Republicans repeal and replace

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United States President Donald Trump vowed to partially repeal and replace Obamacare during his first term to invigorate the free market and alleviate economic stress on the country, according to CNN

The healthcare system costs around $2.6 trillion in 2012 and is expected to rise to $4.8 trillion by 2021, according to obamacarefacts.com. Courtesy of money.cnn.com

Former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, in 2010 and Congress passed the Act in 2012, according to obamacarefacts.com. Mr. Obama and his administration designed the act to protect individuals from unfair or invisible insurance rate spikes and to support low-wage workers and unemployed citizens by providing low-cost care.
The ACA provides health care insurance through three main providers: the workplace, private purchase, and government-funded Medicare or Medicaid, according to hhs.gov. Federal law requires employers to insure employees if they run a business with over 50 workers. This covers about one third of the national population. Additionally, there are spending caps on how much an employee has to pay out-of-pocket for standard care. The workplace compensates the remaining balance. To encourage smaller businesses to cover their employees, the federal government provides tax benefits to aid in coverage.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, aims to provide health insurance to more Americans.  Courtesy of www.chn.org

Medicare and Medicaid programs are for senior citizens and people with an annual income under $10,000. However, each state can choose whether or not it wants to participate in this government program.  If a state chooses not to participate, individuals may have to seek insurance from insurance marketplaces where private insurers compete with each other.
Different levels of coverage are available at different price points, ranging from “bronze” to “platinum.” Each tier offers a baseline comprehensive care policy, such as hospital and doctor visits, maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health care. Insurers are not allowed to raise rates or refuse to cover the chronically sick.
The federal government provides tax credits to individuals who purchase insurance at these marketplaces in order to regulate the amount they pay out-of-pocket. The Obama Administration raised federal and state taxes on the wealthy, the young, and heath providers to help pay for the increased spread of universal coverage.  
Furthermore, the act ensures that citizens can remain under their parent’s insurance plan until they are 26 years old and can choose a low rate catastrophe-only plan until they are 30 years old. A catastrophe-only plan is a high-deductible, low premium plan that provides minimum essential coverage, according to obamacarefacts.com.
President Trump’s reform of the ACA calls for a repeal of certain services under Obamacare and promotes the free-market system, according to www.nytimes.com. Mr. Trump believes that there are many systemic issues with the institution. Even so, there are certain elements that Republicans congressmen view as worthwhile.
According to nbcnews.com“[s]ome Republicans argue that the repeal bill should leave the rest of the law’s taxes in place too, in order to give them more flexibility on funding its replacement.” Other popular aspects of the law, such as the right for young adults under the age of 26 to reside under their parents’ plan will be preserved.
Republican representatives plan to repeal ACA by using a process called budget reconciliation, which passes a bill with a slight majority, instead of requiring a 60 vote Democratic filibuster, according to nbcnews.com.
Mr. Trump issued an executive order to start the reform of the act January 20, 2017. The order allows the head of the U.S Department of Health to exercise discretionary authority to waive, defer, grant exceptions, or delay any provision that imposes fiscal burden on any state, individual, or healthcare provider, according to healthcaredive.com.
The new law will allow purchasers to buy out of state insurance, and will permit the sale and purchase of prescription drugs from free-market third party vendors. By allowing and promoting competition between insurance providers, costs will decrease, making purchasing from marketplaces more appealing to buyers.
The new act will allow individuals to fully deduct premium payments from tax returns. This will ensure that people who cannot afford insurance will still receive coverage. The new system will allow and encourage people with a high deductible plan to use a Health Savings Accounts to pay for insurance. This savings account has no charge for the deceased, and the next generation can inherit it.
Mr. Trump wants to give the states complete control of how they will insure their citizens. At the heart of the GOP healthcare plans are Block Grants, instead of government-controlled funds, so that each state can properly decide how to use the money based on individual needs, according to nbcnews.com.
In addition, Mr. Trump stressed the economic burden of covering undocumented immigrants, according to pbs.org. He does not agree with government subsidized health care plans for immigrants, and proposes that the government should have a stricter immigration policy.
-Nina Rosenblum, Staff Writer