After passing a controversial amended version of the American Healthcare Act that was voted on last week before undergoing a score from the Congressional Budget Office, House members have returned to their districts during a recess and are hearing criticism of the newly approved Republican healthcare legislation at town hall meetings, especially concerning the proposed changes surrounding the coverage of pre-existing conditions.
The majority of Americans are not in support for a major overhaul of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that is currently the law of the land in the U.S.
According to an April 2017′ Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans approve of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed into law by former U.S. President Barack Obama which restructured the U.S. healthcare system compared to 41 percent that disapprove.
The same April 2017 Gallup poll asked Americans if they prefer to keep the 2010 Affordable Care Act as it is now in its current form, make significant changes to it, or repeal and replace it with a new healthcare law.
The poll results showed that 40 percent voted to keep the Affordable Care Act but change it, compared to 30 percent of Americans voting to repeal and replace it, and 26 percent voting to keep the 2010 Affordable Care Act in its current form.
A March 23rd Quinnipiac poll revealed that American voters disapprove 56-17 percent of the new Republican healthcare plan, the American Healthcare Act, to replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Support among Republicans wasn’t very strong either and was just 41 percent compared to 24 percent that disapprove.
Criticism of the new Republican healthcare bill comes in many different forms but one of the most widely heard complaints, even among Republican Senators like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, revolves around the fact that Republican House leaders brought the amended Republican repeal and replace healthcare bill to the House floor for a vote before it was even analyzed and scrutinized by healthcare and budget experts from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) said on NBC’s Meet the Press that there are a lot of major changes that are going to have a dramatic impact on the healthcare marketplace that still haven’t been analyzed professionally.
“We don’t know its breadth and depth as analyzed professionally. We don’t know its cost as analyzed professionally. And there are a lot of major changes which are going to have a dramatic impact on the health care marketplace, which is now one-fifth of the economy” Sen. Feinstein said.
ABC host George Stephanopoulos of This Week pointed out to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Sunday that in 2009 on MSNBC he was critical of political efforts to vote on and pass bills that they haven’t read and don’t even know about their cost.
Speaker Ryan replied, “Yes I think this is a kind of a bogus attack from the left” and claimed that the 3 page amendment to the American Healthcare Act won’t dramatically alter the 2 scores of the American Healthcare Act.
Speaker Ryan claimed that they are going to have a system that has more choices, more competition, and lower prices.
“And yes, this CBO score does say it lowers premiums”
In fact, the CBO score states, “The legislation would tend to increase average premiums in the nongroup market prior to 2020 and lower average premiums thereafter.”
The average increase of premiums are expected to rise 15-20 percent higher until 2020.
Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) echoed the sentiment from Democratic Senator Diana Feinstein and admitted on ABC’s This Week that she has a lot of concerns with the new House Bill because they still don’t have a CBO analysis of the impact of coverage and costs.
Senator Collins said that it is true that under the newly approved House bill, a state that gets a waiver would still have to provide coverage to people with preexisting conditions, although she noted that the coverage might be unaffordable.
“And if the coverage is unaffordable, that doesn’t do any good for a child who has juvenile diabetes and is going have that her entire life. And once she’s no longer on her parents’ policy, that’s going to create problems in some states” Senator Collins said.
Senator Collins said that the Senate is starting “from scratch” drafting their own bill and will take the time “to do it right.”
“I would like to see us put together a bipartisan group to solve this problem, of Democrats who acknowledge that there are problems with the current law, that it is not working well in several states, and Republicans who also want to make sure that we’re not reducing coverage and we’re giving flexibility” Senator Collins added.
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