As the United States prepares to have a new president take office in 2017, millions of Americans are wondering what will happen to their health insurance coverage under Obamacare. Obamacare was enacted in order to provide coverage to those citizens who did not previously have coverage due to ineligibility or loss of coverage, with the goal of bringing down the cost of health insurance generally, and reducing costs regardless of preexisting conditions. While it was a widely contested issue between Republicans and Democrats, now that a Republican president will take office, plans are being made to repeal Obamacare.
Those in favor of Obamacare have raised question about what the 25 to 30 million people who now have insurance through the government program will do when coverage is stripped, especially since many of those are elders. However, proponents of a new system point to statistics that have shown that the majority of those who obtained benefits did so through Medicaid. Of the 14 million people who signed up for Obamacare between 2013 and 2015, 12 million of those did so through Medicaid. Thus, a large portion of the population will be able to qualify for coverage through other government programs technically.
In an effort to prepare, Republicans have come up with a block grant system as an alternative to be implemented, giving states more control over the way government funding is spent in their area. The block grant alternative also lawmakers on the state level to decide how money allocated to their area through Medicaid is spent, by allowing health needs particular to that state’s citizens control where more or less money can be spent. One thing is definite for government health care coverage, it will be cut one way or another with the new presidency.
Chairman of the House budget committee has made numerous proposals on how Medicaid could be cut in the coming years. Over the next decade, the proposal would limit spending and cut funding to both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by $2.1 trillion dollars.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that if these cuts happen, as well as the proposed block grants, 14 to 21 million people could lose coverage by the end of the decade. Although any kind of middle ground has yet to be reached regarding these changes between Republicans and Democrats, a plan must be made soon in order to protect those who are in danger of losing their insurance coverage due to political party differences.