For many members of the public health community, the American Health Care Act and Better Care Reconciliation Act — sometimes collectively known as “Trumpcare” – includes a number of worrying clauses. And one issue isn’t getting as much media attention as it should: the risks to mass vaccination in the United States.
While vaccines carry tremendous health benefits — namely, disease prevention — they can also be expensive, and Trumpcare will erode access in several ways.
The bills strip away key parts of health infrastructure that will make it more challenging to prevent, contain and treat various illnesses.
The proposed legislation includes permitted state waivers for the Affordable Care Act’s ten essential benefits, a set of health care services the federal government believes are key to individual and public health. One of the items on that list is government-recommended vaccines, which must be provided free of charge under health insurance coverage, with no copays and deductibles.
Researchers say this provision radically improved vaccination rates, especially among low-income people. It also improved completion rates for vaccines that must be administered in series. Instead of getting the first shot and never following up, parents of young children are making sure their kids receive full protection.
Another issue is Medicaid’s Early and Periodic…