With a vote of 217 to 213, the House of Representatives has officially passed a bill that repeals Obamacare and replaces it with the GOP’s new American Health Care Act. Unsurprisingly, all Democrats in the House voted against the bill. However, what was surprising was that 20 Republicans also voted against the bill, showing the divisiveness that still exists within the party post-election.
Obamacare, which was instated in 2010 aimed to offer more affordable insurance to low-income households and consequently offer coverage to more people. At the heart of Obamacare lies the 10 Essential Health Benefits — 10 health benefits that insurers are required to cover in coverage for individuals or small groups, to ensure comprehensive coverage for those who need it.
The GOP Health care bill would undo the requirement of insurers to cover these “10 Essential Benefits,” which allows insurers to opt out of covering one or more of these pricy benefits, making it too expensive for low-income people.
Others who will will be greatly hurt are people who are considered to have pre-existing conditions. This bill will give states the option to allow insurers to charge higher prices to these people, potentially pricing them out of the market, something that was previously prohibited by Obamacare.
Planned Parenthood also faces federal defunding through this bill passage, which would prevent access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other health surfaces for women.
Older Americans also are subject to increases in insurance prices, as they are seen as higher risks than younger people who are generally healthier.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million people would be uninsured with the passage of this bill.
Those who will benefit from the institution of this new bill are high-income earners, who will benefit from two tax cuts.
Young, healthy people and also those who do not have pre-existing conditions will also benefit because they are likely to have lower premiums than their older, less healthy counterparts.
Those who opt to not buy insurance would also save, as this bill would eliminate the individual mandate that existed under Obamacare, which charges people who could afford healthcare but choose not to buy it an additional tax.
Another clause gone with the repeal of Obamacare is the employer mandate, which requires large employers to offer their employees affordable coverage or else they face a penalty.
Though the bill has passed the House, Obamacare has not officially been repealed yet. Next the bill moves to the Senate, and is surely to face much support and opposition as it has in the House. Healthcare coverage has been and will continue to be an extremely debated topic, as people have vastly different views on universal coverage. While some people believe it should be a right to have healthcare coverage, others see it as any other good to be purchased.