GOP’s Healthcare Act: Why You Should Care

This month the Congressional Budget Office released reports and projections concerning the Senate’s new proposed health care bill, which could leave millions of Americans uninsured. Here’s why you all should care:

The American Health Care Act, or the “Obamacare repeal and replacement plan,” is leaving some members of the House uneasy, including Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

For those who know squat about what the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare is, what the GOP’s new plans are, or why you should even care, here’s a quick summary for you.

The ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, is America’s current healthcare plan. It was signed seven years ago this month, and was intended to give lower income families, pregnant woman, the elderly, and the disabled, more affordable health care options. In other words, it shines a little light on those without a non-group health insurance plan. And in even more words, those who aren’t working, or can’t work, can use this health care plan to live affordably and healthily. The ACA also states that all Americans must have health insurance or otherwise pay a penalty fine in their yearly taxes. In retrospect, this current plan (as well as Michelle) made America healthy again. But it also kinda made America broke again. The tax break didn’t cut it for America, many people sued their health insurance companies, and the penalty fine wasn’t quite enough to fix the nation’s debt. The idea behind the ACA was that the government could one day provide Americans with inclusive health insurance without breaking the banks. Some say it was on the right track for the future. However, all good things must come to an end.

The GOP has big changes in store for the nation’s health care plan, and on March sixth, the Congressional Budget Office released the projections for it all. It’s important to consider that, as college students, we’re eligible to remain on our parents insurance plans until we’re 26. However the CBO’s report states that those who do not have an insurance plan under a “group insurance” (in other words, those not insured under an employer) are most likely to see higher costs; mostly because the GOP’s plan intends to phase out Medicaid and government insurance. The GOP plan also won’t regulate Americans on health insurance. Meaning, if you can’t afford health insurance, you don’t need to have it. Their goal is to get more people off government insurance and covered under group insurance plans, or paid insurance. Which will essentially snuff out that little light the ACA intended to shine on those lower income families, pregnant women, elderly, and disabled people mentioned earlier.

This is where the CBO mentions the millions of Americans who will be left uninsured: 24 million Americans to be exact. Yes, some will choose to live life without insurance, and some will pay to have group insurance — both of which would indeed lower the nation’s debt. However, many will be left with no affordable insurance. This leaves the poor and sick, as well as the young and old, without coverage. The House is currently in a nationwide tiff, with some representatives in favor of the Obamacare repeal and replacement plan, and some opposed.

“Obamacare is collapsing,” said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, “it’s time to turn a page.” According to interviews, Ryan himself is very tentative of the new health care bill. Democrats, on the other hand, appear to be more concerned about the 24 million Americans who will lose health care coverage entirely as a result of the proposed legislation. Bernie Sanders, specifically, has spoken out strongly against the bill. “It’s throwing 24 million off the health insurance they currently have,” Senator Sanders said in a tweet earlier this month. And we agree with him. (Bernie 2020!)

The main reason why women should care about any of this is because we might lose access to contraceptives, and most of our reproductive rights. The new act specifically attacks organizations that openly help women deal with pregnancies by not allowing any type of service done at any abortion related clinic to be reimbursed by Medicaid. Although Planned Parenthood isn’t mentioned in the American Health Care Act directly, the GOP plan could affect their ability to provide safe and accessible reproductive health care to women across the entire country.

However, there is good news for Ohioans. Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman have both stated that they oppose the phasing outing of Medicaid. In fact, Kasich himself has discussed the concept of phasing out Medicaid with no legitimate alternative as “counterproductive,” and perhaps even dangerous.

According to the Washington Post the House is still short of the 216 votes needed for the proposed bill to become a law. And you can change the course of this proposed legislation. If this proposed act will affect you negatively, speak up. You can contact your local representatives, and/or tag them in tweets or Facebook posts.

Do whatever you can. Because the more voices they hear, the better they listen.