House of Representatives Expected to Vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017 (H.R. 1628)
Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has cancelled the vote on Ryancare for Thursday, March 23, 2017. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA-Ryancare) of 2017 (H.R. 1628; Text of Legislation) on Friday, March 24, 2017. This bill does not fully repeal the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare as President Donald J. Trump promised during his 2016 campaign for President. Furthermore, since 2010, Republicans have promised too fully repeal Obamacare. Instead of repealing the 2010 Obamacare law outright, the Ryancare plan is to repeal and replace Obamacare in a three-pronged strategy.
Ryancare is Obamacare 2.0
The foundational structure of Obamacare is not being repealed and is being kept in place. For example, Ryancare, keeps in place the Obamacare requirements that insurers allow for coverage of pre-exiting conditions and allows children to stay on their parents' health care plan until they are 26-years old. Also, the individual mandate is transformed from a tax paid to the government to a penalty paid to the insurance companies. For example, the government mandates insurance companies to levy on individuals that do not maintain continuous coverage a 30 percent surcharge.
Ryancare keeps some of the Obamacare taxes in place. For example, not repealed but delayed from 2020 until 2025 is the 40 percent Cadillac tax on more expensive health plans. Also, it extends for several years the expansion of Medicaid which only will give incentives to states to massively expand Medicaid. And for states that have never expanded Medicaid, it provides another $10 billion in funding.
For middle-income and lower-income Americans a massive new entitlement
Ryancare replaces the income-based subsides with age-based subsidies. (For example, ranging annually from $2,000 for younger people to $4,000 for older enrollees, and for a family as much as $14,000.) Therefore, this is just another middle-income and lower-income American massive new entitlement program. For families earning $150,000, it would apply in full, and over this threshold would then be phased out $100 per thousand dollars earned. It is theoretically possible that a family could get some sort of subsidy for an income-level of $200,000 or more.
Ryancare does not allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines
For years Republicans have promised to allow for the purchasing of insurance across state lines and President Trump supported this during his Presidential campaign. However, Ryancare does not allow for this.
Subsidy for illegal aliens
What is one of the most egregious aspects of Ryancare is the subsidy for illegal aliens that helps give them access to the American health care system that is meant for citizens.
Unfortunately, President Donald J. Trump has endorsed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's (R-Wisconsin) plan. In recent days both have been vigorously promoting the measure prior to the House of Representatives vote. In many aspects, Ryancare is actually worse than Obamacare. Instead of repealing the 2010 Obamacare law outright, the Ryancare plan is to repeal and replace in a three-pronged strategy. This makes it clear that the Republican leadership and establishment Republicans in Congress never intended to repeal Obamacare but exhibited show votes to make it look like they opposed Obamacare when President Barack Obama was in office. For example, since it requires only 51 Senate votes instead of the 60 required to overcome a filibuster, Republican leadership is relying on budget reconciliation to repeal Obamacare. However, this process will never allow for the full repeal of Obamacare, and will result in more federal regulation with minimum coverage standards imposed on states removing the decision-making process away from the individual driving the cost of health care even higher. Instead, Ryancare should let market principles influence the insurance companies to provide insurance plans that empower consumers and their health care needs. Unfortunately, Ryancare forces these companies to continue to look to the government to regulate and subsidize. The American Health Care Act does nothing to reduce the rising cost of insurance premiums or to reduce escalating deductibles. Once again, as they are doing with Obamacare, Americans will be forced to purchase health care insurance that does not provide quality health care at an affordable price.
What Can You Do?
Urge your representative to NOT SUPPORT the American Health Care Act (AHCA-Ryancare) of 2017 (H.R. 1628; Text of Legislation)
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