GOP Reveals Obamacare Update And It Becomes Meme
Republicans in the House of Representatives finally presented their idea of a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
And it's basically Obamacare, just not as good.
I mean, to start, they named it the American Health Care Act -- AHCA. The AHCA is replacing... the ACA.
The plan was pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, and it tinkers with the current health care plan from Obama.
There's a lot of changes that vary in significance depending on who you are. Now bear with me as we go through this because health care is complicated, contrary to what President Donald Trump once thought. I promise you'll get to see some memes.
In the GOP plan, some of the stuff a lot of people really liked about Obamacare gets to stay.
This includes people under 26 getting to stay on their parents's health insurance (yay!) as well as saying you can't stop someone with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance (double yay!).
But then there are the changes.
On that pre-existing condition thing, for instance, people with them are required to constantly have coverage. If they lose coverage for a bit, they'll have a 30 percent surcharge on their premiums. So, it'll cost more if they don't have insurance for a minute and then get it again.
A big measure the GOP plan takes away is the requirement for basically everyone to have health insurance.
That was an unpopular Obamacare measure.
However, AHCA still discourages people from not having insurance. The GOP plan says if people go without insurance for 63 days or more, their premiums will go up 30 percent if they do decide to get insurance.
The ACA says people get subsidies (i.e. money) to pay for health insurance based on a person's income.
The AHCA says people get tax credits to pay for health insurance based on a person's age.
The older you are, the more you get, unless you're an individual making over $75,000 or a couple making over $150,000, in which case that cash is phased out.
Those subsidies under Obamacare are paid for through taxes, but the GOP is taking away those taxes, so it's kinda unclear where the tax credits will come from.
Gail Wilensky, a Republican health economist, told NBC,
I don't understand where the money comes from.
Then there's Medicaid, which provides for people with lower incomes.
With Obamacare, Medicaid got a lot of money to help provide health care coverage. With the GOP replacement, it's getting a lot less of that.
However, states can decide just how much money they want to provide there.
The GOP replacement is also taking away federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.
Trump told Planned Parenthood they could keep their federal money if they stopped doing abortions, according to the New York Times. This is super frustrating because: a. Federal funding does not go to abortions. b. Abortion is legal.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, was like "lol STFU" in a statement. She reminded Trump Planned Parenthood "has led the way in improving birth control access," which, in turn, led to historically low rates of abortion.
Speaking of abortion, the AHCA says private insurance that covers abortions isn't eligible for tax credits. So that insurance is less accessible and insurance companies have less of an incentive to cover abortion.
While a lot of the plan is centered around letting states decide things, there's still a lot of shades of Obamacare there.
Just, y'know, lessened.
Overall, not even all Republicans are happy with the House GOP health care replacement plan. Senator Rand Paul called it "Obamacare Lite."
Joe Antos, a health care expert at the American Enterprise Institute, called it "a repeal plus" that's "kind of a hodge podge."
So this is where the meme comes in.
Health care is confusing, but memes are simplifying.
People took the basic analysis -- Obamacare, but less -- and put it into picture form. The "Obamacare vs. GOP replacement" meme is a derivative of the "you vs. the guy she told you not to worry about" meme.
It shows something nice next to something less nice and also kind of horrifying, in grotesque ways.
That gives you a really general idea of what Twitter users think about the GOP AHCA plan.
Ultimately, Obamacare led to 20 million more people having health insurance than before.
We don't have the number estimates yet, but it's clear that the GOP plan would lead to way fewer people being able to have their health covered.
Citations: HIGHLIGHTS OF HOUSE GOP HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION (AP), House Republicans unveil plan for health care overhaul (CBS News), Obamacare Lite? New GOP Health Care Bill Has Host of Critics (NBC News), Trump Tells Planned Parenthood Its Funding Can Stay if Abortion Goes (New York Times), Twitter Users Skewer GOP's Obamacare Replacement Plan With Comparison Meme (Huffington Post)