Just about every topic is polarizing in American politics at the moment, and the Affordable Care Act is no exception. Some hail it as the crowning accomplishment of Obama’s presidency. Health insurance for 20 million Americans- how can that be bad? Well, a certain recently-inaugurated president has been affirming that Obamacare is a disaster since his campaign began.
For years, the GOP has sought after a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and now, they will get their wish as Trump made it clear that Obamacare would be disposed of immediately if he were elected. Then, just after the election, Trump sat down with Obama and seemed to, for the first time, listen to reason. Obama managed to convince Trump that parts of the Affordable Care Act should stay in place. Trump later said that he liked the legislature that allowed children to stay on their parent’s insurance plans until age 26, and said a few other parts would be kept.
Trump hopefully realizes that if he repeals it outright, that there has to be a replacement plan and there can be no gap between Obamacare and whatever “Trump Care” will be. Even though Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump is clearly going to have some clashes with the rest of the GOP. Trump has insisted that his plan will bring insurance to everyone.
Trump, of course, has given little to no detail, as usual, as to what his plan exactly will be. Pretty much all we know is that it will bring healthcare to every American, according to Trump, and that it will have “much lower deductibles.” To me, it sounds like Trump sounds like he’s stalling the press as he desperately throws a replacement plan together.
The battle over Obamacare the last few years has epitomized the age old battle between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans want to decrease government spending and lower taxes and Democrats think higher taxes are beneficial. In terms of healthcare, you can make an argument for higher spending being a good thing. Look at Canada and their virtually free health care system, which is a result of higher taxes.
There was a protest recently in the city of Keene, where between 100 and 200 people gathered to voice their opinion on congress repealing the Affordable Care Act. New Hampshire is known for having a mix of political ideas and the balance of liberals to conservatives we have in Keene is an example of that. You could ask several people in this town about their positions on Obamacare and get several, very different responses. It’s interesting to see so many people come out for such a left-leaning protest in Keene.
Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies ran the show and had the ability to ruin lives by denying certain people insurance. Repealing the Act without putting further sanctions on these companies would allow them to return to the same practices as before. Another Republican argument is that the act is too restrictive, advocating for minimal government intervention.
The quest to repeal and replace Obamacare will lead to an interesting road ahead. Trump is a former Democrat who still carries a good amount of liberal ideals in his economic thinking. I would expect before the Affordable Care Act is at all repealed, there will be a clash among the Republican Party over how to replace it.
Elliot Weld can be contacted at email@example.com