The Russia scandal might be in all the papers right now, but healthcare is much more important for the public right now.
Millennials are jaded about healthcare and they’re justified
It was a major issue of both sides of the 2016 presidential race, with then-candidate Donald Trump making it a central campaign platform.
His comments disparaging Obamacare and declaring his plan to “repeal and replace” the law were met with cheers wherever he went.
President Trump continues to make popular promises about healthcare, claiming that there will be “no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid” and “everybody’s going to be taken care of”.
Millennials, however, are skeptical of the President’s claims. This generation is unhappy about the current healthcare system and afraid of the future.
The current state of healthcare
When Obamacare passed into law in 2010, it had three primary goals: make insurance affordable, expand Medicare, and lower the cost of healthcare generally.
Unfortunately, the analysis shows that those goals have not been fully met.
The uninsured rate among millennials dropped from 39 to 16 percent under the ACA, partially due to the provision where children can stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.
However, both healthcare and medical costs can be prohibitive for low-income millennials and both costs are rising.
Medical costs have been rising 6 to 7 percent each year. As a result, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are soaring, whereas wages are only rising 1 to 3.6 percent annually.
This situation has resulted in millennials skipping visits to the doctor. Nearly 1 in 3 millennials have reported forgoing healthcare, according to two different surveys conducted in June 2017.
The first study found 29 percent of millennials were afraid their health insurance wouldn’t cover basic costs. The second found that 56 percent of millennials were worried about affordable health coverage in the future.
What the proposed bill would mean for Millennials
The current healthcare system obviously isn’t ideal. President Trump and his campaign team capitalized on that sentiment. However, the replacement bill designed by the House isn’t much better.
Recently, Trump called the bill “mean”, hoping that the Senate can be “more generous” when drafting their version. The analysis backs him up.
According to the recent CMS report, the American Health Care Act would result in 13 million more uninsured people and 8 million less Medicaid recipients by 2026.
Part of the reason for these dismal numbers is the bill’s major cuts to Medicaid, totaling $880 billion over the next 10 years.
The proposed bill also imposes a 30 percent surcharge on individuals who let coverage lapse. And that’s more likely to affect Millennials, who move and change jobs often.
Cost isn’t the only issue for millennials– they are afraid of losing coverage of important services.
The AHCA allows states to apply for waivers to change the definition of essential benefits, meaning insurers would no longer have to provide for services such as maternity and mental health care.
Furthermore, millennial women face the dismantlement of women’s health services including abortion and family planning services.
The AHCA prohibits Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood for one year, and family planning is not a mandatory service under the Medicaid block grant option.
More drastically, individuals receiving tax credits will not be allowed to purchase plans that cover abortion beyond life-threatening instances or cases of rape or incest.
Millennials aren’t alone
The media loves to gripe about Millennials. But in the case of healthcare, their anxiety about the future is shared by nearly every age group.
In a recent poll, 45 percent of Americans expect healthcare costs to rise. They were overwhelmingly disapproving of the AHCA. Only eight percent of respondents agreed with passing the bill as is and 29 percent of respondents said the Senate shouldn’t pass it at all.
Obamacare is becoming more popular as the GOP becomes more focused on destroying it
Nearly 56 percent of Americans worry about health coverage, according to a study published in June 2017.
This anxiety spans generations. From the Millennials about to get kicked off their parent’s plan to the caregiver worried about elderly healthcare for their patients.
The current state of healthcare is declining, while the AHCA provides a gloomy future. In an odd twist of fate, Trump was right. Congress needs to be more generous with healthcare.
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