Health care is everyone’s business. Getting involved and understanding the reforms is an activity that citizens must do in their efforts to obtain better care.
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a new system that gives American citizens the freedom to choose in matters of medical care and quality. In addition, it sets new goals to improve the quality of at-risk populace:
- Reduce costs so that the young population can obtain affordable insurance coverage.
- Offer states the flexibility to approve plans that meet the needs of their seniors.
- Provide additional funds to the states in order to reduce the personal costs for citizens.
It is a reconciliation reform that will control the measures of income and expenses. It can be summarized into three major categories:
- Reduce the expansion of Medicaid.
It is scheduled that by 2020, the previous government’s predisposed expansion will be eliminated. In addition, for the first time, there would be a limit per person regarding how much money the federal government spends on the program. For this reason, many state governments would be forced to cut benefits or to provide coverage to fewer people.
- Manage the way in which the reform uses government subsidies.
If you have purchased health insurance through the federal or state exchange markets, this new law will greatly reduce the subsidies. Which will be a new form of tax credits. The project will provide seniors with more generous subsidies, but insurance companies could charge the adult population five times more than young citizens.
- Completely remove American citizens’ responsibility to obtain medical insurance.
This plan would eliminate the current mandate that requires people to have insurance or pay a fine. Instead, insurance companies can charge up to an additional 30% for people who do not regularly maintain their insurance.
What this law proposes is to reduce the fiscal incentives that cover the medical insurance and treatment with a fine, in case of not paying said insurance continuously. It specifically states that medical provisions do not allow insurance companies to limit coverage only to patients with pre-existing conditions, and that states may request to establish new standards for benefits, that are subject to certain conditions:
- They must provide quality medical care.
- Publicly justify the reason to renounce them.
- Specify the benefits that will be required in place of the federal standard proposed by the previous law.
For this reason, the AHCA provides each and every American access to affordable health coverage. Likewise, people who do not have coverage from Medicaid will receive a refundable credit to purchase insurance, which means they will have assistance even if they do not pay the pre-established tax.
AHCA vs ACA
Both reforms represent different visions of how to provide medical care in the United States. The ACA or Obamacare reform’s premise states that all US citizens have the obligation to have health coverage and that, because of this, the increase in health care costs will be significantly reduced over time. Meanwhile, the AHCA reform establishes that Americans have the opportunity to choose the type of insurance they require, and that the taxes that the ACA mentions must be annulled.
ACA is based on four pillars. First, to raise taxes to expand public coverage health care (Medicaid). Second, to mandate citizens to obtain medical insurance, and if they refuse, to pay a fine. Third, to grant subsidies to the lower middle class to buy health insurance plans. Fourth, to force insurance companies to accept all types of citizens without exception.
On the other hand, the basic premises of the AHCA are: to reduce Medicaid expansion, to reduce subsidies for private insurance, and to eliminate the obligation to have medical insurance. This was replaced by a tax incentive and a fine if individuals are not regularly insured; for example, if the person suspends their insurance service.
In conclusion, this reform focuses on building an effective health system controlled by the measurement of results and performance of the medical sector. Likewise, to invest in new models of care with the ability to guide the medical system into the future. It focuses on providing services in an environment where health is paramount, and the use of new and advanced technologies monitor the promotion and innovation of the health system.
The final readjustment of the AHCA approved by the House is summarized as follows:
- Eliminate the taxes and increases established by the ACA.
- Improve Medicaid expansions and impose a per capita limit.
- Eliminate individual and employer penalties and fines.
- Allow states to waive the health benefit requirements of the ACA.
- Alternatively, it allows states to obtain an exemption that allows insurers in each state to provide coverage to people who do not have regular insurance.
- Create funds to help states with their consumers.
- Finalize the subsidies evaluated by the ACA after 2020 and replace them with tax credits.
Source: American Health Care Association