• North Carolinians have unanswered questions about ACA replacement

    By: Blake Hanson


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - New revisions to replace the Affordable Care Act were released Monday night, and there are still many unanswered questions.

    Many are still digesting what the proposed changes would mean. Coincidentally, a nationwide bus tour fighting the repeal had stopped in Charlotte Tuesday morning.

    At the bus tour, a number of people spoke publicly about what they believe the changes would mean for North Carolina, including some fears about its impact on Medicaid.

    Lana Rubright from Charlotte said she used insurance under the ACA to get screening that led to a breast cancer diagnosis.

    "It's just outrageous for me to hear that they could even consider doing this," Rubright said.

    [READ MORE: House Republicans release plan to repeal, replace Obamacare]

    “I’m very fearful, there are so many low-income people in our state, in our community, that are not prepared for a shift away from Medicaid and other public sector programs toward a marketplace reform,” said Don Jonas, the executive director of Care Ring in Charlotte.

    Here are the key points of the GOP proposal:

    • It repeals the individual mandate, which fines people who don't buy coverage.
    • Instead of income-based subsidies to buy insurance, people receive a tax credit based on age.
    • It maintains coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
    • It allows children to stay on their parents’ plan until they're 26 years old.

    Charlotte congresssman Robert Pittenger stands firmly in favor of the plan, saying it will give greater access to care.

    "What it is going to do is make it more affordable so people can buy and acquire their healthcare in an attractive way," Pittenger said.

    Still unanswered is how many people currently insured under the ACA might be impacted. President Donald Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, was asked that on the Today Show Tuesday morning.

    “You can’t even compare Obamacare to right now, because what everyone seems to want to ignore is that Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster,” Mulvaney said.

    It's also still unknown the poltical chances of the repeal actually happening. There are several Republicans who don't like it, some are concerned it halts an expansion of Medicaid and others believe it should be tougher, calling it "Obamacare Light."

    "Those are cute words to say but the reality is that you have removed the federal government from managing your healthcare," Pittenger said.

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