House Republicans revealed their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act named the American Health Care Act on Monday.
The new healthcare bill will replace the ACA’s individual mandate with a continuous coverage clause that will allow insurance companies to charge a 30% surcharge for a year if you have a gap in your health care coverage. While people with pre-existing conditions will still be protected under this legislation, they will now also be susceptible to this continuous coverage clause.
Under the American Health Care Act, Medicaid would experience a freeze on further expansion and cuts to its federal funding by 2020. In addition, funding from Medicaid will be withheld from Planned Parenthood, which accounts for 75% of its federal funding according to Planned Parenthood. Subsidies based on income will also be replaced with age-based tax credits.
The bill will maintain the ability for children to stay on their parent's insurance until 26.
The House and the Senate will have to approve the American Health Care Act before President Trump can sign it. The Affordable Care Act will remain in place until then.
“I am going to predict it is not going to pass,” said medical ethicist and the director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center Art Caplan on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio Tuesday.
“They are going to find themselves caught between a group of very conservative Republicans who just don’t want any program... other republicans are afraid because they saw what happened at the town halls where people who had coverage were showing up saying what are you going to do to protect me... and the democrats are going to look at the whole thing and say no,” Caplan continued.
Caplan was surprised that this was the plan the Republicans have unveiled after claiming their replacement for the ACA would be drastically better. “Is this the best they got after 7 years,” said Caplan. “It won’t take a whole bunch of people divided in the GOP to see this thing sink.”
Listen to our interview with medical ethicist Art Caplan above.