The Student News Source of Sparkman High School

Student Shares View On Health Care

May 16, 2017

Healthcare has been a hot topic in this country, particularly the Affordable Care Act. Before Donald Trump’s election, Republicans constantly called for its repeal. During Trump’s campaign, he made many promises including that of repealing and replacing Obamacare. But now it is time to actually walk the walk. The Republicans seem to be learning it is not so easy. Their first attempt was a joke and was pulled before it could even be voted on. And while Democrats celebrated this triumph, their victory was short lived.

The Republicans’ second attempt on Healthcare has been more successful. The American Healthcare Act passed the House and is moving to the Senate which is expected to make revisions. The bill, while it removes the individual mandate, also allows the states to acquire waivers, which would enable insurers to give those with pre-existing conditions higher charges. Also a mandate, originally under the Affordable Care Act, requiring that insurers provide coverage of ten certain benefits in their plans, is dispelled under Trump Care. These benefits include maternity and mental health. It is especially unsettling and ironic that although a common trend in the Republican party is the “pro life” stance, pediatric care is one of these ten benefits that is not required in insurers’ plans under Trump Care. Protecting fetuses is very important to them, but once the child is born, their fate no longer matters. I guess Republicans are not so “pro life” after all. Either that or this bill does not reflect one of their common values. This bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, most likely to appeal to the “pro life” base. However, it is only for a year.

But that is not all. The Republicans did not forget the older Americans. The bill also allows insurers to charge older consumers five times more than younger consumers. Not only that but the states can attain a waiver to let insurers charge the elderly even more than five times those who are younger. It is always said to respect the elderly. That includes taking care of them but I guess the Republicans missed a moral lesson they should have learned in their childhood. Older Americans are deserving of our care. They should not be overcharged for the condition of being elderly. Growing old is a fact of life. It is not something you should be punished for. It happens to everyone and it will happen to you.

Trump Care would also cut $1 billion in funds for the CDC Prevention and Public Health. According to CNN, this money goes to heart disease and stroke prevention, lead poisoning prevention,  immunization and diabetes prevention. If the goal in the Trump Administration is to make America sick again, then I suppose they are right on track!

There are remnants from Obamacare maintained in this bill such as enabling children to stay on their parents’ policies until they are 26 and requiring insurers to offer plans for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the changes that would be implemented through Trump Care will seriously weaken healthcare. Those that it may benefit are the wealthy considering the bill will cut two taxes placed upon them originally in the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare’s annual taxes will also be removed from health insurance providers and drug makers as well as an excise tax on medical machines or instruments. In other words, not only the generally wealthy will see benefits but also the health insurers.

The Republicans made outrageous promises to improve healthcare but if they pass this bill, they will not succeed. Obamacare may have faults, but the Republican’s alternative is much worse. If they truly want to make American healthcare better, they need to reach out and invite the Democrats into the discussion. They especially must reconsider which is most important: the health of Americans or the wealth of insurance companies.

 

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