by Lauren Mandel
While much about the future of Obamacare is still unknown, President-elect Donald Trump and the Republicans have continued to make one thing clear: the health law will be repealed or drastically changed.
But after the election and Trump’s announcements about Obamacare, some Americans have come out in support of the health law and how it has helped them. We took to Twitter to find a few of those people, understand their reasons for valuing the health law, and outline how their lives could potentially change if the law is eventually repealed.
Laura (above) and her husband are just two of millions – about 22 million, to be exact – who could lose their health coverage if Obamacare is repealed. The main reason? Tax credits, or the government subsidies that help millions of Americans afford their monthly premium payments. Even if Trump does not repeal the entire health law, he may choose to defund certain provisions, including the government-funded tax credits. Without them, millions will be unable to afford health insurance.
Currently under the Affordable Care Act, prescription drugs are covered as one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits. Tara (above) is concerned that if the health law is repealed under a Trump presidency, she will no longer be able to afford her asthma medication. This is a real concern for the 60 percent of American adults who take prescription drugs every day.
Similar to prescription drug coverage, mental health coverage is an Essential Health Benefit. This means that all health plans must cover this type of mental health care – including addiction treatment – under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 1 in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, so Joey (above) and his wife are hardly alone in their worries. If Obamacare is repealed, mental health care may become more difficult to access.
Trump has expressed interest in repealing much about Obamacare, but there are two details about the law he’s said he’d like to keep. The first is that no one with a pre-existing condition can be charged more or denied coverage, and the second is that kids can stay on their parent’s health plan until age 26. So if Trump doesn’t repeal the entire health law, Cherie (above) should still be able to keep her coverage.
Another Essential Health Benefit under the Affordable Care Act: hospitalization. Pyro (above) says that she would not have been able to afford a week-long stay in the Intensive Care Unit without her Obamacare coverage. In 2010, the average length of a hospital stay was about 5 days and cost more than $4,000. If Obamacare is repealed, many Americans who can no longer afford their health coverage would be forced to pay for this type of cost out of pocket.
The above Tweet from Claire summarizes much of what could be lost if Obamacare was repealed. Preventive care, such as cancer screenings and immunizations, could no longer be free. Contraception would no longer be free, as we discussed in another recent blog post. And the list goes on. While still nothing is certain, it’s important to be aware of how the health law – and your health care future – could change.
Image credits: Twitter