The prospect of millions of people losing their access to healthcare has loomed since Trump’s election; earlier this morning, the critical House Ways and Means Committee pushed that scenario closer to reality by approving the regressive American Health Care Act, a bill that has a viable path to passage through both chambers of Congress.
The bill in a nutshell
Mostly what the AHCA does is massively redistribute wealth from the poorest to the richest by giving a tax break to the 1%, as well as insurers, pharma, and medical-device manufacturers. These taxes are essential for keeping Medicare afloat.
The AHCA repeals the ACA’s Medicaid expansion – which extended insurance coverage to 11 million new people – and eliminates subsidies for 9 million additional people. It also:
- ends copayment and deductible support for low income people
- repeals subsidies for small employers
- bans federal funding for Planned Parenthood
- imposes a 30% premium hike on people who have been uninsured for 2 months who are seeking coverage
In the place of income-based subsidies, the AHCA would provide regressive age-based tax credits that would mean a 50-year old earning $70,000 would receive the same assistance as a 50-year old earning nothing. While the credits do increase with age, the bill also allows insurers to more easily discriminate based on age, which means that older patients would overall be much worse off.
This is just the beginning of our fightback campaign – more to come tomorrow!
Yours in solidarity,
Ben and Stephanie
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff