What is the issue?
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted by President Obama.
- Some of the benefits include:
- It has provided Americans with new benefits, rights and protections.
- It has helped over 32 million Americans afford healthcare.
- It ended discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
- President-elect Trump and his party, the Republicans, want to repeal Obamacare, stating it is an ineffective system, with not good enough quality service and that it increased insurance premiums beyond the average American.
- The issue arises after the Republicans have repeatedly stated that they plan on repealing Obamacare without a plan to replace it.
Why is this issue important?
- Approximately 20 million people have gained coverage from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More low-income and people in minority communities were able to gain access to healthcare.
- Repealing without replacement threatens to take coverage from these people.
- Let’s take California for example. The ACA cut uninsured rates for residents under 65 by half from 2009 (22%) to 2015 (9.5%). A repeal means that it would be almost impossible to continue offering these programs of coverage.
What is currently happening politically and socially?
- GOP is in a dilemma. They have no replacement in plan meaning millions could be left without healthcare and thousands could die.
- President-elect Donald Trump wants an immediate repeal and replace. However, this is not going to be done in a week and I don’t think he realizes how long a comprehensive plan for healthcare takes to be developed, especially since GOP leaders are not in agreement about what to do.
- Signups for Obamacare increased in 2016/17 – up to 11.5 million.
Yes, Obamacare is not perfect. No one is claiming it is. But if it is repealed without replacement, for which there is no clear plan yet and which can take years, millions will lose coverage and thousands may die. What can you do? Call up your representatives and let them know what you think, either way. Exercise your rights. Politicians are supposed to serve the people. They should be reminded of that.