Some Republicans are taking an enormous risk as they attempt to disrupt the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. The longevity of Donald Trump’s administration and the party’s controlling majorities in Congress could very well be dependent upon how the GOP navigates through the health care crisis. Every Republican was elected in 2016 based upon change, and the abrogation of Obamacare was and continues to be at the top of the agenda.
Conservatives are popping up all over the capital and taking pot shots at the initial plans relating to Obamacare. They’re saying that Speaker Paul Ryan’s first crack at the entitlement is nothing more than Obamacare Lite. Others don’t think the plan goes far enough. And most Republicans think it will still be too expensive for the country’s taxpayers.
At this stage it’s highly likely that the new proposal will be changed and amended many times before it becomes law. Given that health care represents a huge part of total federal expenditures and affects so many Americans, it’s folly to think that a new law could be enacted in just a few weeks and without vetting by both political parties.
Further our lawmakers should be focused first and foremost on the needs of Americans, not just the impact a new law will have on the federal deficit. Our government must ensure that every American has the ability to obtain health care at a reasonable price. This means that a new health care program will be expensive, hopefully less so than the current entitlement. Frankly the objectives of taxpayers in this situation are secondary to the health needs of our citizens.
American voters clearly indicated that they want to reform Obamacare, at a minimum. They want lower premiums, lower deductibles, access to more doctors and better care. This is what Trump and his fellow Republicans campaigned on. If it’s not possible to reduce the absolute cost of health care to the federal government at this time, so be it. At least Trump would fulfill his most important promise to the American people.
In a perfect world all those who don’t have health care security would be able to obtain it at a reasonable cost. This includes the tens of million of people who are not able to pay anything for health insurance. The only successful aspect of Obamacare was the expansion of Medicaid, which captured most of these people. It would be impractical and immoral to decrease these benefits for people who have no other medical alternatives.
Similarly protecting Americans from being turned down for health insurance because of preexisting conditions is not something that should be taken away in a new law. And health care coverage held by parents for children under 26 years of age is yet another excellent and productive Obamacare benefit.
The real debate should be focused on creating a national insurance system across state lines. It would foster competition and give the insured flexible coverage that is affordable. This strategy could very well offset the affiliated some of the cost of repealing individual mandates, which force people to buy insurance or be subjected to a penalty (otherwise known as a tax).
It’s outrageous that young people must buy expensive insurance policies to subsidize those that can’t afford insurance. This group only needs catastrophic protection, not comprehensive coverage for sore throats and the like. The cost of limited protection policies will make it more affordable for many middle class Americans.
The expectations of conservative Republicans may sabotage the Trump initiatives relating to health care coverage. This, in turn, will delay or make other initiatives impossible. The result will be political Armageddon for the Republican Party. Simply put Democrats will trounce Republicans in the coming elections.
We must accept the fact that health care costs will continue to plague taxpayers. Creative amendments to a new health care law could lessen the taxpayers’ burden over time, as would a thriving economy.