Ever since Obamacare was suggested, the Republicans were against it. It considerably increased the cost of medical care for the government, but it benefited more people in new ways. Especially, the older generation with different diseases that were not covered by their old insurance benefited greatly from Obamacare. One of the common reasons for severe criticism of Obamacare is that the younger generation had to pay a higher price to allow extended coverage for the older generation. Trump’s White House wants to repeal and replace Obamacare to make the insurance more affordable for the government. This could mean that several beneficiaries of Obamacare will lose their access to health services and American Association for Retired People (AARP) is unhappy about it.
AARP has 38 million members from the retired community and it has sent letters criticizing the proposals of the Republicans. To replace Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly called as Obamacare, the Republicans propose age bands and converting Medicaid into block grant. The Republicans hope to drive down the cost with these two major changes, but in reality, the effect would be different. AARP is also calling out lawmakers for a hearing.
The Republicans may not be stopped by AARP’s moves, but it simply shows that the road ahead to repeal Obamacare would be difficult than it imagined. A major portion of the older population has voted for Donald Trump and suddenly, they are afraid that they will lose their medical benefits. Even those who didn’t like Obamacare are aghast that repealing the entire law means that they won’t be able to enjoy the part of the law they liked.
Before ACA, the older generation paid a greater insurance premium compared to the younger ones. Those with predisposed medical conditions have to deal with out-of-pocket expenses because the insurance didn’t provide adequate coverage. Obamacare ensured that the insurance companies don’t charge older people three times of what they charge the younger people. Even though young people paid a higher premium due to this change, it provided additional coverage for old people. Republicans argue that age band will reduce the burden on young people, but in reality, the benefits are far less.
AARP warns that the age band would cause older people to pay more for insurance when they have to deal with increased medical problems. The new proposal will not expand access to affordable and quality healthcare. Instead, it would limit the access in new ways. Republicans want to give more control to the states by converting Medicaid to block grant program. This is to reduce the funding for the program as Republicans want to add savings to federal Treasury.
The states don’t have finances to distribute as many benefits. When the states make cuts, Medicaid will become a burden for the older people as Medicaid is widely used for nursing home care. It is alleged that some of the Republicans are worried about repealing Obamacare and they wanted to discuss in private meetings. Executing Obamacare repeal through legislation will take a lot of time and political capital which will make it difficult for the Republicans to keep up with other promises.