Health Care at Risk
November 22, 2016
The incoming Trump administration and Congress have campaigned on promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. "Obamacare"), which has helped over 20 million Americans gain health care coverage as well as ensuring those of us with preexisting conditions are not discriminated against by insurance companies.
What Comes Next?
Complete repeal of the ACA would be complicated and unpopular, not only among those who have gained or seen improvements in their health care coverage under it, but also among insurance companies, medical providers and hospital associations.
The president-elect has indicated since the election that he would like to keep some of the more popular components of the ACA, including prohibitions on discrimination against preexisting conditions (crucial for those of us living with HIV, HCV and other chronic conditions). However, he wants to repeal the individual mandate, which requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Keeping the preexisting condition language without the individual mandate could make it very difficult for insurers to comply without drastically raising premiums, since it increases the likelihood that those purchasing health care already have serious health conditions.
It appears very likely that the ACA will be modified substantially, though it is difficult to know exactly how, how long it will take, and what it may be replaced with. Assuming, however, that Congress fully repeals the ACA with the president-elect's approval, the following would happen:
What Can We Do?
We will need to be very organized, stay very well-informed and advocate harder than ever over the coming months to prevent affordable health care access from being gutted. Here are a few suggestions for the present and immediate future:
This article was provided by Positive Women's Network of the United States of America. Visit PWN-USA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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