Can Trumpcare Actually Trump Obamacare?
On Monday, the House of Representatives released their Bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Several months ago on November 8, days after the election, we predicted in a published article the following: “We predict that in whatever form that President-elect Trump and Congress offer for health care; it will be popularly called Trumpcare.”
The House of Representatives has voted dozens of times on alternatives to ObamaCare. It is a political reality that within the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency, a health care bill will be offered by the House of Representatives. Trump will negotiate and then endorse that Bill. With his endorsement; he will now “own” Trumpcare.”
The House of Representatives has called their latest bill the American Health Care Act (AHCA). When I read the name of the acronym AHCA, I immediately thought of someone sneezing and exclaiming: “Ah-Choo”. I just hope that the ACHA does not make all of us to “catch a cold.” The entire 121-page bill can be read and downloaded at www.ReadtheBill.gop
Here are the key features quoted directly from the House Website:
- The Obamacare subsidies must be repealed. They are deeply flawed and leave millions of middle-class individuals and families without any help to pay for health care
- Just as President Trump called for, we will replace Obamacare’s subsidies with a tax credit that helps Americans—including those Obamacare left behind—access health care options that are tailored to their needs.
- Dismantles the Obamacare taxes that have hurt job creators, increased premium costs, and limited options for patients and health care providers—including taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices.
- Eliminate the individual and employer mandate penalties, which forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into expensive, inadequate Obamacare plans that they don’t want and cannot afford.
- Prohibit health insurers from denying coverage or charging more money to patients based on pre-existing conditions.
- Help young adults access health insurance and stabilize the marketplace by allowing dependents to continue staying on their parents’ plan until they are 26.
- Establish a Patient and State Stability Fund, which provides states with $100 billion to design programs that meet the unique needs of their patient populations and help low-income Americans afford health care.
- Modernize and strengthen Medicaid by transitioning to a “per capita allotment” so states can better serve the patients most in need.
- Empower individuals and families to spend their health care dollars the way they want and need by enhancing and expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)—nearly doubling the number of money people can contribute and broadening how people can use it.
- Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit—between $2,000 and $14,000 a year—for low- and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program.
Will the Tax Credit Really Reduce Health Care Costs?
Prior to 2010, the Federal Government sent money to States to create High Risk/Uninsurable Pools for people with pre-existing health conditions. The estimate was $11 billion dollars a year. (No one is sure how many people were actually covered.)
With ObamaCare, in 2016 there were approximately 20,000,000 covered individuals in the Federal/State Health Insurance Exchanges or through expanded Medicaid. But at what a Cost? Just the Subsidies are estimated to be $67 billion dollars a year. But those ObamaCare subsidies were not cost effective.
So will the Tax Credit proposed by the House Bill be more cost effective and work? ReadtheBill.gop explains why Tax Credits are better than ObamaCare subsidies:
- Obamacare’s subsidies were based on income, created a disincentive to work, and left millions of hard-working, middle-class Americans behind.
- Obamacare’s subsidies also only applied to insurance dictated by Washington, substantially limiting flexibility and choice.
- Our House legislation repeals Obamacare’s flawed subsidies in 2020 and instead provides a tax credit to low- and middle-income Americans who do not receive insurance through work or a government program.
- Unlike Obamacare’s subsidies, these tax credits are based on age and family size and will gradually phase out as your income increases—making sure work always pays and hard-working Americans are never left behind.
How Big Will My Tax Credit Be? Will I Be Able to Buy a Real Health Care Plan With it?
Our tax credits are based on age and family size.
Each year, low- and middle-income Americans will be eligible to receive between $2,000 and $14,000 to purchase health insurance, depending on how old you are and how big your family is. These tax credits will be credible—something that will make a meaningful difference for individuals and families when it comes accessing health care through a new, competitive, state-based insurance market.
The AHCA is just the first of many bills and legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. If President Trump does endorse and accept the AHCA he will indeed “own it”. But there could be unintended consequences. AHCA might sound like “Ah-Choo.” As a result, President Trump could indeed “catch a cold.”
About the Author
Rob J. Thurston, President of the Human Resources Consulting Group, and the elected President of the Workplace Benefits Association has been a national speaker and noted author on HR consulting and systems development since 1981. You can reach him by:
Calling: 801 765 4417
Or writing to:
1202 E. Dover, Suite 201,
Provo, UT 84604.