On May 4, House Republicans passed their version of Obamacare, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). In a close 217-213 vote, Trumpcare made its way through the House and a step closer to becoming a legitimate health care law. But as the bill moves closer to success, many Americans are voicing criticism, especially those who are largely affected by it.
“[The AHCA] is going in the wrong direction,” said Megan Lee, MUN club adviser. “The [ACA] was actually moving in the right direction, and I feel like everything that the ACA has done is being dissolved by the AHCA. A lot of the people who are going to suffer are those who have lower income, or even a lot of Trump supporters. So it is almost like he is going against his own constituents.”
On the other hand, there are also large numbers of people who support Trumpcare. The main argument for Trumpcare is that Obamacare cost enormous amounts for the government, thus increasing the amount of money citizens had to pay to subsidize the health care system. This means people who do not need health care will no longer have to pay large amounts for the health care of others. In general, supporters of Trumpcare believe that it will reduce for the majority.
“Although I’m not a Trump supporter, one benefit of Trumpcare would be its financial effect on the government and citizens. With Obamacare, the government, as well as healthy citizens, had higher costs to pay just to keep the system going,” said Joshua Hahn (9), a student interested in politics. “Another plus is that with Trumpcare, citizens can remove the full cost of their health insurance premiums from their tax returns. With Obamacare, this was only possible if the health insurance cost over 10% of the family’s gross income. So in that sense, Trumpcare would cut costs.”
But despite the possible financial benefits Trumpcare may bring, there are still many strong voices against the legislation. The controversy following the AHCA roots from the argument against the bill saying that it could harm groups such as females, the poor, and the disabled by revoking the progress made by the ACA. While the bill may undergo changes through the Senate, critics argue that the effects would be detrimental for minorities if it were to be implemented as it is now. Unlike the ACA, the AHCA identifies pre-existing conditions—the government can require a person with these health conditions to receive more expensive coverage, or be denied coverage entirely. Ultimately, some Americans are concerned that the passing of this law would make it more difficult for people to receive health care.
“There really is a lack of care for the people with the AHCA; it seems like it’s out of the interest of the politicians, who claim to be helping citizens but are actually denying coverage for more people and raising prices,” said Minyoung Huh (9), a student interested in the healthcare controversy. “The politicians who crafted and passed this law are all male, white, cisgendered, straight, and able-bodied, and they definitely do not reflect the diverse population of the US. Without a single female involved, the [male congressmen] decided to cut health care for women. I feel that it is really going to harm anyone who is not privileged.”