Affordable Care Act Vs. American Health Care Act:

What's the real difference?

BlackDoctor.org | 5/6/2017, 8:45 a.m.
What's the real difference?
Obamacare health plan choice of repair written in chalk on a chalky natural slate blackboard isolated against white background.

Yesterday, the House voted 217 to 213 to pass the GOP health-care law, designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with what is called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and it’s already receiving (of course) mixed reviews.

The Republicans at the press conference said that is was “great and awesome” while others outside, said differently,

While the head of Medicare said that it was a “great first step,” the American Medical Association, which represents more than 200,000 doctors, whole-heartedly disagreed with the House’s passage of the American Health Care Act.

“The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question,” the group said in a statement.

It added, however, that “action is needed to improve the current health care insurance system,” and it urged the Senate and White House to seek “bipartisan solutions.”

Here are some differences:

PREMIUMS

According the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of April 26, 2017, a draft amendment to the AHCA would allow states to waive certain consumer protections, including essential health benefits, community rating and age rating. If a state takes up such a waiver, the premium amounts for that state in this interactive would no longer be applicable. For example, enrollee costs could depend on their health status, with healthy people paying less and sicker people or those with pre-existing conditions paying more. This analysis does not take into account changes the House made on March 20 that would potentially allow for larger tax credits under the AHCA for people over age 50; it is not yet clear whether and how those funds would be allocated to tax credits. The map also does not include cost-sharing assistance under the ACA that lowers deductibles and copayments for low-income marketplace enrollees. For example, in 2016, people making between 100 – 150% of poverty enrolled in a silver plan on healthcare.gov received cost-sharing assistance worth $1,440; those with incomes between 150 – 200% of poverty received $1,068 on average; and those with incomes between 200 – 250% of poverty received $144 on average.

Generally, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) receive less financial assistance under the AHCA. Additionally, older people would have higher starting premiums under the AHCA and would therefore pay higher premiums. Because younger people with higher-incomes and living in lower cost areas would receive more financial assistance and would have lower starting premiums on average, they would pay lower premiums on average.

Currently, most current Healthcare.gov enrollees have lower incomes:

About 66% of have incomes at or below 250% of poverty (approximately $31,250 for a single individual in 2020), with the bulk (44% of all enrollees) having incomes at or below 150% of poverty (approximately $18,750 in 2020).

About 36% of enrollees are under age 35, 37% are age 35 to 54, and 27% are 55 or older.