Knowing Your Government: GOP’s American Health Care Vs. ACA

The Bill passed in Congress but still has to head to the Senate.

Here are some facts.

Fact # 1- The bill eliminates the tax penalties that the ACA imposes on nonexempt individuals for not having health insurance, as well as employers with 50 or more full-time workers who do not offer health insurance to their employees.

Fact #2 – Under both the ACA and the GOP bill, insurers can’t deny coverage to anyone based on health status. Under the GOP bill, they are required, however, to charge 30 percent higher premiums for one year, regardless of health status, to those entering the individual market who didn’t have continuous coverage, which is defined as a lapse of coverage of 63 days or more over the previous 12 months.

The part of the AHCA dealing with pre-existing conditions is the MacArthur Amendment, named after Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey. (See PolitiFact’s full analysis of the amendment here.)

Fact #3 – Medicaid was available to groups including qualified low-income families, pregnant women, children and the disabled. The ACA expanded eligibility to all individuals under age 65 who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,643 a year for an individual), but only in states that opted for the expansion.

Fact #4 -Beginning in 2017, for high-income taxpayers, the bill eliminates the 3.8 percent tax on certain net investment income. The 0.9 percent additional Medicare tax on earnings above a threshold stays in place until 2023. The bill repeals the 2.3 percent tax on the sale price of certain medical devices in 2017 and the 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services (effective June 30, 2017).

Ten groups that advocate for patients – including the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association – also issued a joint statement in opposition.

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