It’s been over 100 days now that the new president Donald Trump has been in office and one of his biggest campaign promises is coming closer to reality. Today, house Republicans have passed the new health care bill that is the first step to repeal Obamacare.
Although the house has passed the bill it’s not a law yet. The bill still must pass through the Senate where there is expected to be some opposition which may translate to some modifications and changes before they agree to support it.
So, what are some of the major changes that the new bill will make? Well for starters, the GOP’s plan would eliminate the Obamacare subsidies, which are refundable tax credits based on a person’s income and cost of coverage in their area. More than eight in 10 enrollees on the Obamacare exchanges receive this assistance, but individuals making more than $47,500 and families of four earning more than $97,200 do not qualify. As a replacement, there would be refundable tax credits to help people afford coverage on the individual market, but these credits will be based mainly on a person’s age.
One of the things that would be done away with would be the Obamacare requirement that people have health coverage or face a tax penalty. It would also eliminate the mandate that employers with at least 50 employees provide health insurance to their workers.
Also under the new program, states could get waivers to allow more flexibility for carriers when setting premiums, and specifying certain types of coverage and conditions. The bill would provide $138 billion through 2026 to help states and insurers lower premiums and set up high-risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions.
Some of these provisions have been, and continue to be controversial with opponents pointing out the pitfalls with pre-existing conditions for example.
With today’s vote, a new healthcare system is closer to reality but what the finished product will be is yet to be seen.