As of now, there is no doubt that Donald Trump is going to chair the Oval office very soon. And one question that is probably running in everybody’s mind now is what impact would this have on the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
The Republicans have been targeting the law since its inception, and now when they are going to have their hold on both houses of Congress, along with the president-elect who has already vowed to revoke it, there are few chances that things will remain intact by the time Trump completes his first term.
It’s pretty unlikely that any changes will take place for the 2017 coverage year since the Open Enrollment for the same has already begun.
However, at some point in 2018, the repealment of the ACA seems very plausible. And if this happens, 22 millions Americans are going to lose their health insurance.
All the buzz about a possible repeal has already created a lot of confusion and an atmosphere of prenomination among the masses.
Here are a few questions to understand Obamacare in a better way given today’s critical climate.
Will Obamacare be revoked?
Trump vowed it before the election. Even Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader has advocated in favor of the repeal. They believe repealing and replacing it is a legislative priority.
Even in an interview with CBS's after the election, Trump repeated his intention to replace the ACA. However, he said that the replacement would offer better care for less cost.
Yet, after his meeting with President Obama in the Oval office, Trump seems to be reconsidering the repeal. According to him, “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.”
The Republicans-led house of representatives has always voted against the bill, so they will certainly vote in favor of the repeal if required. However, despite all the firm intentions, it’s unlikely that Obamacare would be repealed altogether. Chances are it’d undergo major changes, with a significant portion of the law repealed through the budget reconciliation process.
What Obamacare would get replaced by?
This is uncertain. However, Trump has chalked out his intentions on his website.
As per the plan, Obamacare will be replaced with tax-free health savings accounts. The funds in the account will be available for all family members, can be accumulated over time, and can be transferred, tax-free to the heirs.
The website hints that Trump hopes to create a ‘dynamic market’ by allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines. The buyers would deduct their premiums in their tax returns. He further hopes to increase price transparency for healthcare services and allow consumers to import drugs from overseas.
"Everybody's got to be covered," he said in a "60 Minutes" interview last year. "I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now."
What will happen to people with pre-existing conditions?
Under Obamacare, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to people having pre-existing conditions like cancer, or charging people discriminatory amounts based on health status.
Trump said that he would revoke Obamacare but make sure that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they are entitled to. He also said that he would keep the provision that forbids discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
What happens to children on their parents' insurance?
Presently, Obamacare allows you to stay on your parents’ insurance plans until you become 26, and this provision is likely to remain the same even if a repeal takes place.
When would the changes take place?
Sixty senate votes are needed for the purpose, and to reach 60, at least eight Democrats need to lend their support. Although the Democratic party says it will act in favor of the nation, Republicans believe they might be able to convince some moderate Democrats.
The Republicans have suggested that entire process could take up to 2 years.
Should I sign up for a 2017 plan?
If you have no insurance, sign up today during the open enrolment period, which runs through January 31.
The law is still in effect, and people still get sick and meet accidents. So having an insurance is good I believe.