7 things American Health care act (Trumpcare) changes for US healthcare system

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

The U.S. House of Representative passed the American Health Care Act(already referred to as Trump-care)  by a margin of only four votes. Here are 10 things that the legislation will change in healthcare if ultimately enacted with all current provisions;

1. Replaces Obamacare premium subsidies with tax credits

All of the Obamacare subsidies for helping some individuals pay for health insurance will go away. These subsidies will be replaced by tax credits for anyone who isn’t covered by their employer, or through a government program. Tax credits ranges from $2,000- $14,000 based on age , with families receiving higher credits than individuals. The credits will be reduced for individuals making over $75,000 annually and for families making over $150,000 annually.

2. Eliminates individual mandate

Obamacare required every American to obtain health insurance, or pay a penalty. Trumpcare allows people choose to purchase health insurance if they choose. However, there’s a financial incentive to encourage individuals to maintain health insurance coverage.

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3. Allows states to obtain waivers to allow insurers to charge more for pre-existing conditions

Under Obamacare, health insurers are prohibited from charging higher premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Trumpcare allows states to obtain waivers to allow insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions. However, the higher charges would only apply to individuals with pre-existing conditions who have a gap in coverage.


4. Allows states to obtain waivers to change “essential health benefits”

Obamacare imposed federally established minimum benefits that all health insurance policies had to offer. These “essential health benefits” included mental health and substance-abuse services, prescription drugs, preventive care, maternity care, emergency services, and lab services. Trumpcare will allow states to apply for waivers that allow them to change these minimum benefitsfor purposes such as reducing healthcare coverage costs and increasing the number of people with healthcare coverage.

6. Allows insurers to charge older adults up to five times the rates charged for younger adults

Obamacare limited insurers to charging older adults a maximum of three times the rates charged to younger adults. Trumpcare will raise the ratio limit from three to five.

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7. Repeals Obamacare consumer taxes

Obamacare included a laundry list of taxes, such as tax on some health insurance plans, a tax on certain prescription drugs, a tax on indoor tanning services, a medical device tax, and a capital gains, dividend, and interest income tax for higher-income Americans. Trumpcare eliminates all of these taxes.

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