Breaking down Obamacare

Before Obamacare:

  • 48.6 million people were uninsured
  • People with pre-existing conditions or in industries deemed “too risky” were denied coverage.

Some features of Obamacare:

  • Made it illegal to deny people coverage because of pre-existing conditions
  • Allowed people to stay on parents’ coverage until age 26
  • Made preventive screenings free for everyone
  • Allowed 20 million Americans to gain coverage putting uninsured rates at historic lows.

False accusations against Obamacare:

  • Anyone above the age of 74 has to go before “death panels”
  • The law will “fall of its own weight,” is in a “death spiral” and “has failed.” – Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell
    • Debunked: It’s not a failure if 20 million people have insurance that they didn’t have before ACA. However, if Republicans don’t come up with a way to curb healthcare premium prices (which they are now responsible for as they control all 3 branches of government) people will be in danger of losing their insurance.
  • “You cannot fix a fundamentally broken law; you’ve got to replace it.” – Paul Ryan
    • Debunked: Experts agree that Congress could fix the problems in the law and could have been fixed during President Obama’s terms in office if both parties had worked together.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/obamacare-fact-check-shows-gop-obamacare-claims-are-often-false-n705151

Problems:

  • Premiums are quite high in some places => led to insurers dropping down
    • However, Republicans voted against a part of the act that would have protected insurers from unexpected losses.
  • Obama did make a misleading promise in the beginning that people would be able to keep their doctors.
  • Some plans have deductibles so high that they are essentially unusable
  • The health care exchanges, for example, could be improved with changes aimed at getting more young and healthy people to sign up, such as giving insurers more flexibility to charge older people higher prices.

Consequences of repealing Obamacare

  • Nearly 29 million people don’t have health insurance. If Obamacare is partially repealed, that number could reach 59 million.
  • People who will lose coverage:
    • 12.4 million on Medicaid / CHP
    • 9 million on subsidized policies
    • 1.4 million young adults on parents’ plans
  • Individual insurance premiums could increase 50% in one year according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
  • 36,000 people could die due to lack of medical care.
  • 2.6 million jobs could be lost in 2019 if Obamacare is repealed.

Source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/obamacare-replace-repeal-trump-impact

Conclusion:

  • Despite Republican claims, only 26% Americans want to see ACA repealed. (50% of Trump voters, however, do want a repeal).
  • Their time of criticizing the law is over. The Republicans have the House, the Senate and the White House. If they hate ACA so much, they need to make a better plan.
  • That’s not as easy as it sounds, and according to some news reports only Republicans are currently allowed to look at their new healthcare plan. This tells us that they are not even certain about which direction to go.
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