In 2008, President Obama became president of the United States and one of his goals was to lower goal healthcare cost. Part of this reform was to improve the quality of life of United States citizens by ensuring they receive health insurance regardless of wealth or job. What was beneficial to the elder population behind his Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is to improve preventative measures and prescription drug coverage for millions of seniors who were paying out-of-pocket. Additionally, there were other resources that benefited seniors as well, such as: lower-cost prescription drugs, preventative services and annual wellness visits, lower Medicare B premiums, and reforms for payment—intended to improve quality while reducing the rate of growth of Medicare spending.
The second legislative bill we will be discussing in this paper is called the American Health Care Act—implemented in 2017 by President Trump to replace Obamacare as stated above. The difference or distinguishing factors between the two acts is as follows: it ends the mandate that each American is required to have health insurance. The new bill will offer citizens tax credits that allow them to acquire medical coverage from health insurance companies within the market. So, what does this mean for the elder population? Part of the goal of Obamacare was to reduce the number of uninsured American citizens, as well as expand Medicaid/Medicare with the federal government footing the bill. 20 million citizens received insurance under Obama, with half through Medicaid or Medicare funding. Ultimately, how does this affect the elder population? Well, for one, it would increase the amount insurers can charge the elder population. With the new health care reform in place, the House could raise that cap to five times what younger people would pay. Another consequence is that it would lower the number of individual tax credits that help low to moderate-income people buy their state-sponsored health care benefits. The difference between the two is that Obamacare provided medical insurance similar to Medicare for any seniors who wanted lower healthcare costs. President Trump’s replacement American Health Care Act serves to strike down Obamacare’s individual mandate for Americans to have health insurance. Beginning in 2020, the funding for Medicaid will end, resulting in inequalities. The issues lie in the fact that, under Obamacare, 20 million citizens received health care under the Affordable Care Act. Under Trump’s new act, it will lead to disparities when it comes to Medicaid funding. Many are predicting that states may be forced to drop coverage for their elder population, who so happens to be the Medicare and Medicaid demographic who are citizens age 65 or older. With a fixed federal fund for Medicaid, the government may not be able to provide coverage for this demographic group, whose population consist of sicker and older Americans. Part of the goal of Obamacare is to reduce the number of uninsured citizens, with the government assisting in the expansion of Medicaid.
For one to be a senior citizen, it would be most beneficial for them to be in favor of Obamacare for the following reasons: Medicare plans A and B will see extra benefits such as free screenings and Part D prescription drug recipients will see savings along the way. Not only that, but the Affordable Care Act aids the citizens in the most common care required, which so happens to be the most expensive, in emergency room visits and chronic illnesses. Coverage behind Obamacare for seniors made it more affordable to receive preventive care, which ultimately, results in emergency room visits when you factor in long-term illnesses. Preventative measures for seniors is an important aspect in care. Screening and secondary prevention, such as frequent follow-ups for existing conditions, could prevent more immediate and life-threatening conditions to emerge. Doing so results in decrease usage of the emergency room which is more cost-effective compared to allowing for a condition to become a chronic condition.