The Trump administration’s long-awaited replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act has now been released. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was developed in conjunction with the White House and Senate Republicans.
Despite the replacement plan being released, two big questions still remain unanswered. How many people will the plan cover and how much will it cost?
It is likely that the plan will cover fewer people than the Affordable Care Act currently does, but exactly how many has not been specified. The Congressional Budget office has not yet scored the legislation, so the current costs are unknown.
Early assessment of the replacement act seems to indicate that:
- Some of Obamacare’s signature features have been entirely eradicated, such as the tax on people who don’t purchase healthcare. Other protections, including the ban on discriminating in regard to people with pre-existing conditions and the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until age 26, would survive
- The plan maintains the Medicaid expansion – the Affordable Care Act has expanded Medicaid to cover millions of low-income Americans
- According to critics, the replacement plan benefits people who are healthy and high-income and disadvantages those who are sick and lower income. The replacement plan would make several changes to what health insurers can charge enrolees who purchase insurance on the individual market, as well as changing what benefits their plans must cover
- The bill looks a lot more like Obamacare than previous drafts. A curious thing has happened to the Republican replacement plan as it has evolved through multiple drafts; it has begun to look more and more like Obamacare itself.
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