The American Healthcare Act of 2017 intended to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act put into legislation by the Obama administration in 2010.
The American Healthcare Act of 2017 aimed to rid federal funding of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. AHCA would have transferred the contributions to fund community public health centers instead. The appeal highly targeted family planning facilities like Planned Parenthood. Where the Affordable Care Act emphasized the need for funding preventative and healthcare services that facilities like Planned Parenthood provided, the American Healthcare Act would withhold funds typically made payable to the states for the upkeep of these public health services.
Further, the bill intended to significantly limit the funding made available to the Medicaid program to take place over the course of the next three years, while enacting more stringent regulations regarding Medicaid enrollment. New legislation would require Medicaid enrollees to be re-evaluated after a period of six months to determine whether or not the individual continued to meet eligibility criteria. Where the Affordable Care Act was more lenient with funding, the Republican-driven American Healthcare Act chose to scale back these contributions.
Cost sharing reductions once available to lower-income families would also be void within 2 years. While a major conservation of financial resources for the federal government, lower income families would face increased dues at time of treatment – a substantial change from the support that the Affordable Care Act offered.
Social Security Act
The appeal promised an amendment to the Social Security Act, stating that said amendment would provide funding sufficient to aid in stabilizing the cost of health insurance premiums. Individuals not having maintained health insurance would be penalized, paying upwards of an additional 30% on their premium for the duration of their first year of coverage. While the Affordable Care Act penalized individuals not enrolled in the health care program, the penalty, at least temporarily, would remain during the first year under the American Healthcare Act.
Repealing tax increases and penalties for not sustaining a possession of minimally acceptable coverage, the bill aspired to eliminate the expensive repercussions often taken on the lower socio-economic class. As an incentive, the American Healthcare Act would offer a refundable tax credit to taxpayers who chose to purchase private health insurance offered on an individual market that was not available through the Affordable Care Act.
Many feared that if passed, the AHCA would force millions of Americans to lose health insurance coverage. With a loss of health insurance, it would make it harder for Americans to manage their health, especially while living with a chronic disease like diabetes.
The Initial Outcome
Regrettably, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R), reluctantly pulled the bill from the floor as there was not adequate support for the bill to pass. The Republican-originated bill lacked the support of the Democratic party and by Republicans who lacked confidence in the terms of the repeal. Hastily generated, the bill led the majority of legislators feeling unsettled, ultimately leading to the failure of the proposed legislation to progress through Congress.