From the moment President Donald Trump came to the forefront, his intentions on repealing the much talked-about Obamacare were clear. The bill on reforming the existing healthcare act had already witnessed two failed attempts in the past, and as per CNN’s whip count, there are now 21 House Republicans on the record, who could give a ‘NO’ vote. Before we go into what are the recent amendments being planned on the healthcare act, useful will be to have a quick look at what Obamacare is!
What is Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare?
It is a set of health insurance and industry reforms passed by the Congress in 2010. The plain sight objective was to increase the number of people with health insurance coverage – with the larger objective of improving quality of care to reduce healthcare costs. The provisions in the law that worked towards improving insurance coverage were:
- The expansion of Medicaid, a federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans.
- The creation of online market place where Americans with low or middle-income can buy insurance plans at subsidized rates.
- The individual mandate that all Americans need to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.
There were other mandates like insurers cannot deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions. They can only factor in 3 conditions for setting the premium amount – age, location, and tobacco use.
Why were conservatives not happy?
Conservatives believe that such uniformity in the market will be an impediment to innovation. They are more in the favour of consumer-driven healthcare plans. They also believe that this is a huge amount of spending for federal and state government.
What does the latest version of Trump’s Healthcare Bill state?
- Letting states opt out of Obamacare’s core insurance rules.
- Allowing states to waive off some of the Obamacare’s protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions
If the bill gets a go-ahead, it is estimated that 24 million people will become uninsured which will deeply cut the Medicaid program.
Impact on the Indian IT and Services Companies!
Indian IT and Services companies had an important role in data conversion, creation, management of electronic health records, claims processing etc. As per Everest Research, US healthcare-related contracts were expected to double to USD 68 billion in 2020, from USD 31 billion two years back, primarily due to Obamacare. This is likely to be impacted by the repeal.
Again, the bill has failed earlier – interesting will be to see what happens this time around! We will keep you posted with latest updates. Do share you thoughts on the revamp of Obamacare, and its likely ramifications on the Indian IT and Services companies
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