A controversial and extremely-talked about topic in American politics, the healthcare system had the opportunity to be changed with a new bill that was recently proposed in Congress, which was written with the help of both Democrats and Republicans.
On October 12, President Trump signed an executive order ending government subsidies to insurance companies. These government payments to insurance companies make it easier for these companies to provide affordable healthcare coverage to more low-income Americans.
The executive order contained other things as well. These included the main goal of the order, which was to make it easier for small businesses to purchase health care plans together. When small businesses do this, coverage is less expensive for them to provide to their employees. However, the plans that are then offered for that lower price have less benefits for their employees, such as ER visits. There is debate over whether these features are benefits or necessities.
However, there was a mixed reaction to this executive order. Some people approved of it, saying that it will take pressure off of small businesses to pay as much as large corporations do for the same care, which many say is unfair. But on the other hand, some people believe this executive order will make premiums, or monthly payments made by the average person with health insurance, skyrocket. If premiums skyrocket, this puts the entire health insurance market at risk.
In response to this order, two senators, one Republican, Lamar Alexander, and one Democrat, Patty Murphy, came up with a plan to stabilize the market while Congress figures out what to do about Obamacare. Their plan is to continue to give subsidies to insurance companies for two more years, in order to make the companies lower payments and out of pocket costs for the average American. Unfortunately, this bill has been “stalled out”, basically meaning that there will not be any more action on this bill and it will most likely not go to law.
President Trump’s views on the bill went back and forth after it was released. At first, he said that “it would get us over the immediate hump”, and that it would be a quick fix that buys lawmakers time to repeal and replace Obamacare, which has been something that not only Trump, but most Republicans have wanted to do for years. But more recently, reportedly due to pressure from his more conservative base, he has taken back his message of support, tweeting that “I can never support bailing out [insurance] companies that have made a fortune with [Obamacare].” So, the future of the Affordable Healthcare Act is still up in the air. Check back with the Chieftain Press for updates, so you can know how your healthcare will be affected. It’s important to stay informed.