Security and protection are two words that every living person needs to know they have at some point in their lives. When things get tough, or when something unexpected happens, it’s good to know that there is something or someone a person can turn to for help. Here, in the United States, health insurance is something every American wants, yet not all Americans can afford. This is what Obamacare was designed to solve. And though not perfect, this is what the GOP repeal bill is trying to destroy.
On Friday, January 8th 2016, Republican lawmakers push a bill pass Congress and the Senate designed to repeal or neutralize President Obama’s healthcare act that he signed into law in 2010. To truly understand just what this repeal would mean to millions of Americans, Obamacare must first be understood.
Obamacare, or The Affordable Care Act, as its also known, is a law brought about to make sure that every American has access to affordable healthcare insurance. This is done by offering Americans discounts in the form of tax credits. These tax credits are applied on government approved or sponsored healthcare insurance plans. The Affordable Care Act also expands the Medicaid assistance program to encompass Americans that can’t afford to pay for healthcare insurance.
Obamacare also changes some of the guidelines and rules insurance companies must follow. For instance, in the past if a person had a pre-existing illness or medical condition like cancer or diabetes, they would likely be turned down by insurance companies for coverage. Or, they would have premiums that would cost astronomical amounts. The Affordable Care Act ensures that a person can’t be turned down for any reason, with the hope that costs will be manageable.
The credits you receive on Obamacare are designed to help offset the cost of healthcare insurance if a persons household income falls anywhere between one and four times the poverty level. A person can use these credits to offset their monthly insurance premiums or wait until the end of the year and put it on their tax return.
Even if an individual makes too much money to qualify for Obamacare, experts say they can still purchase a plan on the federal insurance marketplace. They won’t get any credits but they can still receive a good deal.
There are four tiers from Bronze to Platinum, paying anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of a persons medical costs. If an individual gets healthcare insurance from their employer, chances are this is not a concern for them. Obamacare is mostly for individuals and smalls groups who cover their own insurance costs.
This is a synopsis of The Affordable Care Act. This is the Act that the GOP is seeking to repeal. President Obama stated to reporters, “Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto.”
Barack Obama also added, “rather than re-fighting old political battles by once again voting to repeal basic protections that provide security for the middle class, members of Congress should be working together to grow the economy, strengthen middle class families and create new jobs.”
Repealing this bill would leave millions Americans, especially minorities, with no way to afford proper healthcare. No way to make sure that their children get the doctor visits they need without having to pay everything out-of-pocket. Having health insurance affects when and whether or not a person seeks healthcare, where they get healthcare, and ultimately, how healthy they are. According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the uninsured are much more likely to delay or postpone healthcare altogether than those who have healthcare insurance.
According to a study done by the foundation, 25% of uninsured individuals went without healthcare last year because of cost as compared to only 4% of people that were insured. More than half of the uninsured stated that, not having a regular place to get healthcare also played a major role in them not seeking medical advice.
This is what happens when people can’t afford healthcare insurance. This is what the GOP repeal bill would mean for the millions of Americans who now use The Affordable Care Act. The repeal bill would also cut needed funds for Planned Parenthood, a 100 year old organization that delivers important reproductive healthcare and sex education information to millions of people around the world.
Planned Parenthood also promotes what they call a ‘commonsense’ approach to women’s overall well-being and health. This approach is based on the principle that every individual has the right to make informed and independent choices about their sex life, health, and family planning.
If the Republicans pass the Obamacare repeal bill, all this would be lost. The repeal bill also asks the GOP to come up with an alternative healthcare solution for the American people. This task was also a part of the first repeal bill the GOP sought to get passed in 2011. To this date the Republican party has done nothing to that effect. It looks like just more of the same-old, same-old. What a shame.