How Cruel Is the Republican Healthcare Bill?
The amount of misinformation regarding healthcare and proposed laws is staggering. Name-calling and incorrect assumptions have dominated the news and social media. Both sides of the political aisle condemn the other side's plan. Unfortunately, much of the criticism is necessary because both the Republican plan (AHCA) and the Democratic plan (ACA) are incredibly flawed, principally because they both fail to address the real problem with American healthcare which is the cost.
The American Health Care Act of 2017, which passed in the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017 has been labeled as cruel, deadly, and callous. This is in large part due the elimination of a national law on preexisting conditions. But what exactly does the proposed law say about preexisting conditions?
Under AHCA, each state would be able to determine their own rules on preexisting conditions and other healthcare rules which under ACA are set by the federal government.
If the federal government, is cruel for passing the choice to the states, would not each state government be equally or even more cruel for failing to uphold the current preexisting condition standards? If AHCA passes and becomes law, state legislators would have the power to maintain the preexisting condition law. Constituents would have a larger voice with their local state representatives and senators than with their national ones.
The AHCA largely gives more power to the states, an act in line with the 10th Amendment, which orders that any power not given to the federal government in the constitution be given to the states. Trying to create national policies on healthcare is difficult due to the size and diversity of the country, namely geographic diversity. States having more power to do what is in the best interest of their unique circumstances.
The AHCA is far from a perfect plan. However, it is also misunderstood. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a lot of freely available information regarding American healthcare and related policies. In particular, the organization offers comparisons between the ACA, AHCA, and other proposed acts. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non partisan agency is another source for clear information on the details and implications of the ACA and AHCA.
How cruel is the AHCA? Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion. Hopefully those opinions will be based on real understanding, not just what has been said or heard on social media.