The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as “Obamacare” was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. This act is designed to increase healthcare quality and decrease costs in order to provide all americans with affordable, quality care. Under Obamacare, all Americans, no matter their income, can apply for low deductible quality health insurance. An individual’s out-of-pocket costs cannot be more than $6,600 and $13,200 for a family plan. This is a significantly low amount considering that a day in the hospital can cost between $2,000 and $20,000. ACA provides many benefits to middle class and low income Americans, including tax breaks for small business owners, coverage for children until the age of 26, and flat insurance rates.
ACA has been under attack by Republican politicians ever since it was instated. Earlier this week, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was introduced as a replacement of Obamacare. This bill was introduced by the speaker of the House, Ryan Paul. There are plenty of issues with this bill, some being:
- This act would allow states to enroll people in Medical through 2020 but wouldn’t allow anyone to enroll after that date, which would leave plenty of people uninsured and vulnerable. Especially since Medical is a major resource for children and pregnant women, providing all kinds of prenatal services. The elderly would also be at great risk, considering that a great majority of senior citizens require daily medication.
- It disproportionately benefits people who are healthy and high income, but harms those who are ill and low income. It removes the tax, making it mandatory for all Americans to have health insurance, meaning that lower income people will now have the option to go without coverage. It would also let insurers to change what they charge and what they cover in their plans, allowing for skimpier, cheaper plans which would benefit young, healthy people but ultimately hurt and be more expensive for the sick and poor.
- It only offers substantial help to those living in the 400% above the poverty line. The middle and lower upper class benefit greatly by receiving age based tax credit towards their insurance policies.
Everyone from democrats to the most conservative republicans oppose this plan. As a matter of fact, AHCA received a failing grade in every category from the Consumers Union. The Consumer Union states, “In the AHCA many millions of Americans, from children to seniors, will be left uninsured or with insurance that falls short of their needs…The bill provides less coverage at a higher cost for consumers than the ACA.”
This act would also greatly affect many students who rely on MediCal or ACA for their health insurance. Jennifer Castro, Public Health major, states, “The United States healthcare is already behind the rest of the world, there are already plenty of people uninsured, this plan may just worsen the situation.” The US is one out of the two developed nations who do not offer universal health care (the other being Mexico).
Edelis Diaz, from HEROES, also shares her concern for accessible healthcare, “I believe everyone deserves health care and it shouldn’t be something that people have to worry about and it should be something that is affordable for every single person.”
Healthcare is a human right. Everyone should have access to it in order to live a long and healthy life.