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Why The ACA Needs To Stay

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On Mar. 23, 2010, former President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The ACA, dubbed “Obamacare”, is the signature piece of legislation from the Obama administration. With the election of Donald Trump and a Republican majority in the both the House and Senate, the Affordable Care Act is hanging in the balance.

Since Trump won the election, Republicans have gleefully smelled blood in the water for the ACA. The U.S. Senate set a Jan. 27 deadline for drafting an Obamacare replacement bill, causing a rushed and chaotic mess among the GOP.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has eliminated the sad spectacle of insurance companies denying people due to pre-existing conditions, signed 20 million people who could not have been covered before and allowed children to stay on their parents’ plan until they are 26 years old. Truly, Republicans have shot themselves in the foot by promising a law that keeps those provisions while lowering costs.They’ll be no coverage for that self-inflicted political injury.

Within the ACA, the Obama administration added several reforms to slow price hikes, further extend Medicaid coverage of low-wage workers, and more, but the core was the same: pooled coverage in “exchanges,” enforced by a mandate that everyone has insurance.

Instead of carefully taking the time to fix the flaws of the ACA, many Republicans want to act quickly and push their political agenda. Let us be reminded that the Republicans in the House have made over 60 attempts to repeal or roll back aspects of the Affordable Care Act, according to The New York Times. Nonetheless, the deadline has passed and Republicans are still trying to unify behind an Obamacare replacement plan.

The irony is Obamacare is what Republicans have always wanted.

Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed that, “Beneath this is the secret reality: Obama stole their plan. The ACA drew heavily on the right-wing Heritage Foundation plan that was modernized by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.”

According to FactCheck.org, under President Bush, the average family premiums including both what employers and employees pay went up $4,677 in his last six years in office. That $4,154 growth under Obama is a 33 percent increase, compared to Bush’s 58 percent.

Lower premium costs are among the reasons why the Republican party believes an ideal healthcare system is implausible.

One GOP proposals calls for allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines. While this would likely increase competition and provide lower insurance costs to consumers, it is not profitable for insurance companies. In a study done by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, researchers found that zero out-of-state insurers expanded into states that passed laws in support of insurance across state lines. For insurance companies, paying fees and requiring the necessary licenses to sell insurance are costly and outweigh the increase in clients. Healthcare is still heavily controlled on the local level, making expanding out-of-state an unreasonable idea.

Healthcare is also an expensive and non-profitable expenditure for the national government, with Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Our government is involved in many things that are not-for-profit.  Medicare is an important facet of providing low-income and elderly people with health care, and something that needs to be provided by the government.

Look, there is no perfect solution for covering 20 million people without increases in health care costs. Though imperfect, the Affordable Care Act has proven to be a satisfactory solution because it has provided vital, and sometimes lifesaving healthcare, in places where it was nonexistent before.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Why The ACA Needs To Stay”

  1. Gary Rosenberg on February 4th, 2017 9:53 am

    Thank you for putting clarity and thoughtfulness to this situation. It is great to hear a “young” voice give an opinion so well thought out and without putting down the opposing view. Congratulations and thanks

    [Reply]

  2. Mort schreiber on February 4th, 2017 5:29 pm

    Thank you for your clear explanation of the complicated situation that many people did not understand
    and will perhaps be able to see that your efforts to clarify will agree that ACA needs to be kept for the
    benefits of the many.

    Sincerely,

    Mort S.

    [Reply]

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Why The ACA Needs To Stay