As part of their AP U.S. Government studies, Marshfield High School students researched and compiled information on an issue they cared about and wrote letters to the editor. Hub City Times will publish a collection of their letters.
The new GOP health care bill was passed on May 4 in the House of Representatives and is now currently in the Senate. This bill repeals major parts of the Affordable Care Act, and President Donald Trump called the ACA “essentially dead.”
The GOP bill eliminates Obamacare taxes on the wealthy and would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people in their 50s and early 60s, and states could apply to allow insurers to offer weaker policies that do not cover the 10 basic health benefits mandated by the ACA. Insurers would now be able charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions if they let their coverage lapse.
I can understand needing a plan that will lower the debt, but allowing weaker policies that do not cover the 10 basic health benefits is stripping people of fair health care. The 10 basic benefits are ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
I hope to see these 10 basic health benefits added to the bill. These 10 things are health resources every American relies on and needs. Without these 10 resources, what is the point of even having health care? You would be better off to just keep the money than pay for health care that will not cover anything.
Also, I find it unfair to charge higher premiums to elders. In the bill there needs to be a section saying that coverage cost cannot be determined by age.