Now that you have had a chance to view the healthcare systems of other countries, we can now turn our attention to the American health insurance situation. This is a very complicated and involved subject but one that is critical to the future of all Americans.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is the current national healthcare program. Republicans have vowed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare for the past seven years. However, now that they have a majority in Congress and the Presidency, they are finding it more difficult than they imagined. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), or Trumpcare, barely passed the House of Representatives last week and is now headed to the U.S. Senate, where its future is very uncertain.
We won’t be talking too much about the politics of healthcare; rather, we will focus on the basic features of each proposal and consider the economic implications. To get started, watch this video on how insurance works in a market economy.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-58VD3z7ZiQ (链接到外部网站。)链接到外部网站。
Then watch this video on the basics of the ACA, which is still law of the land until the Republicans can replace it.
Then read a comparison of the basic features of both proposals (链接到外部网站。)链接到外部网站。. If you’re confused about any feature of either program, ask me via email or in the discussion and I’ll try to explain it.
The topic for the discussion will be: which proposal do you like: Obamacare or Trumpcare. Explain what features you like or dislike. Pay particular attention to the following issues:
- Pre-existing conditions: the ability to charge higher prices to those who have a medical condition prior to obtaining insurance. For example, changing someone with cancer or a birth defect higher rates.
- Expansion of medicaid: This is a government provided care for those with low income. (Don’t confuse it with Medicare, which is insurance for those over 65 on Social Security). Medicaid is a joint Federal-state program, which has been growing in recent years due to the increasing expansion of those with low-income.
- Insurance mandate: This requires everyone to have health insurance. Those on low income (but above the Medicaid level) receive a government subsidy to help buy insurance.
- Tax provisions: To pay for the subsidies, higher taxes are charged on the wealthy.
Should healthcare be something determined by each individual? Or, should the government have a role in determining how healthcare will be distributed?