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March 10, 2017

Republican health care bill faces opposition from within party

  • Republican lawmakers introduced their replacement for former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week, but face opposition from both Democrats and members of their own party as they push to move the bill through committee and into the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
  • The bill is the culmination of years of criticism by Republicans wishing to overturn the ACA, which they view as government overreach. However, the bill replaces certain aspects of the ACA rather than repealing it altogether.
  • The American Health Care Act, or AHCA, changes aspects of its predecessor, including highly-contentious adjustments to Medicaid,which provides health care for low-income, disabled and other resource-strapped Americans. The bill also repeals subsidies for low and middle-income families and all taxes associated with the existing health care bill while changing some of the major requirements for insurers.
  • The bill keeps some features of the ACA, such as protections for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions which prevent insurers from dropping them or denying them coverage. It also allows children under 26 to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan and keeps the state health exchanges set up to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state.
  • Some Republicans have vocally opposed the bill, saying it does not do enough to repeal the ACA, questioning its chances of receiving the necessary votes to pass the Senate. Democrats, meanwhile, continue to raise concerns about the potential loss of coverage for Americans under the new bill.

Class discussion questions 
  1. Essential question: What is health care and what does it provide?
  2. Does the U.S. have universal health care? Why or why not?
  3. What would you say is the fundamental difference between the Republican view of what health care should be and the Democratic opinion?
Further reading 

Everything you need to know about the new GOP health care bill

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