The American Healthcare Act (AHCA) which passed the house this week is seen as the “fix” for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. Except that it’s the fix no one wants.
Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and trade groups representing them are all united against the bill. While the language is couched in the numbers of those who would lose coverage due to less subsidies, increased premiums, or states simply opting out of coverage, to find the truth just follow the money.
Right now the ACA guarantees subsidies for those of certain income limits who purchase health insurance on the subsidies. It also provides additional funds for Medicaid to allow states to insure low income citizens. The AHCA reduces or eliminates that money—and that’s money that went directly to the insurance companies or medical systems.
It may be less risk for insurers who don’t have to cover preexisting conditions under the AHCA. They may be able to finally price risk into the market as they had been wanting to do. However, this also means many individuals won’t be able to afford health insurance resulting in fewer customers for the insurance companies. Most likely that means fewer premium dollars as well.
Though the AHCA hasn’t become law yet. It must first go through the Senate and then if any changes are made be reconciled between the two houses of Congress before it’s signed into law. If you want to know what really will happen—follow the money. Because when something has most of the players in the health industry aligned against it, there’s a big chance that there’s a good reason why.