A substitute for the Affordable Care Act is incredibly important for the success of our nation’s youth. For this reason, the recent failure of the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was devastating.
Many millennials are one health crisis short of a financial disaster. Serious illness often leads to detrimental results for academic life. That means a working health care system could determine whether the next generation reaches the American Dream or falls into the abyss of financial ruin – as if that wasn’t already more than a possibility with the cost of higher education.
For approximately seven years, Republicans have been discussing how best to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. As noted by Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner, the GOP proved to be grossly unprepared for such a feat with their proposal and withdrawal of the American Healthcare Act.
Although most Americans favor repealing and replacing parts of the Affordable Care Act, they viewed the American Healthcare Act unfavorably. Millennials especially negatively viewed the bill, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Forty-eight percent of young Americans wish to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but only eighteen percent approved of the GOP health care plan. Admittedly, Quinnipiac is not the most reliable or neutral of polls – but still.
One must wonder why so many millennials are opposed to the American Healthcare Act?
The individual mandate is one of the many provisions that have proven detrimental to young Americans, as many millennials cannot afford health care or the individual mandate penalty. The AHA was supported in that it would repeal the individual mandate created by the Affordable Care Act. The GOP bill does, however, include a penalty for those without continuous coverage. The punishment for those without continuous coverage has caused unease among young Americans. The bill states:
If the applicant had a lapse in coverage for greater than 63 days, issuers will assess a flat 30% late-enrollment surcharge on top of their base premium based on their decision to forgo coverage. This late-enrollment surcharge would be the same for all market entrants, regardless of health status, and discontinued after 12 months, incentivizing enrollees to remain covered.
Millennials especially may be unable to afford the surcharge since they tend to hold more unstable jobs and incomes than the general population claims Bruce Jaspen of Forbes. The GOP health care plan would, however, offer young Americans a tax credit of about two thousand dollars, which would more than offset the penalty for those without continuous coverage.
The American Healthcare Act keeps a few provisions from the Affordable Care Act. Such requirements include coverage for pre-existing conditions and permitting millennials to stay on their parents’ health care plans until age twenty-six, as written in a previous article here on Liberty Nation. These requirements are viewed favorably by most young Americans.
Although the American Healthcare Act indeed requires modifications, millennials would fare better under the GOP health care plan than they are currently under the Affordable Care Act. The failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will remain for quite some time. As Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, according to ABC News, “we’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
And that is most not a good thing for America writ large, or millennials in particular.