|(Photo: Gage Skidmore)|
Everyone is talking about the newly released Republican plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.
Here’s the bullet points you should know about how this will change healthcare legislation:
• The Individual Mandate would be gone, as would the Employer Mandate. No more penalty paid for not having healthcare. No requirement of large businesses to provide health insurance for employees.
However, while there would be no individual penalty for not having healthcare (which would have gone to fund public hospitals, etc…), insurance companies will be allowed to tack on a 30% surcharge to restart your insurance should you let it lapse.
Instead of paying a penalty into a system that would fund public health services, you would pay a fine to a private company. Sound better to you?
• The A.C.A. premium subsidies would be replaced by tax credits for individuals making $75K or less ($150K for households). Folks under 30 would get tax credits of $2,000, with the amount going up to $4,000 for those over 60.
But, these are tax credits, so you have to pay for your insurance out of pocket first, then utilize the credits later when you pay taxes. If you are lower income wage earner, you may not make enough money to pay for health insurance out of pocket on a monthly basis.
• The plan would lift the limits for tax-free Health Savings Accounts. However, if you are lower-income earner, you may not have any money after your monthly bills to put into an HSA. This may be something that could help wealthier Americans, but those on a tight budget would probably not see much benefit here.
• The proposed plan would defund Planned Parenthood, removing a vital source of healthcare for millions of Americans.
• The proposed plan would prevent Americans from using their tax credits to pay for any health insurance plan that includes abortion. So, if you take the tax credits, any abortion procedures would have to be paid out of pocket, not by your health insurance.
• The proposed plan would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans up to 5 times as much as younger. Currently, Obamacare limits the difference to only 3 times the cost of younger Americans.
Three popular components of Obamacare will remain:
• No denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions
• No lifetime coverage caps
• Young people will be able to remain on their parents’ health plans until age 26
Thoughts? Leave your comments below.