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On May 4, 2017, President Donald Trump has finally passed a major hurdle thrown up by his opponents in successfully getting the House to pass the Republican version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a margin of 217 – 213, with over 20 Republicans opposing the proposed bill. The legislation will now be voted on in the Senate where its passage in its present form is anticipated to be more difficult to pass. The bill has included major changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and many politicians, both Republican and Democrats alike, believe that it includes draconian cuts originally meant to help Medicaid recipients, the uninsured and underinsured while benefitting the upper middle class and wealthy by rolling back taxes meant to fund the ACA.

The ACHA legislation will mainly affect:

 

  • Those with preexisting conditions;
  • Low income individuals being priced out of the market;
  • Loss of Medicaid coverage and imposition of limited State funding;
  • Higher deductibles than ACA;
  • Costs for the elderly will increase substantially;
  • Increased out of pocket medical costs;
  • Allows insurers to charge a 30% surcharge for individuals who drop coverage and reapply;
  • Restructuring of health care policies to reduce costs;
  • Higher premiums;
  • Reduction of payroll taxes for high income tax payers;
  • Provides individuals and families with tax credits to offset cost of coverage; and
  • Allows individual states to subsidize cost of health care premiums

 

The legislation does leave in place the ACA’s 340B discount program provisions.

 

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