This year we have been tracking the evolution of healthcare in the United States under the Trump administration, from the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) bills failing to pass through Congress, the expiration of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) which covers 9 million children—many of whom have chronic health conditions—to Executive Orders undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) to the effect of destabalizing the insurance markets, causing confusion among consumers and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. More recently the U.S. Congress has been focused on tax reform, though critics have described efforts as a healthcare repeal disguised as a tax bill. This week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill that, if

passed, could take effect on January 1, 2018.   For those concerned with America’s growing debt, the CBO analysis finds the $1.4 trillion would be added to the federal deficit over the next decade. Critics decry raising taxes for lower-income families while lowering taxes for those who make over $100,000 annually. The primary concern to poor Americans comes from the tax bill’s effect on health care. The Senate’s tax bill repeals the Obamacare individual mandate that requires almost all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a penalty. As with all previous attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the CBO has calculated that the change would cause insurance premiums to rise leading to millions losing their insurance in the…

Donald Trump, President of the United States, has taken steps to systematically change America’s health insurance system. He has failed on his promise to pass healthcare reform through Congress due to lack of support, mostly from the destabilization the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would have caused for premium costs and uninsured rates. The morning of October 12 he signed an Executive Order undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and opens the door to low-benefit insurance despite lack of Congressional support. Later that night, Trump ordered an immediate end to subsidies to insurance companies that help cover low-income Americans between 100% to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).   Trump has repeatedly called the ACA (aka Obamacare) a “disaster” that is

“failing” despite the more than 50 million uninsured in 2009 decreasing to 28 million uninsured by 2017. Since taking office the Trump administration has been criticized for “sabotaging Obamacare” by using ACA funds for anti-Obamacare ad campaigns, cutting the enrollment period in half, and planning weekly 12-hour maintenance outages to the ACA enrollment websites during the enrollment period. These most recent executive orders enables insurers to offer plans that provide few benefits, so seemingly less expensive premiums would leave patients with high out-of-pocket costs, and directly impacts low-income Americans and may lead to many losing coverage or making impossibly difficult decisions of whether to eat or receive health care. In a recent blog post we dove into the details of understanding health insurance, including…

We have been tracking the new healthcare bill being proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). After passing the House last month, the bill was sent to the United States Senate where it was redrafted into the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which they are planning on holding the vote for after the July 4th recess. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released their analysis report on the BCRA’s impact on the Federal deficit and American’s premiums and insurance status.   Previous CBO scores for Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal/replace bills have shown millions of Americans would lose health insurance while premiums rise for several years before falling, primarily for the healthiest and youngest Americans

while older people and those with pre-existing conditions could see much higher healthcare costs. The analysis of the most recent bill concurs that 49 million Americans under 65 years old would be without health insurance (compared to the projected 28 million under the Affordable Care Act). The CBO also cuts funding to Medicaid by $772 billion over the next ten years; enrollment is expected to fall by more than 15 million people by 2026, 57% of which covers children or disabled Americans. As found in previous reports, premiums are expected to rise leading up to 2020. Premiums would rise an average of 74%, with Americans under 18 years old seeing a 10% increase in premiums while they would more than double for those 55 and older. Analysis also found…

In a previous blog post, we explored the proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) repeal/new healthcare law called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Congress decided the bill would not be voted on shortly thereafter due to lack of support, but it has since been modified and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The passing of the House bill was celebrated by the Trump administration before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) could analyze how the bill would affect the federal deficit and the healthcare costs for Americans. Last week the CBO released their report on the amended AHCA.   According to supporters of the bill, the AHCA’s aim is to lower premiums and the deficit. The CBO report finds that

the deficit will decrease by $119 billion by 2026 (as opposed to the $337 billion decrease from the previous version of the AHCA rejected in March) but would increase the number of uninsured people by 23 million in the same time period. It also found that insurance premiums would rise an average of 25% by 2019 before normalizing by 2020. Depending on what part of the country and the number of changes implemented in different states, premiums would be anywhere from 4% to 20% lower by 2026. The CBO acknowledges that the highest reduction in premiums would go to the healthiest and youngest Americans, while older people with pre-existing conditions could see a rise in premiums. There is a high degree of uncertainty based on states being able…

This past Mother’s Day launched the 18th annual National Women’s Health Week. Led by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, the goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and raise awareness of the steps one can take to improve their health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends many common measures, such as proper health screenings, staying physically active, eating healthy, and promoting other healthy behaviors. Healthy behaviors include getting enough sleep, being smoke-free, washing your hands, not texting while driving, or wearing a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet, or sunscreen when appropriate. Furthermore, the National Women’s Health Week website has suggestions for women in their 20s to their 90s.   The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/new

healthcare law awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate after passing through the House of Representatives removes a regulation forbidding insurance companies from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions. Prior to the ACA, pre-existing conditions included many routine women’s health issues including pregnancy and Cesarean sections. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) also removes the ACA’s essential health benefits guidelines, many of which were in place to promote and ensure women’s health. There have been reports that being a victim of sexual assault or domestic abuse would qualify as a pre-existing condition under the AHCA. While this is not specifically the case, follow-up treatments for assault such as STI-prevention or injuries sustained through abuse can lead to higher insurance costs or…