Following passage of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), known as Trumpcare, in the House of Representatives earlier this month, many Democrats have spoken out against the bill. As the Senate prepares to introduce its own version of Trumpcare, which is supposed to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care achievement, Obamacare, Baltimore area health professionals detailed why they are troubled by the bill.

President Donald Trump spoke in the Rose Garden following the passage in the House of Representatives of the American Healthcare Act. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

This legislation is expected to remove certain regulations the former President implemented, including the authorization of allowing health insurance companies to charge higher premiums to enrollees with pre-existing conditions. With the some of the nation’s current health laws being in jeopardy, several African American healthcare professionals in the District, Maryland and Virginia area have expressed their opposition to the AHCA.

Dr. Darrell Gaskin, a professor in health policy and Director of the Baltimore-based Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solution, stated that he does not agree with the AHCA for at least three reasons. The reasons range from low income people losing coverage and cuts in reimbursement to safety net providers, leaving astronomical costs for these hospitals which provide significant coverage to low income, uninsured, and vulnerable populations. He also notes that the ACHA will increase premiums for the elderly as well as those with pre-existing conditions.

“The repeal of essential health benefits moves us away from providing prevention services. It will allow insurers to sell policies that don’t cover much beyond catastrophic coverage.” Gaskin said in an email to the AFRO.

Gaskin also highlighted that the new policies “will not be good” for African-American patients because they are more likely to face higher premiums due to the reduction of premium subsidies and Medicare coverage.

Gregory Terry, a surgical oncology RN highlighted how much power Congress has given to insurance companies. He notes, even with the ACA, one of the flaws it had was the amount of power given to the insurance providers.

“Insurance companies are the ones 100 percent in charge of our bodies, unfortunately,” Terry said in an interview with the AFRO.

He mentions that the ACHA will negatively affect patient care even more than what patient care has already been affected, bringing attention to patients who can and should be discharged in 24 hours, but cannot leave because the insurance companies—including Medicare and Medicaid—will not cover it if the patient is able to go home within 24 hours.

According to CNN, 24 million fewer adults will be uninsured by 2026, if the ACHA in its present form passes the Senate and becomes law. This bill will allow insurance companies to charge more for those living with pre-existing conditions, deny federal funds for Medicare and Medicaid for those who miss one month of enrollment after December 31, 2019. The new healthcare laws will also allow states to deny Medicare coverage for maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health care.