The Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act Compared
The provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) directs all employers to provide minimum value and affordable medical cover to all full-time employees or else be penalized whereas the American Health Care Act (AHCA) removed the penalty on defaulting employers (Conley, Dygert & Sellstrom, 2016). Under the ACA, it is the people’s mandate to buy healthcare coverage whereas the AHCA abolished the penalty requiring individuals to purchase health cover. However, the AHCA issues penalties to individuals who fail to pay their healthcare coverage for more than 63 days in the last 12 months, and youth who are past the age limit under parental cover and did not enroll for health cover of that year (Conley, Dygert & Sellstrom, 2016).
The penalty is a 30% surcharge in premiums, which can last for a period of 12 months (Conley, Dygert & Sellstrom, 2016). On the aspect of coverage affordability, ACA provides for cost-sharing subsidies in low-income families or individuals to allow for exchange plans for up to an average of 70%. The premiums to be paid by such individuals and families have tax reductions to enable low-income earners afford healthcare insurance (Mach, 2017). On the other hand, the AHCA offers credits on the basis of age with fixed amounts such as below 30 years-$2000, 30-40 years-$2500, $3,500-50-60 years, and it faced out credits for people earning incomes that exceed $75,000 (Conley, Dygert & Sellstrom, 2016). The ACA removed additional charges for health status whereas AHCA charges 30% standard rate for people with preexisting health complication for the past 12 months (Mach, 2017).
Opinion on Why AHCA Failed in the first Passage Attempt
The most likely reasons for the failure of AHCA during its first passage attempt were due to its provisions that would impact negatively in low income families and the less-privileged individuals with regard to their preexisting health status. For instance, the AHCA lifted penalties that employers were to be charged if they defaulted paying the compulsory health cover for all their permanent employees. This implies that employees could pay their employees’ cover only when they wished, which could push the burden back to employees. The other reasons are that people with preexisting medical conditions would be required to pay more premiums, and abolished sharing of insurance cover, and charging premiums based on age instead of economic capabilities. This means that you can be charged little premiums even if you earn high, and you can be charged high premiums even if you poor depending on your age.