As the House Republicans’ repeal-and-replace plan for Obamacare slowly creeps its way into becoming law, an important question lingers: How will it impact ordinary Americans?
“Their current bill keeps in parts of the ACA that are very popular,” Maura Calsyn, managing director for health policy at Center for American Progress, told Salon. “In addition to these popular reforms, the current bill keeps many of the ACA’s more technical changes to other parts of the health care system, such as reforms to Medicare.”
But much of what made the ACA so effective for so many Americans is going to be jettisoned.
“The big piece that everybody is going to be talking about going is the individual mandate,” Calsyn explained. “But getting rid of the individual mandate creates problems for the insurance market. Republicans are misleading the public about keeping many of the law’s consumer protections. That is because having a mandate allows the ACA to include such strong consumer protections, because the mandate increases the number of healthy people in the insurance market. Without a mandate, people could just buy insurance when they get sick, which raises costs for everyone. The current bill instead includes a ‘continuous coverage’ provision. That means that if you lose your insurance for three months, the insurer can then charge you more. That doesn’t provide the same incentive to buy insurance as the mandate does.” Read more.