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Five things you need to know about the Republican Healthcare Plan

March 10, 2017

The Republican plan to reshape the Affordable Care Act was released yesterday, Monday, March 7, 2017.

This extensive bill was long anticipated, as the GOP has wanted to repeal president Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) since it was enacted. This new plan will make drastic changes on the healthcare system in the United States, affecting the wealthy and the poor. The plan would offer individuals refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance and restructure the country’s Medicaid program so that states receive money from the federal government every year — changes experts warn could result in millions of people losing access to insurance they received under the Affordable Care Act. People with preexisting conditions and others that are about to reach 26 (the age of health care independence) are very concerned for their insurance coverage. Here is what you need to know…

1. “Defunding ” Planned Parenthood

What this means is it bars Medicaid from paying for health services provided at the clinics. This had created an uproar among the masses of women that depend on federally funded Planned Parenthood programs for birth control every month.  On average, the pill costs around $50 a pack (lasting one month), a price that many women can not afford without medicaid. Yesterday, Trump proposed to not defund Planned Parenthood if they no longer provide abortions for women. In response, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards says the group “will always stand for women’s ability to make decisions about their health and lives, without interference from politicians”.

2. Individual/Employer Mandates

The individual and employer mandates are eliminated. They’re not repealed exactly, but the penalties are repealed, which amounts to the same thing. This means that major companies like Vail Resorts for example, that provide jobs that do not impose any harm on the employees would not be required to provide any form of government based healthcare. Without a requirement that individuals carry health insurance, the insurance markets are almost certain to collapse. Larger companies are not in any way obligated to provide affordable insurance to their employees and there are no financial penalties that come from not providing this insurance.

3. Ends private health insurance coverage for abortion

Planned Parenthood currently gets about 75 percent of its federal funding—more than $500 million—from reimbursements for care provided to Medicaid-covered patients. If a private insurance plans covers abortion, they are not eligible for any tax credits. This does not apply to cases of rape or incest. No health care plans that are provided by the government would allow for abortion. This would create a higher demand for privatized health plans that cover abortion and other forms of birth control, which could be much more expensive.

4. State Health Care Regulations

Affordable Care Act rules require qualified health plans to provide hospitalization, maternity care, mental health services and other benefits would be at the federal level. But under this new plan, states would have the authority to set these regulations instead. States can receive tax cuts or financial benefits by choosing certain plans and regulations over others. 

 

5. All of Obamacare’s taxes are repealed

The ObamaCare Medical Device excise tax of 2.3% taxes manufacturers who profit under the law. The Medical device excise tax went into effect January 1st, 2013.  This tax specifically has caught a lot of controversy as the new costs were dealt with in some cases by laying off workers and reducing full-time jobs to part time jobs and it is feared this will hurt innovation and smaller device companies. Everything from the tax on tanning salons to medical devices will be gone. This is another large victory for the rich under the new Trump administration, it is estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts will go back to the wealthy manufacturers of these medical appliances.

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