The United States’ House Republicans on Monday introduced two draft Bill in Congress to replace the Affordable Health Care Act 2010, better known as Obamacare. The American Health Care Act – two drafts of which were prepared by separate House committees – notably makes women’s health organisation Planned Parenthood ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements as well as federal grants for family planning. Medicaid is a social healthcare program for families and individuals with limited resources in the US.
While the proposed legislation does away with the penalty for not having coverage, it allows insurers to levy a 30% surcharge for those who have a gap between health plans. This is meant to encourage citizens to have health insurance, according to The Washington Post. It also proposes providing grants that will allow states to frame policies based on their respective patient population and replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits.
The American Health Care Act, however, has retained two popular provisions of Obamacare – young adults can continue to stay on their parents’ health plans till they are 26 years old, while insurers cannot deny coverage or overcharge those who are already ill.
On his first day in office, US President Donald Trump directed government agencies to freeze certain regulations and also signed an executive order to begin the process of repealing Obamacare. The order had urged state departments to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of provisions that imposed financial burdens on states, companies and individuals.
Obamacare was passed nearly seven years ago to expand insurance coverage to some 20 million people. During Obama’s tenure, the US Congress had voted more than 60 times to repeal or alter the heathcare law.