The Short Version: American Healthcare Act

The Short Version: American Healthcare Act

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, the week’s most controversial issues, determine why a particular issue is important to you, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story.

By reading Cleo Abram’s The Short Version, you join a vibrant group of people with two simple beliefs: 1) Every important issue can and should be discussed in a way we all can understand; 2) Understanding both sides makes us more thoughtful and our views more informed.

In some of the most recent iterations of The Short Version, Cleo Abram looked at the winner-takes-all rule in effect in most states (except Maine and Nebraska) constitutional? Last week, the question on the table was about the drone industry. Should it be strictly regulated to protect privacy? This week, the hot topic is the American Healthcare Act. Should Congress pass it?

Note: In general, if you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

“I love getting feedback every week—thank you! If you want come hang out, debate a thing or two, and meet other Shorties, check out Short Events,” says Cleo. “Or if you have a topic you’d be interested in guest writing, just let me know! Let’s make it happen. And this week, if you want to follow the topic of healthcare more closely, check out VoxCare.

Cleo Constantine Abrams of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

Cleo Constantine Abram of the “Short Form,” offering densely packed spins on issues of national and global importance.

What’s happening?

At 4:15 am on Thursday, the Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee passed a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare (23 to 16). Now, the legislation needs to pass through the House Budget Committee, a vote in the House of Representatives, and a budget reconciliation process in the Senate, before it can be signed by President Trump.

The Republican plan, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), aims to:

Scrap the mandate to buy health insurance and instead allow insurers to increase rates by 30% on people who have gaps in coverage.
Cut down on tax credits for the individual market and require that remaining tax credits cannot be used any plan that covers abortion.
End Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in 2020 and eliminate the section of Obamacare that requires Medicaid to cover treatment for mental health, addiction, and several other benefits.
Keep some popular parts of Obamacare, like barring insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, banning lifetime limits on health care spending, and allowing young people to remain on their parents insurance until 26.
More in the plan itself.

Why is it important?

This debate represents a historic shift: As a country, we’re debating how the federal government should ensure Americans can get affordable insurance as opposed to whether the government should have a role in health care at all.

Legislators on both sides realize the political ramifications for removing health insurance from their constituents. And 60% of American citizens believe the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans—the highest share in nearly a decade.

Debate It!

Should Congress pass the American Health Care Act?

Continue reading here.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:

Cleo Abram 2

Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist now working at Vox, a general interest news site for the 21st century. Its mission is simple: Explain the news. Politics, public policy, world affairs, pop culture, science, business, and more.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski.

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