Breaking Down the AHCA with Bigbird

If you’re like me, it’s becoming harder to follow politics in the same way you follow sports. Normally, you like one team a hell of a lot more than the other, you throw shade when the wrong team wins, and your attention wavers during the offseason. Recently though, the process looks shitty and fishy from both sides. This development begs you to pay attention beyond the big elections. I thought if I diverted my attention to the nitty gritty, the real down to earth political bills and stuff, things wouldn’t seem as messed up. Unfortunately, this has just made me hellishly aware of how terrible every aspect of our current political system is. Now, because misery loves company, I’m going to pass the grieving on to you.

WHAT’S HEALTH INSURANCE?

Being alive, who doesn’t love it? You get to breathe, exist as we know it, and hang out with all of your other alive friends. Sure some people hate being alive, but they probably just hate their job, so it’s kind of their fault. A big part of staying alive is receiving medical care when you need it, like when your lungs have a hole, or you pee blood. The problem with receiving medical care is it can be expensive, and a lot of people don’t have the money necessary to pay for it. Cue medical insurance, which is a service that fills in the gaps your lack of money leaves.

Medical insurance is great, but you have to pay for it in most cases, and the rates can be pretty high, especially if you happen to have a history of falling down the stairs or getting lupis. There are programs in place to help people afford health insurance, like the ACA, or Medicaid. These programs set up a system to decide how much of a subsidy people should get on their insurance. Since that involves spending money, it’s a topic of great debate.

WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW?

Because we changed governing parties during the 2016 election, the ideology behind who should have healthcare and how much they should pay for it has changed.

2016 Election Pictured Above

As a result, the ACA is being reworked into the AHCA by senate republicans right now. There was lots of uproar about the AHCA before it passed the house, for many reasons but mostly its cuts to coverage of pre-existing conditions and medicaid, which provides healthcare for low income citizens at a state level. This uproar continued when it was discovered senate republicans were modifying the bill behind closed doors. Secrecy and policy formation don’t mix, but especially so when that policy is literally life or death.

The new version of the AHCA was revealed today, and it looks just as shitty as we remember it. There’s 142 pages of bill in total, but the big hits include: cutting the Obama era medicaid expansion by 2023, narrowing tax credit availability from people making 400% of poverty rate to 350% of poverty rate as well as decreasing credit given, and allowing states to institute work requirements for medicaid. That last part is particularly nasty because it allows states to define work and how long you have to work before being allowed medicaid. This is tough on those with conditions keeping them from working.

OKAY, BUT IS THIS ALSO HELLA SHADY?

Yeah, it is. Glad you asked. Senate Majority Leader and resident 70 year old little boy Mitch McConnell revealed this bill today. He also asked for a vote on it by next week, before the senate’s summer break.

“Papa says if I kill enough poor people I can have a lolly”

This seems like an intentional move to give the people less time to get in an uproar about how bad it would be to many Americans. It is especially brutal to those who received coverage under the ACA in the last six or so years. This bill makes it seem like the twelve or so republicans who worked on it seem more fixed on trying to dismantle Obama’s work than actually keeping people alive. More importantly, they seem aware that this bill is shit, and they want to pass it before people can figure that out. Whether or not that strategy works out is still to be determined. Luckily, you determine it, here’s a link with ways to contact your senator and voice your opinion on this bill.

I hope this was educational or at least entertaining. As always, comment below and let me know what you thought.

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