According to Margot Sanger Katz, the author of the article “Why Trump’s Obamacare Promise Will Be So Hard to Keep,” she states “As a candidate back in July 2015, Donald J. Trump promised that he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with “something terrific.”’ In an advanced society, where people live up to older age. Constant doctor visit and medical treatment are unavoidable, and the costs are enormous. Those costs are not something that a low-income family, for those that must pay rent, food, and other life essentials could afford. Apparently, our former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act can reduce the burden a bit, although it is not perfect.
As time moves on, the Affordable Care Act did get repealed and replaced with the American Health Care Act. This replacement for ACA has some similarities with the original healthcare bill, such as allowing people to stay on parents’ plan until the age of 26, pre-existing coverage, lifetime limits ban. Tax subsidies, and Medicaid expansion. Many individuals think that this new bill is only a ACA 2.0, since it is congruent to the ACA. However, this replacement bill doesn’t know what problem it is trying to solve, it allows the wealthy people to leave the situation and the poor remains. The poor is the one that needs a healthcare bill the most because America’s health premium is skyrocketing. And premiums will be rising due to the AHCA allows the wealthy people to leave the situation, premiums will be increasing at a drastic speed. If the American Health Care Act doesn’t do a better job than the Affordable Care Act, there’s no reason for our country to adopt this flawed bill, for the Affordable Care Act lowers the premiums for people in need and does not rise premiums for the poor, and 24 million people will leave uninsured under the new bill.
Insuring the Poor
The Affordable Care Act is reliable for most individuals, especially for those who must treat their conditions. In the article, “The Failures of Obamacare” by Margot Sanger-Katz, states “Health insurance is supposed to provide access to health care, but it is also a financial product, intended to protect people from catastrophic bills if they are sick or injured.” This quote shows the purpose of healthcare and Obamacare is doing a good job in providing a low-cost insurance for the poor. In a New York Times article, “For Some, the Affordable Care Act Is a Lifesaver. For Others, a Burden.” The authors, Sona Patel and Fahima Haque, collected people’s situation with the Affordable Care Act, and a participant named Katie Wertz, reports:
[She] have three separate diagnosed mental disorders, including chronic depression, severe anxiety/panic disorder and PTSD that make me ineligible for health insurance. It’s expensive to treat; I take a combination of five medications and see two doctors a month. It used to cost nearly a thousand dollars every month out of pocket for treatment uninsured. Without treatment, my condition is life-threatening and I’ve almost died on a couple of occasions.
In Wertz’s case, the Affordable Care Act is a lifesaver for her. An additional cost of a thousand dollars is a burden for anyone who has a low-income, and think about it, when you must pay for your rent, food, bills, and life essentials. How much is the cost at the end of the month with the additional thousand dollars? The cost is cumulative. For Wertz, thinking of losing the act is absolutely terrifying.
If the Wertz’s situation is not enough for you, I have another similar situation for you. In a New York Times article, “For Some, the Affordable Care Act Is a Lifesaver. For Others, a Burden.” The authors, Sona Patel and Fahima Haque collected people’s situation with the Affordable Care Act, and Aisha Crossley was one of the responder:
[Her] job offers health insurance but to cover [her] entire family it would be $250 deducted out of every check as well as a $3,000 deductible [she] would need to meet before [her] insurance plan kicked in. [She] have four kids, one of who is in college, and there was just no way [she] could afford that. The Affordable Care Act allowed [her] children to be insured with a premium that [she] could afford! If [she] didn’t have this [her] family would have gone uninsured or [she] would have had to decide between food or a doctor visit. Thank goodness it hasn’t come to that!
Crossley’s story and situation offer us what the Affordable Care Act does and it tells that the ACA knows what problem it is trying to solve.
One of the reason why some people supported the Affordable Care Act is because it is affordable for most people, and with the American Health Care Act in office, the premiums would be skyrocketing. In the article posted on Vox.com, “The perverse reality of the Republican health care bill,” the author, Ezra Klein reports:
Here, in short, is what the AHCA does. The bill guts Medicaid, halves the value of Obamacare’s insurance subsidies, and allows insurers to charge older Americans 500 percent more than they charge young Americans. Then it takes the subsidies that are left and reworks them to be worth less to the poor and the old, takes the insurers that are left and lets them change their plans to cover fewer medical expenses for the sick, and rewrites the tax code to offer hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich.
Ezra Klein has his point here, but the focus should be the “allows insurers to charge older Americans 500 percent more than they charge young Americans” and “lets them change their plans to cover fewer medical expenses for the sick, and rewrites the tax code to offer hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich.” I never seen a healthcare law that makes the situation of the vulnerable harder, and allows better profit and advantage for the rich. If the AHCA can’t fix the imbalance between the rich and the poor, then it is problematic and weak bill.
One of the promise that President Trump announced during the president election was to establish a healthcare plan that will insure anyone, and it seems like that promise is drifting with the wind now. In the article posted on Vox.com, “CBO estimates 24 million lose coverage under GOP plan. The devastating report, explained,’ the author, Sarah Kliff mentions,” The CBO projections also show that a promise President Trump and his advisers have made multiple times — that Trump would draft a bill that covered everyone, or that no one would lose coverage under his plan — to be flatly false.” This quote shows that the Congressional Budget Office did analysis to the American Health Care Act and drew a conclusion that President Trump failed or can’t keep the promise. In the sane article, Kliff points out,” CBO projects that the Republican plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage by 2026.…Republican legislators will now be forced to answer questions about why tens of millions of Americans will lose coverage and how those people will fare under the new system.” The point here is not that President Trump can’t keep his promise to insure everyone. It is the fact that this new, weak healthcare act is not able to minimize the problem that ACA had, but to magnify the existing problem in order fixing the existing problem. 24 million people would lose their coverage, and what is the concept of 24 million people? The people living in New York State is approximately 19 million, and imagine that the population of more than the New York State would lose their coverage eventually.
Opposing Argument for the AHCA
Despite the AHCA criticizes by the public, but there is still some upside on this healthcare act and White House speaker Paul Ryan reports the benefits of the AHCA. Paul Ryan tweeted that the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the AHCA has a lower cost and better quality than the ACA. He also asserts,” Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits all coverage. It is about giving people more choice and better access to a plan they want and can afford. When people have more choices, cost goes down.” Ryan believes that the AHCA is better than the ACA, since it has a lower cost and better quality. And this is not out of nowhere, it is a conclusion drew from the CBO’s report. This argument seems relatively reliable and strong.
Although Ryan backs up his claim with the report from the CBO, it doesn’t change the fact that the AHCA is an inferior healthcare act. Ezra Klein, the author of “The perverse reality of the Republican health care bill,” points out, ”According to the CBO, the lower premiums Ryan celebrates are largely the product of driving older people out of the market and letting insurers offer plans that cover fewer medical expenses and require more out-of-pocket spending.” Klein is right here, then the lower cost of AHCA is derived from pushing out the older people and giving insurance companies more freedom. Even though the AHCA does subtract from the older people and Ryan focuses on the good side of the AHCA, that doesn’t make the AHCA superior by using that logical fallacy.
Most people voted for Donald Trump was because of his promise on healthcare reform, and the result we see now seems quite disappointing and devastating. Not only that the AHCA will drastically increase the premiums for consumers, it also excludes tons of people in the future. And from this bill, I can see that the Republicans are trying to come up with something fast and flawed just to make sure President Trump does fulfill his promise. I understand that healthcare is a complicated area, but if the Republicans want to repeal and replace the ACA, then it got to be something more terrific and better, not something weak and devastating lie the AHCA.