Republicans push to replace Obamacare

(VOVworld) – House Republicans unveiled a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, on Monday. The new American Health Care Act has already drawn criticism from many officials and the public.

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Speaker Paul Ryan introduces American Health Care Act (photo: nbcnews.com)

The American Health Care Act repeals some key provisions of Obamacare. It immediately ends the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fine. By 2020 it will also replace the current income-based tax credit with an aged-based tax credit.

Criticism from many sides

Associations representing doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and the elderly say the AHCA will make health insurance unaffordable for millions of people and will increase healthcare costs. Insurance companies are concerned that fewer people will buy health insurance. They complain that they were not consulted when the AHCA was being written.

Democrat congressmen say the AHCA will negatively impact the federal budget and public healthcare. They fault Republican congressmen for introducing the AHCA without waiting for a cost/benefit analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

Some Republicans strongly oppose the AHCA for other reasons. Some Conservative Republicans  say AHCA keeps too many provisions of Obamacare. Some state governors say the AHCA will make insurance unaffordable for millions of low-income people and the state will have to pay for their healthcare. This could affect 11 million people. Some state governors have threatened to create their own alternative plan.

Why must Obamacare be replaced?

The Affordable Care Act is seen by many to be President Barack Obama’s biggest success because it insured millions of previously uninsured people. From 2013 to 2014, about 8.8 million Americans acquired health insurance for the first time and many free medical programs were offered.

Obamacare has been criticized by Republicans because its cost has been borne by the highest-earning American taxpayers. Policies that negatively impact the upper social strata are generally opposed by Republicans.

Healthcare reform needs a roadmap

Republican leaders and the White House are pushing for acceptance of the AHCA. But any adjustment to satisfy conservatives will reduce the support of moderates.

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