The proposal for repealing and replacing Obamacare is disappointing to many conservatives and Republicans alike.
The House of Representatives and President Donald Trump announced this week a plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act of 2008, otherwise known as Obamacare. The pledge to do was one of the basic platforms of Trump’s presidential run, along with most other Republican candidates seeking office in the House and Senate.
The problem is, not many think this new plan is all that much different from the original Obamacare, so hated by the party since it was passed without any Republican support. At first glance, many are calling it Obamacare-Lite, or some even Obamacare, Version 2.0.
Sure, some semantics have changed; subsidies for premiums are now being called tax breaks, for instance, but many of the changes promised and touted by party leaders and even Trump himself are conspicuously missing from this new plan.
Important things, like being able to purchase insurance coverage across state lines (a biggie in the campaign), more transparency, and not forcing people to purchase coverage or face penalties, did not make the final cut.
Later comments suggest there are more phases of the plan to follow, but the plan that was presented made no mention of Phase one, and the comments sort of seem like an afterthought as even members of the Republican Party in Congress pushed back against the new proposal.
Amazingly, the opposition to the Act that was passed in 2008, has been constant since that time, but apparently they had no clue as to what to do when it comes to the “replace” part. It almost seems that Republican leaders woke up on the morning after the inauguration of Trump and thought, “Oh, crap. We own this thing now and we have to come up with something!”
It’s not like they have had the last 10 years to think about an alternative.
Now, they are talking about a phased replacement package., but no one can say what is actually coming in Phase 2 or Phase 3. Sound like we have to pass this bill to see what is in it to anyone?
Maybe it is just a rush to fulfill a campaign promise that is driving this first attempt. And I say first attempt because it doesn’t appear this plan even has the support of many in its own party, much less any Democratic support, and therefore little chance of success.
But Obamacare is a disaster by all accounts. Sure, it may have helped some individuals and families, but the plan is unstainable and collapsing all around itself, and must be dealt with right away. Even those who supported it in the beginning admit it has many flaws.
Repealing and replacing it is a really big deal, and the fortunes and livelihoods of millions of American citizens depend on a successful health care plan. Steps need to be taken quickly, but lateral or backward steps to make good sound bites for 2018 congressional races, or to beat your chest about accomplishments in the first 100 days, should be set aside until a workable solution can be presented.
One that works for all Americans, and will lead to lower premiums, better health care and sustainable growth. Our citizens deserve a well-thought out program, even if it takes a little longer to produce.