In a major victory for President Donald Trump, the House has voted to dismantle Affordable Care Act, or major portions of it, and make broad changes to the nation’s health care system.
The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces strong challenges due to the same ideological division between conservative and moderate Republicans that caused so many problems in the House where 20 Republicans opposed together with all House Democrats.
The latest also belives that the vote will lead to many GOP lawmakers losing their seats in the November 2018 midterms.
Now the House bill, known as American Health Care Act, would face challenges in Senate as Senators already say the legislation can’t pass in its current form.
The bill passed by a vote of 217 to 213, which was one more “yes” vote than was needed for passage.
The version of the bill voted in the House includes:
- Phase out Medicaid expansion. After 2020, states that expanded Medicaid would no longer receive enhanced federal funding to cover low-income adults, and those that hadn’t expanded would be immediately barred from doing so.
- The Republican bill repeals the mandate for individuals to have health insurance, one of the fundumental principle of the Obamacare. It also replaces Obamacare’s subsidies for individuals to obtain coverage with tax credits for people who don’t get coverage through their employer.
- The new legislation would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to those in their 50s and early 60s, compared to younger consumers. The final aim is to draw young nad healthier people into the individual insurance market.
- The Obama care established a list of 10 essential health benefits required in all plans sold on the individual and small group markets. Among this essential heath benfits there are mental health services, maternity care and emergency room visits, pediatrice service, prescription drugs. The Republican bill would leave it up to states to decide which benefits policies must contain, as that insurers can sell cheaper plans that don’t provide coverage the customer may not want or need. On the other hand, the 10 essential health benefits were introduced to avoid buying cheaper plans that didn’t offer many benefits, but leaving consumers often with big bills if they needed care.
- One of the most popular provisions of Obamacare it has been the “Pre-existing condition”. The Republican bill now allows states to waive the limit on costs for people with pre-existing conditions, but they first have to provide evidence of some alternative process for providing assistance to people who are already sick
- The bill would block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursement for any non-abortion services it provides to patients, like testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Instead, Speaker Paul Ryan says the bill would provide $422 million to community health centers that do not provide abortions.
- The House bill doesn’t touch one popular provisions of Obamacare that allows children stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.
“This bill delivers the promises we have made to the American people,” Ryan said.