Locals react to GOP health care bill

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act last Thursday, but many people are still confused about what the bill includes.

The Trump administration has called it a “repeal and replacement” of the Affordable Care Act.

“From what I was hearing it looked like a complete disaster of a bill,” Richard Behenna said.

Richard Behenna spent his life working in the health care industry. He said he wished the House focused more on fixing the Affordable Care Act instead of throwing it out altogether.

“No one is saying that the ACA is perfect. No one is saying that publicly,” Behenna said. “And it’s not, but neither has any other effort to change health care in many years.”

He said his main concern is the idea that states could choose the minimum requirement for health benefits.

“So there are things people are expecting will be covered by their insurance program, be it public or private, that may no longer be available to them,” Behenna said.

This new bill would eliminate the penalties for individuals who don’t have insurance and it also doesn’t require employers to provide insurance. That’s a topic that has Ashland resident Kim Dye concerned.

“I think that’s something that everyone needs,” Dye said. “They need to have access to health care. If they’re working that’s something they deserve.”

If you aren’t eligible for government assistance or employer healthcare, this new bill does give individuals and families tax credits to help purchase insurance in the marketplace.

States could also allow insurance companies to base premium cost on current health status.

But again, nothing is set in stone until this bill makes its way through the Senate.

“There’s still time to talk to your senator and make sure they understand,” Behenna said. “And make sure you educate yourself and understand how it will affect you.”

Many senators have said the Senate plans to write their own health care bill. At this time there has been no release on a possible timeline.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.