Health Care Reform Tyler Roske

In 2017, our current system of health care will begin to transform. Some major concerns for most americans will be the cost of the new system, and how obamacare will be affected; will it be completely repealed or will some elements remain. Jeff Smedsrud, a health care advocate writes in a recent Forbes article that, “People will be given the freedom to pick any health insurance plan they think is best for them. It probably won’t be unlimited in its benefits. And it may not be qualified.”.

This idea could provide lower income families with the option to find plans that they can afford and not be forced to pay for a plan they cannot afford. This would allow for more families currently not covered to find an affordable and flexible option that fits their needs. Smedsrud also explains that, “The right of any American to get health insurance when they want — with certain restrictions — and without consideration of health status is guaranteed for all Americans”. This would mean that all Americans would be covered under the promise of the new administration. The idea of this new system is to give people open options with some amount of restrictions that haven’t yet been clarified.

Another question that Americans want to know is how many elements of Obamas health care forms will remain and what’s going to be completely repealed. Right now the GOP is struggling to agree on one plan and is beginning their repeals without a stable replacement; Susan Davis writes in an article for npr about one of the leading plans being considered, “The Cassidy-Collins plan would give states three options: Keep Obamacare as is, enact their own insurance expansion or opt out of federal assistance entirely”. This plan would allow individual states to decide whether they would like a complete repeal or if they'd like to leave obamacare partially or entirely intact. But while plans like this are in consideration, nothing solid has yet begun to be put in place, and major portions of our health care system are being repealed without replacements leaving millions in limbo until a decision has been made. Alison Kodjak writes in another article for npr about how changes have been occurring since day one of trumps presidency, discussing his first executive order, “The one-page order allows the head of the Department of Health and Human Services or any other agency with authority under the law, not to enforce regulations that impose a financial burden on a state, company or individual”. This order is currently allowing leaders in states to block financial assistance to individuals covered under obamacare; however this is only a temporary solution to the ordeal that repealing our health care system presents.

Another question being asked by many americans is how many people lose coverage in the switch to a new system. According to Evan Saltzman in an article written to The Commonwealth Fund, he discusses that repealing ACA would, “in 19.7 million fewer people with health insurance in 2018”. That's just with the repeal of the ACA, Saltzman also discusses the consequences of the Medic-aid block-grant program would , “result in 25.1 million fewer people with health insurance”. If these current predictions are accurate then millions of americans would lose their coverage, despite trump's campaign promises of coverage for every american. The problem with repealing our current system right now is that there is no solid system to replace it and it’s looking like its going to be a long time before republicans can make a decision on a solution to their massive issue.

One of the last major concerns people have is how will taxes be affected for the middle and upper classes. So far current plans point to providing the upper class receiving tax cuts from the government, which would increase taxes for the middle and lower classes. Kelsey Snell from the washington post discusses congress's “Three Pronged Plan” saying, “one that would start with a special “reconciliation” bill that could skirt a Senate filibuster but accomplish only some of the GOP’s health-care goals. Meanwhile, the Trump administration would be using its executive and regulatory powers to undermine the Obama-era law, while lawmakers started work on more thorough replacement legislation that would need some Democratic support”. This reveals the gops current goals and how they will use this plan to input new systems and attempt to reduce taxes. As of now the main goal of congress is to cut taxes while still attempting to maintain current revenue. Mike Debonis from the washington post says, “Again, details were left for a subsequent session, although Ryan told members that they would work toward a tax reform plan that would cut rates while roughly maintaining current revenue levels.”. So while this is the official plan for our health care reform further details are still coming out about exact specifics.

The 2017 reform of our healthcare system will completely change how americans will receive their coverage and how taxes will be distributed for the middle and higher classes. In terms of receiving their coverage, we can look to the idea of states being given the three options that Susan Davis writes in an article for npr, “The Cassidy-Collins plan would give states three options: Keep Obamacare as is, enact their own insurance expansion or opt out of federal assistance entirely”. This plan could help the government reduce spending on health care while maintaining current income. As for the effect this will have on taxes it’s not entirely clear what republicans plan to tackle taxes. House speakers who attended a house meeting earlier this week told the washington post, “Aides warned that it is possible that the Senate will need more time to complete its work on tax reform, but leaders were eager to set an aggressive target”. So all we can really tell for the future of our health care system and its affects on taxes is that the main goal is to reduce taxes and maintain income, but no solid plans are yet in place


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