Here's everything you need to know about any potential Obamacare replacement.
With the election of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as well as a successful cycle for Republicans in Congress, there have been new questions about Obamacare. It's been a disputed and scrutinized piece of legislation, and there's been talk of an Obamacare replacement if not a repealing it altogether.
In the aftermath of the election, Republicans and Democrats alike have explained that major changes to Obamacare would likely take several years to establish. This will allow for insurance companies, healthcare organizations and regular citizens to not only voice concerns, but also prepare for whatever an Obamacare replacement might look like.
There are, however, steps that can be made in the short-term to amend the law. Here's what we know so far about any possible changes:
Possible Obamacare changes
Trump promised to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, and there are a number of plans being proposed that would function as an Obamacare replacement. As Vox reported, several prominent Republicans have voiced opinions on what they believe would be the best way to make changes.
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Congress will have to be careful when deciding on an Obamacare replacement.
One possible change that could come in the short-term would be a reversal of Medicaid expansion and an eventual reduction of funding overall. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has suggested giving states more control over this program and reducing the amount of federal spending on Medicaid.
There have also been proposals that change Obamacare tax credits, specifically basing them on age rather than income. At present, it looks as if coverage for pre-exisiting conditions and other important Obamacare rulings will not be removed, but there are legal pathways for this to change quickly.
Why finding an Obamacare replacement will be hard
Congressional leaders and the Trump presidency have shown caution when establishing an Obamacare replacement, Vox reported. Not only could there be stark political ramifications if voters lose coverage or see changes in premiums, but there are logistical concerns as well.
Obamacare was built as a partnership between the government, insurance companies and healthcare organizations, and sweeping changes would create turmoil in the private sector as well. Despite any campaign promises, it appears leaders will carefully weigh all options before offering an Obamacare replacement.
What you need to know now
Vice President-elect Mike Pence explained that by granting the public time to prepare for changes to Obamacare, the entire process can be smoother. As a result, a formal repeal or larger changes could take two years or more to be put in place. As a result, it's likely that Americans who rely on Obamacare for health insurance coverage will be protected until 2019.
Going online and getting a premium quote is still important for seeing all available options for you and your family. In this way, you can find coverage if you aren't currently insured or re-evaluate your current health plan. Even if you are covered by your work, you may find that shopping around on the Insurance Marketplace uncovers a more affordable option.
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