing the Individual Mandate and the fine imposed on large employers for not offering health insurance.