Republican healthcare bill affects college students

Georgi Presecky, Editor-in-Chief

House Republicans recently proposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as a replacement for Obamacare. If passed into law, the plan could drastically impact young Americans and their future healthcare coverage.

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act allows Americans age 26 or younger to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans. The GOP bill not only upholds this stipulation, but will also result in lower premiums for young people in the future. Current college students on their parents’ plans who will be paying for their own insurance after 2020 will see a decrease in healthcare costs.

While it might sound like good news for young people, the AHCA will negatively impact senior citizens. Premiums would be significantly increased for older people under the AHCA. Because young people are less prone to injury and illness, older Americans with healthcare plans will be charged about five times more than their younger counterparts.

Current healthcare legislation requires insurance companies to charge older citizens three times as much as young insurance holders – not enough, according to Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute and an outspoken critic of Obamacare.

“Older people’s claims are, in most cases, much more than triple those of young people. So a 3:1 age ratio effectively guarantees that insurers have to raise baseline premiums for the young,” Pipes wrote in a March 6 Forbes article. “Insurers need to make sure that charging the old three times that baseline will bring in enough revenue to cover their total claims costs.”

According to a report by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the plan would only lead to more Americans losing health insurance. Currently, 28 million people go without health insurance, even with Obamacare – the House’s “Trumpcare” plan could potentially lead to 52 million uninsured Americans by 2026, according to the report.

The proposed bill has faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, who believe that even if it reduces federal spending, it will not improve healthcare coverage in the U.S. A Fox News poll conducted on  March 16 showed only 34 percent of Americans approve of the proposal, with 40 percent “strongly” opposing the plan to replace Obamacare.

The AHCA has a long way to go; several more congressional committees must review the bill before it even reaches a vote in Congress.

Speaker Paul Ryan addressed criticism about repealing Obamacare in a statement issued March 6.

“The American Health Care Act is a plan to drive down costs, encourage competition and give every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. It protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them,” Ryan said.

The 122-page bill is available for the public to read at https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/.

Georgi Presecky
Georgi Presecky is a senior public relations/advertising major with a minor in social media. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Flyer after spending two years as a layout editor. She aspires to be Rory Gilmore but is actually much more like Paris Geller. She has accepted this.

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