The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michael Burns
Representing the Right 

Dare to Repair Obamacare

 


The Affordable Care Act: Repeal and Replace

In this ongoing segment, Glasgow-based columnists Michael Burns and Alec Carmichael have agreed to square off on issues of national and international significance. Less a debate format than an opportunity to feature in-depth discussion, "Side by Side" will feature structured analysis of current events complete with fact-checking, editorial support and, when necessary, informal arbitration. To suggest a topic for our duo, write to courier@nemont.net.

Obamacare has practically existed in an attempted repeal by Republicans since before it was even passed into law. It has been a shackle around the Democrats’ hands and feet, as well serving as a wide open target for attack by Republicans since its mention nearly ten years ago. Finally, it faces removal and a swift replacement. The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable to most Americans nor caring to millions that have had their previously more affordable insurance removed. The ACA maneuvers a reverse Robin Hood and robs from the middle class, not the rich, giving to the poor, which leaves the middle class hurting. A paradox forms when low-income citizens demand free health insurance and label anyone who takes it from them as heartless or immoral. When this occurs, it is taking health insurance from millions of people in the process.

In the United States, the giving of equal opportunity, not equal outcome, is the rule of the land. However, the ACA acts as a moral arbiter and plays favorites among the different economic classes. It gives to those who have not earned. There would be room for understanding except that to do this it takes from those who earn more money annually. It gives cheap insurance to those who can’t afford it and to those who are deemed to be making too much money. They pay high premiums and unfathomable deductibles, making it so many in the middle class can no longer afford insurance: the low income and middle class switch places. Essentially, it decides who is worthy of health insurance. This is morally wrong. The government should not be able to decide which citizens lives are more valuable than the next. Millions of low income people have gained this new insurance for little cost but millions of middle class citizens have lost their previous health insurance due to Obamacare and now as it implodes they are even losing that in order to pay for the bottom.

The average deductible for Obamacare is $6,000. That is essentially worthless to many families trying to make ends meet and can be as useful as having no insurance altogether. It is plausible that only the top earners in the nation would have 6,000 dollars to spare for a major surgery or procedure. In 2017 alone, it is estimated that over 1.1 million people will lose their affordable Obamacare because of rising costs. The dream of health insurance for all remains just that, and not a reality for everyone.

Insert the Trump administration and nearly every elected Republican. It is their time to fulfill their campaign promises of repealing and replacing this disastrous plan. With a majority in the House and Senate, there is little they could not accomplish. But so far, the newly unveiled American Health Care Act appears to be nothing more than “Obamacare Lite.” Trumpcare has a long list of problems and only trims the fat of the ACA. Needing revision, it still carries problems leftover from the Obama era. It doesn’t get rid of the pre-existing condition mandate, has a mandatory fee if you decide to forego health insurance altogether, and a few other glaring issues.

This week, the Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating that premiums and deductibles will be even higher than Obamacare. This is not manageable. Not only that, but it would leave 56 million people uninsured by the year 2026, compared to the current Obamacare’s 28 million.

However, by the CBO’s own admission, most of the increases of those without insurance are due to the repealing of the high penalties associated with Obamacare. In other words, people would be voluntarily leaving a system they don’t want to be a part of, not that they are forcibly being removed. It is also worth noting that there is a difference between healthcare and health insurance. Even without health insurance, everyone has the ability to go to a doctor and not be turned away. Furthermore, most people who lose their insurance under Trumpcare are on Medicaid. People will not die from this new law.

Soon, the Republicans and Democrats will switch places, much like the low income and middle class. If not course-corrected, the Republicans will be under constant fire with a potentially equally bad plan as Obamacare. For now, more information on the plan is yet to come. If done right, health insurance for all at the least sounds like a great idea, but in its current form, it is a poorly executed socialist afterthought.

 

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