There is a great deal of buzz regarding the health care laws in the media. As Americans approach the 2018 open enrollment window for the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare, many are left with questions about what it will mean for them personally. This is especially true as news comes in daily about President Trump’s plan to repeal and replace the ACA, as well as executive orders that are being written that directly relate to changes in health care law. It is important that individuals understand what the proposed bill is and how it will affect them and their family.
President Trump recently signed an executive order into place that would loosen rules controlling health insurance coverage. The proposed bill would remove control away from the federal government and give more choices back to the state. This would ensure that a single payer system, or a system ran by a single public agency, would not be put into place. It also means that funds would be filtered from the federal level down to the state level.
President Trump recently announced that he plans to stop subsidies that are being paid under the Affordable Care Act. These subsidies currently help low-income individuals afford and pay for health care needs. Eighteen states responded by suing the Trump administration for this recent action, stating that low-income and lower-middle class earners would greatly suffer from these subsidies being taken away.
Proponents of the bill argue that it will replace a rigid system where the federal government has too much reach with a more flexible system that provides consumer choice. The proposed bill would allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, in turn giving flexibility to individuals. The theory behind this is that it would create a market base that would increase due to competition.
However, this raises a lot of questions. As of now, the mandate that each individual be covered under an insurance policy or pay a tax penalty would be lifted in the new plan. Experts question if the system will be able to sustain itself without a mandate. Another looming question is what will happen to those with pre-existing conditions. Under the ACA, those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health care cover due to those conditions. While the new bill states those with pre-existing conditions will still have access to affordable and fair coverage, there has been little concrete explanation as to what that will look like.
With the open enrollment window quickly approaching in November, it is important that individuals take time to truly understand what the current health care law will provide, as well as the proposed replacement.