It happened. House Republicans narrowly passed the American Health Care Act on May 4, a bill that erases most of the benefits of Obamacare. It’s a shocking blow to women’s health, and to anyone suffering from a pre-existing condition.
The bill, dubbed “Trumpcare”, will leave 24 million fewer people insured by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It was voted through without a report from the Congressional Budget Office, forcing a decision without representatives truly knowing what’s in the bill. As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Forcing a vote without a CBO score shows that Republicans are terrified of the public learning the full consequences of their plan to push Americans with pre-existing conditions into the cold. House Republicans are going to tattoo this moral monstrosity to their foreheads.”
The Trumpcare bill allows states to relax coverage for pre-existing conditions, one of the biggest achievements of the ACA. States will be able to apply f0r waivers that allow insurers to curtail the benefits many people — about half of the US population — receive from their employers. Insurers would be able to charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions. There’s one exception: if you’re a member of Congress, this does not affect you.
It also eliminates Obamacare taxes for the wealthy, and charges higher premiums to people in their 50s and 60s than it does to younger people. It lowers federal funding for Medicaid — and makes it legal for states to require only able-bodied adults to work. After 2020, states that expanded Medicare coverage can’t receive any more federal funding, and states that didn’t expand will not be allowed to.
The new healthcare plan features some significantly misogynistic provisions unseen with the Affordable Care Act. For patients relying on Medicaid, Planned Parenthood will not be allowed as a healthcare option for one year. It’s a devastating blow to Planned Parenthood and the people who rely on it, affecting mostly those from low-income regions where other options aren’t accessible.
As a consequence from the loss of Planned Parenthood, there could be an estimated several thousand additional births in the Medicaid program, “increasing direct spending for Medicaid by $21 million in 2017 and by $77 million over the 2017-2026 period,” according to the CBO Report that GOP representatives didn’t read. In the list of pre-existing conditions that can prevent you from getting insurance, rape, postpartum care, and postpartum depression now count. Being sexually assaulted can prohibit you from being insured now. Bringing a baby into the world is now considered an illness.
Republican representatives were confident on Wednesday night, May 3, that the Obamacare replacement bill would be passed in Congress, making it clear that they wouldn’t call for a vote unless they believed the repeal would succeed. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) emerged from House Speaker Paul Ryan‘s office and told reporters that “We will be voting on the health care votes tomorrow. Because we have enough votes. It’ll pass. It’s a good bill. We’re gonna pass it. We’re gonna pass it. Let’s be optimistic about life!”
As it turns out, they were right. While tensions were high the night before the vote, Reps Fred Upton (R-MI) and Billy Long (R-MO) pushed the bill forward by switching their votes from “no” to “yes” after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.
There’s one bright spot in the midst of this chaos: the bill still allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26. At least there’s that.
HollywoodLifers, are you satisfied with the results of the vote? Let us know!