The Senate Republicans released their repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act that was a cornerstone of the Obama Administration. The discussion bill offered is titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The bill slashes all funding to Planned Parenthood even though the funding they do receive does not go to abortion services but to healthcare services. The bill would roll back the ACA’s “individual mandate,” also the health exchanges by replacing them with tax credits aimed at helping those who don’t get coverage through their jobs buy plans on the individual market. The credits that are used now to purchase insurance would disappear.
In addition to removing funding to Planned Parenthood, there will be big cuts to Medicaid, and world rescind tax increases that the ACA imposed to help pay for his law’s expansion of coverage. This bill will change the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which the ACA had at those making 100% to 138% of the federal poverty limit, would be phased out over four years. 90% of the current federal funding would be provided in 2020 and it would decrease by 5% each year until 2023, after which it would be eliminated.
Also eliminated is the essentials package that insurance plans had to offer with the ACA. No longer will the insurance companies have to cover child birth, mammograms, mental health, pediatric dental and vision care, and prescription drugs. It also should be said that if this bill passes it will be the first time in the history of the United States that a policy that lead to a social program would be eliminated, healthcare for those who can’t afford insurance or who have pre-existing diseases. President Trump has promised that there would be healthcare for all but this bill removes safeguards for programs such as Medicaid.
The bill has been worked on in secret by only a few handpicked Republicans with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hoping to push it through his chamber next week. The GOP must gather 51 votes for the bill to pass which means they cannot lose 3 votes from fellow Republicans. Senator Rand Paul, stated that the bill doesn’t go far enough and that “we are still going to have Obamacare.” For others, such as Senator Susan Collins has promised she would not vote for a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. Senator Lisa Murkowski has also stated that she would not vote for such a plan.
In May, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office stated that the House version of the healthcare bill would cause 23 million people to lose coverage by 2026. The budget office’s analysis of the Senate measure is expected in the next few days.
Agnes Bedard calls herself a daughter of the 60's. She stills believe that one voice can lead us out of darkness, that one person can start a change, and that one act of kindness can change one person's world. Politics is how the world works to change and that is why she is so passionate about it. As Agnes said we need to fight for our f.uture. Agnes Bedard is also the author of "Before I was Me" Bedard is also a wife, mother and grandmother