Healthcare is Changing. Have you “Read the Bill?”

On March 6, 2017, House Republicans unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as the “ACA” or “Obamacare.” The plan comes in the form of a 122 page bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Americans are encouraged to educate themselves by reading the actual bill, but is that feasible?

As a sign of the modern times, I was first alerted to the availability of the American Health Care Act through a twitter notification. I clicked to find an inviting graphic and a trendy hashtag, #ReadtheBill. Challenge Accepted. I was next taken to a nice landing page and could easily download the bill. That’s where the modern journey ended.

That’s because bills are more like detailed guides that provide a set of instructions, rather than a cohesive document that can be consumed by itself (like a book or a magazine). “Reading the Bill” requires tracking down the referenced legislation. As an example the first section of the act references the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A section from the American Health Care Act bill.

The American Health Care Act is marketed as repealing and replacing “Obamacare,” but in actuality the bill references nine different Acts of Codes.

If one has taken the time to track down that piece of legislation, there is still the task of following the instructions in the bill to produce information that one can understand.

Add to this the fact that information related to the American Health Care Act is communicated by the House Republicans, the Speaker of the House, and the White House. Many Americans might not #ReadtheBill, even if they want to.

To address these issues, is launching as a reading tool and centralized resource for staying up to date with the American Health Care Act.

As in example for Section 101, provides links to the Prevention and Public Health Fund referenced in the Act (42 U.S.C. 300u-11) and also includes a reading note with the referenced legislation as it would look after applying the changes proposed in the American Health Care Act.

A screen shot from the Bill Reading Tool at ReadtheBill.Co provides other useful information, including background information related to the American Health Care Act, links to referenced legislation, key dates, and key definitions. Centralized updates will also be made available via the site, Facebook, and Twitter.

Healthcare is changing. Will you read the bill?