Health Care

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Rachel ( explains these points in more detail, but generally, the health care bill pass by Congress this week by Republicans will do the following:

  1. States can get waivers so the insurance companies can charge more for pre-existing conditions. For example, if you have depression, you could be charged $8,490 on top of your health insurance.
  2. States can opt out of the rules that require insurance plans to cover basic stuff. So, for example, your insurance plan might not cover hospitalization, or ambulance service, or pregnancy.
  3. Mental health and drug programs will wither. Right now mental health is treated as an illness like any other illness.
  4. Older people (under 65 because when you reach 65 you are covered under Medicare), but certainly 50 and older, can be charged up to 5 times more for the same health services.
  5. Big companies will no longer be required to provide health insurance to their employees.
  6. The ACA made a deal with hospitals that in exchange for getting thousands of new patients because ACA would provide health insurance to more people the hospitals would get reduced Medicare payments. You get less for Medicare patients, but you get more patients. The Republican plan keeps the Medicare reduction but of course there will be less patients with less insurance. This will hit rural hospitals who are struggling particularly hard.
  7. The poor are affected more than the rich. If you are on Medicaid, which insures more than 70 million people, you may lose your health insurance entirely. This plan reduces Medicare payments by more than 900 million dollars (close to a trillion dollars). Because of that reduction, millions of Medicaid patients will be kicked off the program. And if you are just above the poverty line, you will no longer get subsidies. They get radically cut.

And from NY Times 5/9/17:

  1. The bill would make it easier for employers to increase the amount that employees could be asked to pay in premiums, or to stop offering coverage entirely. It also has the potential to weaken rules against capping worker’s benefits or limiting how much employees can be asked to pay in deductibles or co-payments.
  2. Employers who do not offer insurance to their full-time workers would no longer be fined. Under a Republican health law, benefits consultants predict that most employers would keep offering insurance so as to retain workers. But smaller employers, particularly in certain industries, may choose to cut back.
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