GOP Health Care Plan: Is it a Political Trap?

Health and the ACA
Photo by unikpix – yayimages.com

In this article, we will look at some salient features of the ACA health care plan and whether it will help or hinder the American public. 

A Close Look at the GOP Health Care Plan

Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), had proposed a joint federal and state Medicaid program. The plan had been put forward to offer insurance coverage to a large number of low-income families who previously did not have the means to buy an insurance plan to cover unexpected medical bills.   

In a way, the Obamacare is a socialist program at its core. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however. It is a public health care law that attempts to make health care more affordable for everyone.

Currently states operate the program and pay part of the cost while the rest is paid by the federal government. The new health care program has been consuming lately by right wingers as it has been consuming increasing share of many state budgets.  

The Ryan Care

The new GOP proposal that some people are calling Ryan Care does not intend to scrap the Medicaid program introduced by the Obama administration. Instead, the plan intends to replace the payments based on a formula that varies from state to state with a fixed payment.

Federal Savings of $880 Billion

According to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the new GOP health care law if enacted would result in a reduction of about 25 percent or $880 billion in federal spending over the next ten years.  

Obviously, this would result in a greater financial burden on some states. Add to this the fact that the proposal intends to end extended coverage of the program by 2020 will leave states to either drop enrollees or the pay a higher amount.

In addition, it would also jack up the premium paid by older individuals. While people under 21 years whose net income is about $26,500 would see a decrease in the premium amount from $1,700 to $1,450, those over the age of 40 would have to pay $2,400 instead of $1,700. The older individuals above 64 years would be hard hit as they would see their premiums go up from $1,700 to $14,600.

Will We Be Buying Less Costly Plans?

Health care experts predict that the older individuals will likely end up purchasing less costly plans with lower coverage. This is because the subsidies offered by the government will be replaced by a flat tax credit that does not take into account the local insurance prices or annual income. This could result in as much as 24 million people to become uninsured.

Conclusion

The GOP health care plan may seem simple and crisp, but in practice, it is incredibly complicated due to the profound effect it will have on the public. The plan is still evolving with lawmakers pressing for reduced impact on the older people.  Also, it will take time before the plan has been enacted.

A lot of different party factions, committees, activists, and powerful interest group have yet to agree on the specifics of the plan. In addition, at least eight Democrats would have to be won over as well. So, it will be time before the highly criticized GOP plan will in fact see light at the end of the tunnel.

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