US healthcare: Donald Trump signs bill closing a gap in coverage

US President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that, he said, will help make the US health care system work better for Americans.

Mr Trump signed the America’s Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2018 (America’s Health Care Act) in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington DC.

Among the new measures is one that closes some of the gap in insurance coverage between when people enroll in healthcare but when they have to pay full bills.

It is a matter of fairness for everyone, the president said.

“Today we do something historic. We finally get the health care system to work for the American people.”

The country’s health care system is already a mess, according to Mr Trump

“There are trillions of dollars in waste and inefficiency within the existing system. This is something that needs to be addressed and I’ve been demanding it.”

The BBC’s Amie Ferris-Rotman says the new bill would bring the US system more in line with many other developed countries.

The focus is now on the fate of President Trump’s proposed healthcare plan and whether the repeal-and-replace health care law will eventually be replaced.

In its current form, the bill would let people with pre-existing medical conditions be charged higher rates. It would also allow young people to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26.

Reuters and the Washington Post report that though the measure temporarily closes the gap, it only restores coverage for a small number of the more than 23 million people who had the gap since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

In the 2018 campaign, President Trump made promises to Americans that he would repeal and replace Obamacare with a plan that would give “great health care” to the country.

But after the Republicans failed to agree on healthcare legislation, they decided to move on to other issues. This bill takes up those issues at a time when Congress has been largely inactive since the beginning of the year.

US president Donald Trump says Republicans successfully passed a bill that will bring “great health care” to Americans.

These are the main changes to US health care under the bill:

The most dramatic change to coverage under the bill is that it would end or scale back a number of aspects of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

All children and adults who are not disabled, have no serious medical conditions, do not smoke and are 25 years of age or older will be covered by health insurance under the bill.

Starting in 2020, people who choose to keep their coverage under a state’s health insurance exchange could access tax credits to help pay their premiums. But those credits would only be available for adults and not young people, who have the higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs because of their higher incomes.

States could also decide whether they want to set up health insurance exchanges or run them, the New York Times says.

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