Bold is kicking off a new series, called Bold Banter, where our regular contributors debate important policy and cultural issues that we face as Americans.
An Obamacare repeal appears to be imminent in Washington, as Republicans are eager to dispose of Obama’s healthcare overhaul. While many point to the surging premiums and collapsing exchanges as reason enough to merit dismantling Obamacare, others suggest that repealing without replacing would cause chaos.
Either way, the stakes are extremely high. After all, healthcare is now almost 18 percent of our national economy, and any significant disruptions could throw our economy in a tailspin. President Trump promised Americans that he’d cover everyone at a lower cost than they’re currently paying.
For many policymakers, Trump’s healthcare pledge could turn out as disastrous as President Obama’s promise made during his administration: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” In the end, millions of people were unable to keep their health insurance after Obamacare came into effect.
As Republicans push into the unknown, here’s two viewpoints on Obamacare, and the potential repeal and replace that may come to be known as Trumpcare.
We cannot forget that Obamacare covered millions of Americans who couldn’t afford health insurance. It also extended health insurance to people who couldn’t gain coverage because of their pre-existing conditions. Let’s use this reality as a starting point, so we can understand where we’re at now.
Photo by Thomas Altfather Good
Republicans want to quickly repeal Obamacare without an adequate replacement. This idea is disastrous, and will lead to millions of people losing their coverage overnight. And Republicans have done very little to convince us they have a replacement that’s better, let alone ready. Already, there is chatter that they want to wait until next year to start their own reform, because they’ve quickly figured out that their overzealous calls to repeal would have ended up being a train wreck.
Also, for the critics who claim Obamacare is failing, Democrats will readily admit that the law is extremely flawed. But, Republicans refused to work with Democrats to enact easy legislative fixes. Obamacare could have be improved with the help of our Republican colleagues, but instead partisan politics got in the way of common sense reform.
Obamacare is now on the chopping block because Republicans wanted it to fail. They created an artificial crisis that is now coming to a head. Those who stand to lose the most are regular people, who are desperate need of health insurance coverage.
In a country as rich as America, people deserve access to healthcare, end of story.
While Obamacare was noble in its efforts to extend coverage to millions of people locked out of healthcare, it has been a nightmare for everyone else. Premiums have skyrocketed for regular middle class folks, and healthcare is more unaffordable than ever.
While Republican obstructionism certainly didn’t do Obamacare any favors, the entire system as it was designed is flawed. The architects of Obamacare did absolutely nothing to reign in costs. As many of us have painfully discovered, healthcare costs in the United States are absurd, and lead millions of our fellow citizens into bankruptcy yearly. Sadly, many of these people have insurance.
The Democrats created a system that is now collapsing. Insurance companies are losing billions and exiting markets rapidly. In many states, people have only one insurance company to pick from when they’re looking for coverage. Democrats did nothing to spur competition in healthcare. In fact, American healthcare is less competitive than ever.
Photo by shane_d_k
I could go on and on about how Obamacare is bad public policy. Ask your local doctor how she feels about healthcare reform, and you’ll likely get an earful. Go call your health insurance company, and you’ll quickly figure out that they are in the business of making your life miserable. Democrats did nothing to stop the abusive practices of big insurance companies that deny and delay our access to necessary medical services.
There’s always one piece of compelling evidence that I constantly rely on to underscore why Obamacare needs to go. My premiums have more than doubled in recent years, and that’s unacceptable. There are millions of people like me who face increasingly unaffordable insurance premiums, and there’s little doubt that’s damaging our national economic prospects.
Obamacare needs to be repealed, but not before an adequate replacement is rolled out. Whatever replaces Obamacare remains largely in the hands of a Republican party that refused legislative fixes to Obamacare when they weren’t in power. Hopefully, an adequate replacement can be identified, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Photo by charlesfettinger
David is the Multimedia Editor for GenFKD. Most recently, he was an anchor, reporter, and investigative journalist for an ABC affiliate in West Texas. David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.