What’s Happening to the Affordable Care Act?

What Is Happening?

Every 4 years, the United States of America elects a new President. For the past 8 years, the president has been Barack Obama, a man who has been very vocal about the healthcare needs of all Americans and a man who has been consistent in his belief that all Americans should have access to healthcare when they need it, in order to prevent people in the nation from suffering unnecessarily.

During current president Barack Obama’s bid for election both the first and second time and throughout his campaign, he has made it clear that Universal Healthcare was one of his top priorities. During his time as President, he enacted the Affordable Care Act. This has been intended to provide healthcare to every American, either through their company’s healthcare plan or through the option of private pay insurance options. Those who were of the lowest income levels would be provided healthcare insurance through the government. The intention was to make certain that anyone with medical needs, such as hepatitis C, would have the ability to have the care they need without going bankrupt trying to pay out of pocket or without getting sicker because they could not afford to see a doctor or afford treatment. Additionally, there was an understanding that thousands or even millions of Americans who qualify for Social Security income due to a disability would be able to return to the workplace and begin to both support themselves and contribute to society if they were able to be treated by medical professionals. Those who supported Obama’s ideas worked with him to create insurance programs and financial assistance programs in order to make this a reality. Conversely, some politicians and American citizens fought against this plan, upset that the overall American public would be paying into the healthcare treatment of everyone, rather than each person being responsible for the own medical costs. They saw it as them being forced to help strangers when they might be struggling in other ways and they thought they would be better off if their money went to helping their own situations to improve, rather than to contribute to the improvement of others, especially those they do not know.

However, as Obama’s Presidency began to come to a close, the political race was on for a new president. In January 2017, the United States of America swore in a new president of the country, Donald J. Trump. One of Trump’s promises during his campaign was rooted in the alteration or removal of the Affordable Care Act. His platform was focused on pleasing the people who think each person should cover their own medical costs.

How Does It Impact People with Hepatitis C?

Right now, that information is not yet clear. If there are changes made to the Affordable Care Act, those changes might mean an improved set of options for health insurance coverage or it may mean a reduction in options. However, it is severely unlikely that any changes would occur during the time of a standard 12 week course of anti-viral hepatitis C medication. However, those whose bodies will require longer-term or indefinite care may be impacted by changes to the policies.

If you are concerned about affording your treatment, it is important to discuss these fears with your treating physician. Together, you can work out a plan on how to proceed if there are changes to your insurance before your treatment concludes. This way, you have a contingency plan in place and you can prevent yourself from becoming unnecessarily anxious or stressed during a time when your body needs to be focused on healing.

What Comes Next?

What comes next is currently largely unknown. Many are predicting that Trump will either not follow through on many of his campaign promises or that any one or two of them will become his focus and the rest will not occur. Some others believe that Trump will potentially try to alter the Affordable Care Act in some way but not dismantle it completely. The truth is, this is largely unknown and may remain so for quite some time. However, even if/when Trump decides to attempt to change or end the Affordable Care Act, he does not have the power to simply make it so. Instead, he would need the support of the other branches of American government to support him and this would mean plenty of time for citizens to voice their opinions and lobby their politicians to vote based on their constituents.

In summary, there are a lot of unknowns and a lot of misinformation being shared on news channels, websites, and throughout social media. Although there is no official reason to panic, it never hurts to reach out to your local, state, and federal politicians and to voice your opinion, as their constituent and as an American citizen, about what medical matters are important to you.1-6

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
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