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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Guide to the Republican Health Care Bill

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Sep 5, 2017 6:01 PM

Senate Republicans are keen to push through their healthcare bill that has ruffled feathers among citizens and across the national political divide. The bill was previously marketed in May as significantly different from the legislation that was passed by the House. Unfortunately, the two bills are remarkably similar and seek to usurp Obamacare. This article is a comprehensive guide to everything Americans need to know about the GOP bill.

Effect on Americans' Health Care Safety Net

The Republican Health Care Bill seeks to roll back federal commitment to provide health care access. It also offers significant tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

While the Senate bill is similar to the house legislation, it does not have some of the harsh aspects passed by the house legislation including allowing states to end the protection accorded to people living with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Senate bill seeks to pull the funding of opioid epidemic. Stanford University's psychiatric and behavioral sciences professor Keith Humphreys believes that the $2 billion government funding set aside for mental health and addiction treatment is pocket change and, therefore, should not be discontinued or reduced.

Medicaid Cuts

The proposed Republican health care bill would cut Medicaid funding, which would hurt over 65% of nursing home residents relying on it. The proposed Medicaid cuts will be pushed seven years into the future; however, when they fully kick in, they will negatively affect the elderly.

Medicaid is the largest provider of mental health services medical cover in the country. Therefore, massive cuts could leave many Americans without the health coverage they rely on to get the care they need. Federal lawyer Dr. Nick Oberheiden who represents clients in Medicare and Medicaid cases said that the proposed Republican health care bill would deny many people access to affordable health care.

For people leaving with diabetes, cutting their Medicaid cover means that they will have to foot their medical costs, which is costly. Insulin refills alone cost $225 every three weeks. What's more, failure to take insulin result in several trips to the emergency room, which further increases medical bills.

Planned Parenthood

The Republican Healthcare bill threatens to block access to Planned Parenthood and preventive healthcare for 1.5 million women relying on these plans for one year. At least one in five American women rely on Planned Parenthood according to Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood.

A section of the Senate bill seeks to make it possible for some states to force women to return to work only two months after giving birth. Reproductive advocacy groups have pointed out that at two months, many mothers are still healing and caring for their needy, helpless newborns.

Differences between the Affordable Care Act and the Republican Health Care Bill

Individual Mandate: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, requires most people to have health insurance or pay the penalty. The Republican healthcare bill has no coverage mandate.

Employer Mandate: Under Obamacare, large employers are required to offer employees health insurance or face penalties. The Republican health care bill eliminates employer mandate.

Tax Credits: Tax credits for citizens buying insurance under Obamacare vary based on income, age, and the insurance cost of their area. Under the Republican health care bill, tax credits vary by income but require a lower eligibility level compared to the ACA.

Age-Based Pricing: Under Obamacare, insurers can only charge older people up to three times higher than what the younger customers are paying. The Republican health care bill seeks to allow insurers to charge older customers up to five times the rate of younger customers.

Pre-Existing Conditions: The Affordable Care Act forbids Insurers from alienating people with pre-existing medical conditions by denying them coverage or charging them higher rates. Under the Republican health care bill, states may be allowed to let insurers deny coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Medicaid: Under Obamacare, states can decide to expand their Medicaid eligibility by including healthy adults. Republican Medicaid expansion would be curbed since states would receive less federal funding.

Essential Health Benefits: Obamacare requires insurers to offer coverage for basic services like maternity care and hospital visits. On the other hand, the Republican health care bill allows states to waive these health benefits.

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