The problems with the American Healthcare Act
President Donald’s Trump promised replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), failed to pass Congress last month despite the Republican Party holding the majority.
With critics calling it Obamacare 0.5 for being “half-baked” and ironically uniting opponents from both left and right, the AHCA has been shelved for the foreseeable future.
But though the AHCA is dead in the water, that hasn’t stopped analysts from examining the bill to see why it was problematic.
Moreover, we can also look at the assessment made by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which provides budget information to Congress, on the effects of the bill.
American Healthcare Act: Less coverage
The OBA said that with the repeal of the ACA and the implementation of the AHCA, this would mean healthcare insurance coverage would go down by 14 million in 2018, 21 million in 2020, and 24 million by 2026.
They also said that while AHCA would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over a decade and Medicaid spending would go down, the tax of the top 5% of income tax-earners would also drop.
Also, the agency said: “Under the legislation, insurers would be allowed to generally charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones rather than three times more as under current law, substantially reducing premiums for young adults and substantially raising premiums for older people.”
“By CBO’s estimates, in the one-year period in which federal funds for Planned Parenthood would be prohibited under the legislation, the number of births in the Medicaid program would increase by several thousand, increasing direct spending for Medicaid by $21 million in 2017 and by $77 million over the 2017–2026 period,” they added.
American Healthcare Act: Less jobs
According to two analysts for the Center for American Progress (CAP), if the proposed bill of the AHCA had pushed through, this would have resulted in 1.8 million fewer jobs in 2022.
This assessment was made by Christian E. Weller, a public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress, and Gregg Gelzinis, a Special Assistant on the Economic Policy.
In a post at the CAP website, they wrote: “Less spending on health care due to cuts to Medicaid and health insurance subsidies will lower employment in the future, while tax cuts could result in some positive effects on jobs.”
“As a result, there will be 1.8 million fewer jobs in 2022 than otherwise would have been, in our estimates,” they wrote.
The two based their estimates on a study done at the George Washington University on the effects of “undoing the expansion of Medicaid and eliminating the subsidies for people buying health insurance.”
From this study, the two made “some modifications to the original estimates” to arrive at an estimate of the employment effects due to the repeal and replacement of ACA with AHCA.