November 24, 2017

FC Barcelona’s Shaky Future -

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gordon Hayward Injured -

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mrs. Tribuzi, Dance Teacher Extraordinaire -

Monday, October 30, 2017

theSkimm: The Millennial Generation of News -

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cross Country Runs into the 2017 Season -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Should You Attend the Women’s Marches? -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bearcats Blown Away by Chalk Fest -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The New Tardy Policy Pilot Is Over -

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

SMHS Chalk Fest is an Instant Successes -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chalk Fest is Shaping Up Well This Year -

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Boys Volleyball Season Comes to a Close -

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bearcat Chefs Compete in Nacho Contest -

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bearcat Invitational Track Meet a Huge Success -

Monday, May 8, 2017

Concert Band Prepares for Spring Concert -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Students: “Beware the Banality of a Busy Life” -

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Roger Federer Proves he is the GOAT -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coach John Tells Us About Boys Tennis -

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Olaiha Fonua and His Friend Perform at Green Week -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eureka, We Built It! -

Thursday, April 20, 2017

International Week Celebrates Diversity -

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Not My Healthcare ― Introducing the American Health Care Act

healthcareObamacare: the healthcare that failed the masses. The Affordable Care Act: the plan that gave millions access to healthcare. Although these are one and the same, many were quick to critique the flaws of Obamacare. Passed in 2010, the health care system got off to a rocky start. On the first day, merely six people were able to sign up through Condemned to join because of the individual mandate, which required people to either sign up or pay a fee, many felt as though healthcare was just another monetary burden. Speaking of money and burdens, Obamacare was one of the greatest factors in government spending during Obama’s presidency.

All of the failures (that are still valid) seem to overshadow the benefits that Obamacare has brought. Overall, it has made healthcare more affordable. Prenatal care, the prevention of diseases and other factors were emphasized. Obamacare also made sure that insurance companies did not deny policies to people with pre-existing conditions.

At least 85 percent of all premium dollars collected by insurance companies for large employer plans, and at least 80 percent of the premiums from plans sold to individuals and small employers must be spent on health care services and benefits and quality improvement. If insurance companies do not follow these guidelines, they must send rebates back to their consumers, according to The Balance. Obamacare allowed Medicare to start changing how doctors and hospitals were paid. Instead of being paid for every test and procedure you get, they are paid based on how well you get. To speed along the process, hospitals, doctors and pharmacists can skip unnecessary or less important procedures.

Not too recently, the new and “improved” American Health Care Act was revealed. Controversy requires coverage, thus bringing all the hosts of late-night shows to the yard for the scoop (and milkshakes). Similar to how they picked apart the shortcomings of Obamacare, the  critics now descended again.

Where would the American Health Care Act fail to meet expectations? Let’s break it down.

First of all, Trump’s campaign promises do not translate into this new bill. “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” said Trump to The Washington Post. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” So, everyone will get healthcare? Don’t get too excited, there’s more. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, said, “We don’t want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, an estimated 14 million people will lose their health insurance under the AHCA, or the American Health Care Act, by 2018. The individual mandate will be repealed with the passing of the new bill, thus raising costs for those who plan to stay on government healthcare. Without enough healthy people on the AHCA, the price of healthcare will rise sharply, causing costs to increase for the sick, old and poor, thus throwing these people off of healthcare. Within 10 years, it is estimated that an astounding 24 million people will be left uninsured.

Tax subsidies will be based on age, rather than income. This is a disadvantage for the elderly, who are more likely to get sick or hurt. In fact, insurance companies will be able to charge older Americans up to 500 percent more than the younger. Major tax cuts will be given to the wealthy, while subsidies will be made to be worth less to the old and poor, as according to Vox. Insurers will also be able to cover fewer expenses.

Under this new healthcare plan, the government will save approximately $337 billion over the course of 2017-2026. $337 billion saved, 24 million more people uninsured. It hardly seems to be an fair trade. While the GOP revels in the amount it has saved, it is even possible that premium costs will exceed the amount of some people’s annual income. Low individual plan customers will have to shell out more in out-of-pocket costs.

In a press briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed to the stack of papers of the Affordable Care Act, and said, “This is government.” He then proceeded to point to the AHCA papers and said, “This is not.” He claimed that a thinner stack of papers proved that the AHCA’s terms were more defined and clear. Of this pancake-flat stack of 123 pages (Obamacare had more than 974 pages, according to Spicer), 10 pages were spent detailing how lottery winners would not be eligible to collect Medicaid. Medicaid, by the way, “covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments,” according to the Social Security Administration. With the importance and impact of healthcare on the lives of millions, why are 10 pages set aside to prevent lottery winners from receiving Medicaid? No wonder some have even taken to calling the AHCA “Obamacare-lite.” The list of flaws goes on.

Despite the clear distaste that Republicans have shown for Obamacare, some of its provisions will not be repealed such as the one stating that insurers will not be able to turn people away due to pre-existing conditions, and the one that allows children to stay under their parent’s plan until the age of 26.

After all that’s been said, the American Health Care Act seems to be a weak attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. Desperate to keep campaign promises and keep the ball rolling on the Republican agenda, a controversial plan that displaces millions of healthcare holders was cranked out. Higher premiums and deductibles (the amount of money one has to pay before insurance can cover the rest of the cost) will put accessible healthcare far out of the reach of the sick, poor and elderly. We asked for better, cheaper healthcare that covers more people, not a less than sub-par replacement that harms more than helps.


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