On May 4, the US House of Representatives voted to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA or Trumpcare) . This, of course, will not be the final version of AHCA, since at least the Senate and a conference committee get an opportunity to revise the bill.

AHCA is so new that many facts about it are unknown, but the following can be reliably reported at this time:

 

• 20,000-24,000 million people of all ages will probably lose their Medicaid or ACA insurance;

• There is a good probability that premiums will rise regardless of the President's Promise;

• Elders will be charged premiums five times those of younger people;

• Management of insurance for pre-existing conditions will be transferred to states, which will have the ability to “opt out” of providing such insurance;

• Risk pools to serve persons with the most disabling conditions have been grossly underfunded at $8 billion when some estimates of required funding are as high as $200 billion;

• Essential insurance benefits such as those for pregnancy, emergency medicine, lab and x-ray services and many more may not be required, depending on the state in which you live.

 

Now if all of this were not enough, billions of dollars will be taken from the ACA and be used to fund tax cuts for the 1 percent richest citizens in the USA – that's partly why there was such a rush to pass the bill before most people had read it! The money from ACA was needed for the tax plan. It has been reported that this will be the largest transfer of funds from poor people to rich people in the history of this country.

Our US Representative Neal Dunn and President Donald Trump have thrown their full support behind the replacement (AHCA) which means that we must work extra hard to ensure that the it does not become law. Please write and call President Trump, Sens. Nelson and Rubio and Rep. Dunn if you have concerns and are worried about what this replacement plan will do to either you or others you know. For now the ACA (Obamacare) is the law of the land, but many will be harmed should AHCA become law.

Martha Hodge

St George Island