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Last week, the House narrowly passed a health care bill that would repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, House lawmakers passed a rewritten version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), moving President Trump and Republican leadership a step closer to delivering on their promise to reshape American health care.

“Yes, premiums will be coming down; yes, deductibles will be coming down, but very importantly, it’s a great plan,” Trump stated after the bill was passed last week.

The House measure came to its most recent vote without an updated accounting of how much the bill will cost or its impact. The last assessment, which was done before alterations were made, indicated that “24 million people would lose insurance; it would save $300 million; and premiums would go down ten percent after ten years.”


Early indications are that older Americans won’t fare well under the revised AHCA. According to The Washington Post, seniors will pay more for healthcare in most states and people with preexisting conditions such diabetes, arthritis, or heart disease could see significantly higher premiums.

“AARP is deeply disappointed in today’s vote by the House to pass this deeply flawed health bill,” AARP’s Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a release last Thursday. “The bill will put an Age Tax on us as we age, harming millions of American families with health insurance, forcing many to lose coverage or pay thousands of dollars more for health care. In addition, the bill now puts at risk the 25 million older adults with preexisting conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, who would likely find health care unaffordable or unavailable to them.”

On NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price defended the legislation against charges that people who have preexisting conditions could see their insurance premiums rise under some circumstances. “Those who are sicker, who are older, who are poorer — they will get larger subsidies so that they will able to get the kind of coverage they need and for their family,” Price claimed.

Although Price, President Trump, and other GOP leaders are touting the bill’s passage as a win, the AHCA still faces a steep uphill battle in the Senate, where is expected to undergo major changes before it even is put to a vote. Although no Democratic support is needed for the bill to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate, many GOP leaders, including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), have already spoken out in opposition to their party’s rewritten legislation.

“Congress must take responsible action that lowers healthcare costs, but these changes must be made in a way that does not leave people behind,” Portman said.

This still isn’t a done deal. Hopefully, the bill undergoes significant reworking in the Senate to fix many of the concerns raised regarding healthcare coverage for older Americans. While the problems with Obamacare need to be fixed, it’s important that lawmakers are diligent in rewriting the American Health Care Act so that the problems with Obamacare are not exacerbated with the newest healthcare overhaul.

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