Stiff headwinds for GOP on health care, tax reform

Proponents of the Republican bill shouldn’t celebrate the House passage too much, says Julius W. Hobson Jr., an attorney and healthcare analyst with the Polsinelli law firm in Washington, DC.

Like Trump’s proposal on tax reform, the revised bill, which had failed on a previous vote, is a windfall for the wealthy and bad blow to the indigent and elderly. The coalition calls on the US Senate to reject the AHCA and any other efforts to roll back access to affordable, high quality health care. The amendment does not include any references to sexual assault or domestic violence, and would not allow sexual assault or domestic violence to be classified as pre-existing conditions. “We believe the Medicaid changes alone will cost the District between $1.8 billion and $4 billion in lost federal revenue over the next seven years, including an immediate loss of $53 million in fiscal year 2018”. It also ends Medicaid expansion by 2020. Furthermore, Section 133 of the American Health Care Act states that insurance providers can not discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions by charging them higher premiums. If you’ve ever been hospitalized, odds are you have a pre-existing condition.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, as of November 2016 over 355,000 people who did not have coverage before Obamacare now do, and the state’s uninsured rate had fallen from 20.4 percent to 6 percent.

Some of the bill’s critics have claimed it would make sexual assault and domestic violence pre-existing conditions.

What does this mean for Loyola students?

To compensate, the American Health Care Act would provide $130 billion over nine years for a “state stability fund”, which can fund state high-risk insurance pools, among other programs.

A state can apply for a waiver of the requirement that health insurance policies cover certain minimum benefits.

Last week, 42 percent supported the legislation, but that number has dropped to 38 percent, Politico reports.

Both Moore and Woodburn cautioned that both health plans deal with more than just the premiums on the exchange, where individuals can purchase insurance, often with a government subsidy if they qualify.

Dr. Brinson continued, “as a physician, I’ve seen first hand the damage Obamacare has done to my patients’ coverage and premiums”. But those moves – while they may win consensus among Senate moderates – are unlikely to sit well with House conservatives.

The GOP has to balance the concerns of its members – it can only afford two Senate defections – while following rules that would allow it to pass a bill with a 51-vote majority.

The bill still needs the approval of the Senate, which offers an opportunity for objective analysis and input.

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