House of Representatives Starts Work On New Health Care Plan

republican elephant The Republicans in the House of Representatives have begun putting together a health care plan that they are intending to see as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. While this plan is not yet complete, there are already some significant changes that, if passed, will affect health insurance.

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the health care law that is called the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”. Next, the House of Representatives will make a new and different health care plan, which they would like to see replace the one that they voted to repeal. There are some details that are known about what will be included in the replacement health care plan.

A new bill will once again allow interstate sales of health insurance. More than sixty Representatives who are Republicans have signed this new bill. In 2010, insurance companies were no longer allowed to sell insurance across state lines. Some felt that this prohibition would protect consumers from purchasing a health insurance policy that did not meet up to the health insurance requirements for the state they live in. Others felt that preventing the sale of interstate insurance harmed consumers because it would not allow consumers to purchase less expensive health insurance from an insurance company that was not located in the state they happen to reside in. Obviously, health insurance companies would like to be able to sell to consumers across state lines, as this gives them the potential to make more profits.

Republicans also have made a change that they feel will help to lower the cost of health insurance premiums. They will no longer require insurance companies to cover maternity care, cancer screenings, and mastectomies. On the one hand, if your insurance company can save money by not having to cover those kinds of health care costs, then perhaps it could pass the savings on to you, in the form of a lower premium.

On the other hand, if you, or your spouse, needs maternity care, cancer screenings, or a mastectomy, then you are going to end up paying out of your own pocket for those services. Personally, I feel that this change is harmful to consumers who are interested in having a child, or who want to have more children, since a regular health insurance policy will no longer be required to cover maternity care. It seems this plan will cover the costs of medical care related to cancer, but it will make you pay out of pocket if you want to be screened to see if you have cancer. It troubles me that this plan specifically excludes the coverage of the costs of a mastectomy, which, if I am understanding correctly, is a procedure that is performed on a person who has breast cancer. Most people who have breast cancer are women.

Another things that Republican Representatives are interested in implementing are more restrictions on federal funding for abortion services. This goes back to the ongoing argument about whether or not the Affordable Care Act would use federal funding to pay for abortions. The new bill will prevent consumers who purchase a health insurance plan that covers abortion from being able to deduct any of those costs from their taxes.

Image by erjkprunczyk on Flickr

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