Even though the American Health Care Act of 2017 died on the Senate floor due to public outcry, Trump is attempting to resurrect it sometime this month. According to the President, this bill (often called Trumpcare) would make the Republican party “the party of health care.” The reason? Trumpcare could soon become the law of the land if lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reach the Supreme Court.
The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is under attack in New Orleans’s 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed, it eliminated the ACA penalty imposed upon people who don’t have health insurance. Without the penalty in place, a Texas judge ruled the entire law to be unconstitutional. Should the New Orleans judge uphold this ruling, the lawsuit is anticipated to eventually reach the Supreme Court where Trump has recently appointed two conservative justices. However, it could take over a year for the justices to hear this lawsuit and rule on it, giving the administration time to flesh out the details of the bill.
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How Trumpcare would affect Medicare
Although Medicare is separate from ACA marketplace plans, Trumpcare could still affect Medicare coverage due to provisions buried within the bill.
For example, Trumpcare could roll back Medicare expansions under the ACA. It could also cut Medicare payroll taxes, raising out-of-pocket costs for current beneficiaries.
Trumpcare vs. Medicare for All
Although Democrats running for president are split on how to best go about reforming the American healthcare system, they all agree that it needs reforming.
Several progressive candidates like Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) champion Medicare for All. Self-described “pragmatic” candidates are throwing their support behind Medicare buy-in options, like South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Medicare for All Who Want It and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke’s Medicare for America.
Although they’re split on reformation, all candidates would likely attack a revised version of Trumpcare if it does not include aspects of the ACA that have been popular with the public. For example, these aspects include the provisions of protection for people with pre-existing conditions and coverage for adult children over 26.
Joe Antos from the American Enterprise Institute agrees that Republicans open themselves up to attack should the administration release a new bill. However, Antos believes Republicans can say “they are dedicated to protecting people with preexisting conditions. That might be enough for a lot of people [to support Trumpcare].”
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