Fixes to healthcare important, should reflect desires of the people
By: Jake Delinger
Whether this country likes it or not, the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, must budge.
After almost a decade since its implementation, there is a national understanding that many of the bill’s more expansive policies are not working, despite the success of some policies within it.
While it might indeed be tempting to weigh the benefits of a Ship-of-Theseus-style approach, in which the act is changed piece by piece into a more sustainable and economical bill, it raises a key question: If the end goal is a new bill, one that tackles the key difficulties of the present bill’s structure, then why the piecemeal, incremental change?
If the health and financial security of every American is on the line, this would be a case in which the band-aid approach of a complete overhaul is in order.
When the United States realized separate-but-equal was inherently unequal, their approach wasn’t to target the hiring, then the financing, then so on and so on until the problem was addressed.
When the Court reached its decision, its orders were firm; proceed with “all deliberate speed”.
As it stands, the American Health Care Act as proposed by House Republicans so far fails to meet these standards, opting instead for a plan that either keeps some Obamacare policies temporarily, or leaves many of the original propositions, such as pre-existing conditions and mandatory health benefits insurers must provide, entirely intact!
Regardless of political alignment or personal beliefs on the matter, neither party should support a half-baked bill of any sort.
Trying to keep together a bill already strained at the seams from years of partisan fighting and budgetary grandstanding will only serve to prevent real and very much needed reform from taking place.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that as it stands, this bill, labeled ironically as “Obamacare Lite” would actually result in more people losing coverage than under a straight-to-the-point repeal of Obamacare as proposed in 2016 (23 million from full repeal to 24 million from AHCA).
This shouldn’t be a partisan issue in the matter; the nation deserves an honest talk on the pros and cons of Obamacare and a dialogue on how the United States proceeds with fixing numerous embedded problems in its system.
Whether this takes the form of single-payer systems such as those in many European countries and in the early drafts of the original bill or takes the form of nationwide competition-based markets proposed by several Republican senators and representatives in Congress, the political landscape of the United States presents to us a simple fact: the longer we straddle the fence arguing over this, the more we pay for it in time, money, capital, and lives.
It is with this in mind that I argue that the United States can’t afford the systematic approach when it is the very system that is broken.
Repealing and replacing, as a legislative tool, forces this country to come up with something, anything to address the broken system we have now. Cut your losses, put on your working boots, and let’s get serious about making a real fix decades overdue.
ACA issues are what the American peoples pays for
By: John Mills
American health care is dead, long live the American health care. Within twenty four hours of the writing of this article, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), often known as Obamacare.
The ACA has been the subject of countless tirades, think pieces, and an ever-present object of argument since its passage in 2010. With the election of President Trump, the repeal of the ACA has been looming, given that such action was a focal point of Trump’s campaign.
However, people opposed the Republican-alternative American Health Care Act (AHCA)—from congress members and legislators to health insurance experts across the spectrum—have essentially agreed that the bill is unworkable and catastrophic.
Nonetheless, the Republicans are determined on repealing Obamacare, even without a working solution.
Republicans within the coming days are poised to repeal ACA, so unless the House Democrats can pull out a miracle, millions of Americans are going to lose their healthcare coverage.
At its peak, the ACA brought the rate of those without health insurance down to an estimated 11.0% in one Gallup poll.
Other statisticians showed the uninsured rate nationally as low as 9.8%. What is known for sure is that the uninsured rate fell across every congressional district in the United States.
The ACA also optionally expanded Medicaid, which led to people getting preventive care that reduced emergency room visits.
A Harvard University professor of health economics conducted a study in 2016 that found that residents of Arkansas and Kentucky, which both accepted the Medicaid expansion, had lower rates of emergency room visits and fewer instances of difficulty with medical bills than residents in Texas, which did not accept the expansion.
It has been proven that access to preventative health care reduces emergency room visits, which are often more expensive to both the patient and taxpayer.
The healthcare debate is extremely complicated and multifaceted. There’s no two ways about it, especially given the almost organic way the U.S.-health insurance developed in the post-WWII world.
The way the AHCA has been rushed into completion, with Sean Spicer famously bragging that the reduced size of the bill meant reduced government, is dangerous. The ACA wasn’t perfect.
Not counting the mess of its roll-out, it raised average health insurance prices for some people who needed them to be reduced, didn’t cover everyone with what they needed; however, there was no way it was going to be perfect for the estimated 242 million adults in the U.S.
Instead of ripping out some of the most critical aspects of the ACA, such as the individual and employer mandates that saw the numbers of uninsured Americans fall to historic lows recently, the Republicans should have striven to replace the parts that were ineffectual or actually harmful to the American public.
Instead the rushed, broken solution they are jamming through the legislative branch is bound to create more problems and hurt more people than Obamacare did. It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow over the next four years.