There are plenty of reasons to remain aware and cautious of new healthcare bills being established by the Government. We must keep ourselves informed, reading the proposals and depicting the data given. Some may say Section 231 of the American Healthcare Act of 2017 is President Trump's personal vendetta on the Affordable Care Act, which increased taxation on indoor tanning. President Trumps plan will cut the 10% tax on tanning services. According to the American Suntanning Association, the tax caused a 50% decrease in tanning salons nationwide, and a loss of close to 100,000 jobs. Activist groups had lobbied for the taxation to limit the number of people using the artificial tanning, which are known to cause countless complications and diseases. But, with the nearest tanning salon being only 1.2 miles away from the White House, Donald Trump is making sure he keeps his astonishing tan.
The American Nurses Association has publicly disclosed their dissatisfaction of the new AHCA, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, President of the ANA, earlier in May announced that nurses from all over the nation has disapproved the bill, and that it will negatively impact the health of the country. The passing of this new healthcare act would result in millions of people with pre-existing conditions to lose protection from insurance discrimination, it could fall in the hands of individual states to wave the health benefit protections that prevent insurance companies from charging those with pre-existing conditions more for coverage. According to the AHCA bill, Medicaid funds would forego cuts over the next 10 years. $880 billion would be cut from Medicaid funding, seniors would face increase in premiums, and millions of women would lose access to health care.
A major issue with this bill is that insurance companies could refuse coverage for substance abuse treatments, in the midst of another drug epidemic in the country. The CDC reported a 137% increase in the rate of deaths from drug overdose since 2000, including a 200% rise in the rate of overdose deaths from opioids. The ANA has urged the Senate to allow public feedback on the healthcare reform legislation.
On a Forbes magazine article Bruce Japsen wrote how hospitals may be affected with the appeal of the Affordable Care Act, he explained that the ACA subsidized private individual coverage, and grew the Medicaid benefits and this in turn helped those who could not afford care obtain coverage. This growth in insured individuals allowed hospitals to expand their staffing; nurses, techs and physicians to meet the demand. Japsen says that 2.5 million jobs could be lost in the healthcare industry with the repeal of the ACA.
AS these changes are being reviewed by the Senate, healthcare workers have gathered to protest the healthcare reform. Many organizations such as the ANA and the American Hospital Association have joined to get the Senate to dismiss the AHCA. To stay informed, here is a copy of the American Healthcare Act of 2017, and a simplified version explaining each provisions published by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Dude Nurse
Klaus Campos, BSN-RN