Published July 13th, 2017 by Stephanie
After a few weeks of wrangling behind closed doors, the Republican senators responsible for writing their version of the AHCA have released it to the public. One big reason why they probably wanted to avoid public input on the bill is that it doesn’t just roll back and end aspects of the Affordable Care Act, it also significantly cuts Medicaid.
As part of the ACA, the federal government expanded the number of people that Medicaid could cover, and over the next few years the Senate’s AHCA would end that. Not only that, but it would also place a cap on the amount the federal government can spend in each state on Medicaid.
This means that if low-income or disabled households have to spend more than a certain amount of money on their health care bills, the government will stop paying for it. The state governments could pick up the slack, but they generally don’t have as much money to throw around. By limiting Medicaid spending, the federal government will be able to end the higher taxes the ACA placed on the very wealthy to pay for the law. On the other hand, the bill does nothing to help Medicaid negotiate or demand lower prices for health care services or prescription medication.
Other changes are to let states drop the regulations that say health plans have to cover things like maternity care, emergency services, and mental health care. This would make premium payments cheaper, but only because the health plans do less to pay for your health care costs. It would also repeal the individual mandate, which means that premiums would go up for those who buy health insurance outside of their jobs. And with a population that’s increasingly self-employed or contract workers, that would affect a growing number of people.
Republicans are trying to pass the AHCA as fast as possible, but even with a majority in both houses, it might not happen considering just how unpopular the bill is. Still, one thing you can count on is the USA Rx pharmacy discount card, which will get you up to 75 percent discounts on prescription drugs no matter what the federal law turns out to be. If you’d like to know more about how our program works, you can explore our website, send us an email at [email protected], or call us at 888-277-3911.