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Faceoff: Trumpcare

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New Health Care Act Takes Away Rights Required by Many

Cecilia Taylor and Sophia Berkofsky

On May 4th, the House voted 217 to 213 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In its place, the GOP’s American Health Care Act was passed, and almost 21 million people around the country lost their right to health care. In 2010, Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, making health insurance coverage affordable for all eligible citizens. This included ten essential health benefits for all plans, plans that did not discriminate because of pre-existing conditions or age. Obama’s plan also included an expansion in Medicaid assistance, a huge step forward in health care reform. As of May 4th, this expansion was rolled back, meaning significantly fewer people will qualify. Immediately, Obama’s bill faced resistance, with many votes to scale back or revise the effects of Obamacare. Since Donald Trump entered office, he has been unrelenting in his efforts to throw out the reform. After two rushed attempts to repeal the A.C.A. ended in failure, President Trump succeeded in winning the slim majority vote. His new proposed plan, called the A.H.C.A., or Trumpcare, aims to end the individual mandate and raise the rates for those who fail to keep coverage. It also puts the power to charge people with pre-existing conditions more in the hands of the state and doesn’t require carriers to cover essential benefits on a federal level.

The Republican Party’s determination to get rid of the A.C.A., driven not only by the party’s opposition to mandated universal health care, but by the party’s need to repeal Obama’s landmark victory during his time in office. This immediate and unwavering negative perception of Obamacare is largely due to the inclusion of “Obama” in its title, automatically assuring the opposition of half the country. Efforts to repeal Obamacare were able to be carried through because of bias- a skewed view of the health care plan furthered by Republican opposition of Obama. A poll by CNBC in 2013 showed 46% of those asked opposed “Obamacare”, and only 37% were opposed to the “Affordable Care Act”. Trump’s efforts to repeal this health care reform were more to undermine the success of the Democratic Party than to come to a resolution based on reason.

Trump’s new health care plan offers improvements for a very narrow set of people, and neglects others. Trumpcare is an example of the classist view that President Trump brings to the White House. It is a plan based on enormous tax cuts for the rich, accomplished by stripping away the tax cuts that Obama put in place to subsidize healthcare for poorer citizens. The 1% primarily benefits, as shown by an analysis from the Tax Policy Center which estimates that those making over $1 million a year would see a tax cut of about $51,400 a year. As president-elect Trump promised, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody… There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” That’s happening. By the end of 2017, low income families and individuals will no longer be able to trust that, if needed, they can seek medical help.

Trumpcare not only strips away basic rights from the poor, but also from women. The American Health Care Act calls to defund Planned Parenthood. This does not mean defeating the pro-choice movement. This means depriving women of basic care on a nationwide level. Already, the Hyde Amendment stipulates that none of the federal money given to Planned Parenthood can be used to subsidize abortion care. Instead, by defunding Planned Parenthood, President Trump is taking away what is, for many women, their only available way to receive STD testing, birth control, and even cancer screenings. Under Obamacare, the majority of Planned Parenthood’s funding came from Medicaid reimbursements. Under Obamacare, women were allowed access to essential health services. Under Trumpcare, only men above the poverty line are guaranteed the services they need.
While President Trump and the Republican Party promise equality and representation for the common man, they only represent the interests of middle and upper class white men. As Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said, “They talk like populists but act for wealthy interests.” The American Health Care Act prevents lower income Americans from receiving health care. All Americans have a right to fundamental care; all Americans have a right to life.

Trumpcare: Revolutionizing America Step-By-Step

So far in his presidency, President Trump has made good on his promise to put America first, helping the economy and gaining good American jobs for the wholesome citizens of this fine nation. According to his website, in the first 100 days of his presidency, Donald Trump stripped “regulatory burdens off of America’s energy industry” by rescinding multiple executive actions President Obama made that he labeled as “stifling”, helping the coal and steel industries, and achieving more changes that gave freedom back to the people. But President Trump hasn’t limited himself to fixing the economic blunders of President Obama: President Trump has had a laser focus on Obamacare, Obama’s failing health care plan, before even July of 2015, where he said that he would “repeal and replace the big lie: Obamacare”. Now the time has come: the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, passed the House on May 4th and will soon start to enact the changes that will finally make America great again.

Obama has no background in healthcare, and that obviously hurt him when he tried to make his flawed plan. According to Forbes, Obamacare caused health care premiums to increase substantially. For example, between 2013 and 2015, individual market costs increased by a whopping 69%, a wound that Trump, like many underrepresented Americans, found inexcusable. So, when it came time for Trump to make his healthcare plan, he took into consideration the numerous flaws of Obamacare and made a beautiful plan that accounts for the complexities of the American demographic system. For example, Trump’s plan takes the current strategy of supporting the purchase of health care with tax credits and revolutionizes it by tying the tax credits to a person’s age, meaning that an older person would get more tax credits than a younger one, making their health care more affordable. This makes complete sense as the overall cost of health care tends to increase as a person becomes older and their health declines, especially considering we’re at an age when life expectancy is at one of the highest points in history.

In addition, current federal subsidies for individual insurance given to middle and low income Americans so that they could purchase health care would be taken out under the AHCA and replaced with the aforementioned age-based tax credits. Paul Ryan, experienced political mind and Speaker of the House, avows that this will make healthcare more affordable to the middle and lower income families who were spurned by Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, determined that this elimination of the federal subsidies would save the government 673 billion – yes, billion – in 2020, with the credit replacements costing a measly 361 billion, representing a savings to the tune of 312 billion dollars, a victory for both the taxpayers and President Trump. Diane Black, a House Budget Committee chairwoman, was ecstatic about the billions that would be saved under the superior health care plan, saying that “The American Health Care Act expands choice and freedom while reducing costs and saving taxpayer dollars.” Truly, Trump’s experience negotiating deals has greatly aided him as he navigates the world of healthcare in order to allow the citizens of America to take back control of their country and their wellbeing.

The AHCA would also cut federal funding for Medicaid by 880 billion over the next decade, according to the Huffington Post. This funding will no longer be needed under the AHCA, as the states would be free to discontinue their association or expansion with and of Medicaid, due to its costly and ineffective nature. The American Health Care Act would also decrease “the federal matching rate for adults made eligible for Medicaid by the ACA to equal the rate for other enrollees in the state, beginning in 2020.” according to the Congressional Budget Office. This would make everything equal while saving billions of dollars: there is no significant downside.

The American Health Care Act would revolutionize the world of health care by giving control back to the states and the people, while simultaneously saving the hard-working American taxpayers billions of dollars.

 

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Faceoff: Trumpcare