GOP Healthcare Bill 2.0: Even More Disastrous the Second Time Around

Two weeks ago, on May 4, the Republican Party finally managed to get the American Health Care Act (AHCA), popularly known as Trumpcare, passed through the House of Representatives. After a failed attempt in March to overturn and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), because of  bipartisan opposition, passing this new bill is a major, and slightly surprising, success for the GOP.

Similar to the first proposal, the AHCA restructures the tax credit system so that credit is subsidized based on age, rather than income or location, as it is under Obamacare. Therefore, credit does not fluctuate based on how little one makes or how costly his premiums are, making it difficult for many low-income Americans to afford healthcare.

The more egregious measure included in the AHCA is the rolling back of Medicaid expansion. Under the ACA, Medicaid benefits were extended to single adults earning incomes just above the poverty line, resulting in the enrollment of approximately ten million people. The AHCA will discontinue this option starting in 2019. Moreover, Medicaid will no longer be an entitlement program under the AHCA, but a state-funded program.

Lastly, states can decide to both allow providers to strip their plans of essential benefits and deny or increase the price of healthcare because of pre-existing conditions. Even though the government is depending on states not doing this, such a course of action will be legal under the new GOP plan.

While these new rules might save money, the eventual cost of relaxing federal healthcare regulations will outweigh those hundreds of billions of dollars. By passing this bill, Mr. Trump is fostering inequality. All Americans deserve to have access to healthcare, regardless of their socioeconomic, geographic, or medical status and age. By removing the individual mandate, Mr. Trump is ensuring that tens of millions of people will go without health insurance, which will increase premiums, leading to more individuals forgoing their plans. He is allowing for the discrimination of Americans based on their medical conditions. These decisions are the opposite of patriotic — they are un-American.

Another big disappointment:  the Senate version of the bill will be written and reviewed by a group of thirteen men. The extent to which women have reproductive rights will be decided without the perspective of a single woman. How is it acceptable that this is the stance of the American government?

In the 21st Century, Mr. Trump is still supports the idea that women need men to make decisions for them. While we know that he is not a fan of diversity, it is still disconcerting and disheartening to witness these long-lasting choices being made by a group of people who cannot fundamentally understand women’s issues.

Thankfully, many Americans are cognizant of the horrendous flaws in the AHCA. According to a recent poll conducted by organization, only 31% of Americans support the GOP bill.  While some people are unsure of their opinions, there is still a large portion of the population who strongly oppose the new bill and everything it stands for. In addition, 66% of American physicians have a “negative impression” of Trumpcare — the bill lacks popular support from the people it is supposed to benefit. It clearly does not provide Americans with what they want, and it definitely will not “make America great again.”

The bill itself narrowly passed through the House, with 217 representatives supporting it and 213 representatives — 19 of whom are Republicans — against it. One possible reason for this could be the lack of information. When the first version of the bill was proposed in March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had released its  estimates for how the AHCA would affect the American people and economy. Conversely, when the House voted on the revised bill, the CBO had not yet released its  report and will not release it until the week of May 22. So, while we will not understand the full statistical impact of Trumpcare for a little while, we can assign some blame for the healthcare disaster to the inconvenient and inappropriately chosen timing of the vote.

The AHCA is a devastating mistake for the government to make; it will leave a permanent stain on the history of our country. Soon enough, the Senate will vote on a version of it. To preserve prosperity, stability, and hope in the United States, the Senate must wholly rewrite or ditch this disaster altogether.

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