Republicans Retract Obamacare Replacement Plan, Vapers React
To say that there have been mixed reactions to the GOP’s stunning recent healthcare defeat is an understatement. Politically, the debate over healthcare has been particularly virulent, and for vapers it has sparked numerous different discussions.
Tobacco and nicotine regulations that – rightly or wrongly – affect the vapor industry were an important part of the healthcare debate and they are essential topics for health care providers and insurance companies across the nation.
What Would Have Changed
There were several important differences between the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the Republican-proposed American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) when it came to tobacco and nicotine products.
Most important was the fact that the ACA included a number of stipulations that provided funding for substance abuse programs and smoking cessation resources. In addition, it gave employers and insurance companies the ability to create incentives that offered discounts for those who proactively signed up to quit smoking.
By contrast, the AHCA did away with a large chunk of the funding for these programs and was particularly lean on substance abuse treatment. This was a major complaint against the bill from vapers and a number of other advocacy groups alike.
Tobacco researchers almost unanimously stated that Trump’s bill would lead to a resurgence of tobacco use when consumers were no longer able to receive the guidance they needed to quit.
Vapers still fell into two camps when it comes to the ACA and the AHCA. On the one hand, many large advocacy groups are relieved that Trumpcare did not even come to a vote because they felt that its passage would have been a setback after all their efforts in recent years. If the government were no longer actively discouraging smoking, then their efforts to help people quit would have lost some steam.
On the other hand, there are still many consumers who resent the fact that the ACA allowed insurance companies to punish vapers and smokers alike with higher premiums, despite the fact that the two products are very different in risk levels. Some of those vapers appear to be disappointed that the ACA was not repealed.
The Healthcare Battle Goes On
Despite indications that the GOP is moving on and leaving the healthcare issue behind after retracting their healthcare plan so that it didn’t suffer defeat in Congress, the fight is far from over.
Many representatives on both sides of the political divide would still like to see changes to the healthcare system, and vapor advocates are working hard to bring more attention to the issues facing they face.
As vapor products have become a hot topic for both the US Food and Drug Administration and tax regulators, along with healthcare, the vapor community must stay united to work together toward fair treatment for individual vapers, local vape shops, and vapor manufacturers.
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