The American Health Care Act: A Bill in Transition

Wondering how the changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you? You’ll have to be patient. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill is still in flux. Possible enhancements or repercussions are only educated guesses at this time. The U.S. Senate is reviewing the bill that was narrowly passed by the House of Representatives in May. Observers expect it to be significantly rewritten in the Senate. The rewrite is necessary because Republicans don’t believe they have enough votes to pass the bill as is. Instead, they want to use the budget reconciliation process, which would allow the bill to pass with only 51 votes. However, only provisions that are related to taxes and spending can be included in the reconciliation bill. If the Senate version bears no resemblance to the House bill, many pundits expect that lawmakers from both chambers will iron out the differences between the bills. If the Senate approves the bill, it will go to President Trump to sign or veto.

History of the ACA

The ACA, also known as Obamacare, was implemented in 2010 to increase access to health care coverage for all Americans. Key provisions included Implementing market reforms Establishing health insurance marketplaces Expanding Medicaid eligibility for low-incomeadults.To meet those goals, the federal government mandated that All individuals must purchase insurance or pay a fine Insurers offering health coverage must include10 essential benefits Large employers must provide health insurance to full-time workers. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 20 million people were newly insured as a result of the ACA. The law, however, has many detractors. Opponents are concerned that the law could cost the government $1.34 trillion over the next decade, adding to a national debt that already is more than $19.8 trillion. Health coverage costs also have risen because of ACA rules and regulations and rising healthcare and prescription drug costs, making coverage too expensive for many individuals.

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