Repeal and Replace

Wil Kotnik, Blogger

There has always been a clamorous resistance from the GOP against the health care plan Obama introduced when in office. This plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—or ObamaCare as it’s widely known—makes it so that the wealthy who can afford to pay for private providers have to pay more money in order to aid those who don’t have such financial liberties (see previous blog Locking Horns With The Past for more details). From the start, the republican party has sought to dismantle ObamaCare. They tried getting it repealed, and when that didn’t work they attempted bringing down the outside structure by means of filing federal lawsuits, disrupting provisionals, and creating bulwarks for funding.

This week the GOP found their first success in a republican reformation of health care. Their plan passed in the House with a vote of 217 to 213. The blueprint of the plan accepted by the House makes a few major alterations. First of all it cuts the taxes on the wealthy, which was a major contribution to funding ObamaCare. Another major change is that it gives states the power to choose whether or not “essential health benefits” such as maternity care, emergency services, and mental illnesses, are covered by health care. And perhaps the other most notable change is the legalization for insurance companies to charge higher prices for those with preexisting conditions.

The reformation of health care made it through the House, but Senate has yet to vote on it. There’s some skepticism on whether or not the GOP will find the same success there; they’ve apparently been constructing their own blueprint of a health-care reformation. However, President Trump is so sure certain of their victory that he’s already signed the bill preemptively, without the Senate having spoken their mind yet. Whether or not his bold move was arrogance or foresight is yet to be determined.


What Will Whitman Feel

The Whitman Community is largely built up from relatively wealthy or high-income families (median income of parents being $156,000 per year). As such, the possibility of the GOP’s health care plan might benefit a large majority of the student body and their families given the proposed tax cuts for the wealthy. However students of the FGWC (First Generation/Working Class) body might experience a less pleasant dimension of the plan, should it pass through congress as is. The toll on the working class community would be self explanatory, in that they wouldn’t have the funds of the wealthy redirected towards their own health care. This indirectly affects at least some of the parents of first generation students as well—on average, the salary of college graduates are more than those who don’t get a higher education degree.

The other matter of relevance to our Whitman community is the power of states to determine which essential health benefits are covered by insurance. Washington is secure in its democratic majority, so the essential benefits such as maternal health would likely still be covered. States that have voted more red lately might be less inclined to provide assistance to abortion and other critical matters.