For Whom the Bill Tolls: The American Healthcare Act and its Implications

Published: 16 Mar 2017

The new healthcare bill unveiled by the Republicans has drawn sharp criticism from citizens, healthcare professionals, and policy makers on both sides of the aisle. Democrats see it as a large tax cut for the rich in the guise of a healthcare act while conservative Republicans feel that the new bill does not do enough to repeal Obamacare. It has been dubbed Obamacare Lite and Trumpcare and is seen as something that fundamentally favors high income, healthy, and young people at the expense of the old, the sick, and the poor. The bill has passed the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of debate and as such has crossed the first step toward becoming law. The bill has also passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill requires 51 votes to clear the Senate, but with currently 8 Republicans against the bill, it seems unlikely that it will pass. It is, however, still important to discuss this bill because, should it pass, a report by the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will become uninsured by 2026. This translates to an uninsured rate of 18.6% by 2026, up from the current rate of 9.5%. It is interesting to note here that had Obamacare be allowed to continue, the uninsured rate would remain stable at 10% in 2026.

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