The American Health Care Act attacks vulnerable populations

Every day I hear stories from folks across East Tennessee who are being forced to choose between paying their monthly insurance premium or buying other essentials for their families.

Amid widespread criticism of the GOP's bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, newly appointed Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price made a decision to defend the proposed legislation to the public, answering questions posed by citizens during a televised CNN town hall meeting Wednesday night. They invest heavily in infrastructure and personnel, and once operating costs are covered, each new patient adds to their profit margin, he said. The average premium in Pennsylvania increased by 32 percent this year, and in some corners premiums rose as much as 53 percent. What's going to happen to the families of immigrants if they are delayed in receiving health care for this long?

Last week, Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled the American Health Care Act, legislation that repeals Obamacare and lays the groundwork for a 21st century health care system.

The Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act revives an expensive problem for USA hospitals: Who pays for the uninsured? But, the plan doesn't do enough to limit eligibility for Medicaid or to cut health care premiums in the individual market, Johnson said. Moderates have been shaken by the estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that 24 million people could lose their health coverage if the bill passes.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24-million people would lose coverage by 2026 under the American Health Care Act, and nearly a half million Kentuckians are included in that number - according to the Urban Institute.

Compare that to favorability numbers on Obamacare from the same poll.

Following the House Budget Committee vote on the American Health Care Act, Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) said his dissenting vote in committee was due to insufficient changes.

The cut in government aid would put thousands in an "untenable situation", forcing many people in their 50s and 60s to go without coverage, AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said Friday. Because of congressional rules, however, it can only address parts of the health law that have immediate impact on federal spending. You may recall that Democrats used reconciliation to push pieces of Obamacare through Congress. This means people may end up with less health care options here in Central Texas.

"So you can't say that you're a fighter for older Pennsylvanians, individuals with disabilities, children and workers if you're willing to support this radical, extreme and destructive piece of legislation", Casey said. But starting in 2020, when the most significant changes would occur, the combination of a larger uninsured population and decreased federal Medicaid spending would begin to hurt healthcare companies, particularly for-profit hospitals, pharmaceutical firms and medical device makers.

"When Donald Trump ran, he ran on the promise that everyone will have access to care but when you factor in right now that insurance companies have responsibilities to their shareholders you're asking me to get coverage from someone who does not have my best interests", said Flowers.

  • Julie Sanders