President Donald Trump has been opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes known as Obamacare, since the beginning of the campaign trail.One of his main goals as president has been to repeal and revise it, calling the revision the American Health Care Act.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the revision would cut federal deficits by $337 billion over the next nine years. The total would amount from $323 billion in on-budget savings and $13 billion in off-budget savings.
Most appealing to many Republicans is the amount of money that would be saved in the reduction of Medicaid expenses, however, there would also be an increased number of uninsured people in the United States.
The CBO and JCT estimated that 14 million people would go uninsured by 2018, and those numbers would rise to 52 million by 2026— a difference of 24 million compared to the estimated number of uninsured people under the ACA.
A majority of these people would go uninsured due to the changes in Medicaid enrollment: some states would discontinue the expansion of eligibility, other states decided against expansion in the first place, and pre-enrollee spending would be capped.
Another problem arises from the increased premiums. The cost of healthcare will steadily climb with the revision, and that’s not including the additional out-of-pocket costs and co-pays.
However, on March 24, the legislation to repeal the ACA was voted against and pulled after a battle of votes in Congress.
“We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” said Paul Ryan, the House speaker.
“Obamacare unfortunately will explode. Democrats will come to us and say, ‘Look, let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan that’s really great for the people of our country,’” said President Trump after the bill was pulled.
Though the setback is good news for those protected by the current bill, it will take a toll on the proposed tax reform. Under the American Health Care Act, people making a yearly salary of more than $200,000 would’ve received a measurable tax break.
It also sheds light on the problem many are concerned about: whether the new administration will be able to work together as a proper body of government. The failure to repeal Obamacare shows the underlying divide within the Republicans in House; some House Republicans are voicing their concerns after the defeat of the bill.
“We have to do some soul-searching internally to determine whether or not we are even capable of functioning as a governing body,” said Republican Representative of North Dakota, Kevin Cramer.