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Republicans New Health Care Act Passes the House and Must Go Through the Senate

by Madison Cooper

The Republicans new AHCA (American Health Care Act) is back in effect and if it passes the Senate it could permanently change America’s health care system.

One of Donald Trump’s biggest promises during his campaign was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Back in March that dream seemed to fall flat for Republicans as many referred to it as “dead on arrival.” Many critics of the original bill criticized  it for giving the wealth tax breaks while the poor would suffer. For example, estimates show that the top 1% would receive a $33,000 in tax breaks, and the top 0.1% would receive $197,000. [1]

Those on Medicaid would stand to lose the most, as according to federal analysis the plan would cut $370 billion in Medicaid over the next 10 years. [1] This would mean states would have to make up this money, which in most cases would be nearly to impossible to do so, and according to S&P Global this would leave 6-10 million people uninsured (according to Brookings it would leave 15 million). [1]

Many would come to believe for these reasons the bill was scrapped for the new one that just passed the House of Representatives, but the new bill doesn’t seem to be all that different from the one previously proposed. The current health care bill that stands in place will phase out Obamacare, end penalties for not having insurance, allow discrimination for those with preexisting conditions, phases out Medicaid expansion, and allow states to opt out of the requirement that insures coverage over basic health services like maternity care, mental health treatment, and ambulances. Currently, Obamacare does not let insures raise rates for those with preexisting conditions, but with this bill those rates can go up which places those people in a high risk pool. The GOP estimated the cost of this high risk pool to be eight billion dollars over the next five years, but experts want $25 billion per year. [2]

That being said, Republicans seem to be standing behind their bill. Although many of them have stated it is not perfect, they still will proceed in pushing it along. Rep. Mark Meadow of North Carolina calls it “a step in the right direction.” [2]

Although many Republicans stand behind the bill, many have admitted not reading it. On CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interview of Rep. Chris Collins of New York, Collins stated “I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not [read the bill], […] but I can also assure you my staff did. We have to rely on our staff.” [3]

For many people, hearing this didn’t necessarily reassure them that the AHCA was a anymore thought out then the first one. In fact, most major interests groups are against this bill, including the American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, AARP, American Lung Association, and The March of Dimes.

Although Republicans are still hopeful. In an interview with Fox and Friends, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “Hopefully it takes a month or two to get it through the Senate. Hopefully it takes a month or two because we need to give people the ability to plan. Insurers are pulling out very, very quickly, and we need to show the insurers that there is a better system coming.” [4]