The GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is dead, for now. Polls, interviews, protests, petitions, and town hall meetings all indicate that many Americans have learned the following lessons:
A huge tax cut for those at the top, and paid for by placing higher costs on those in the middle and at the bottom, will not solve the problems in our healthcare system.
Reducing the amount of money that our 50 states receive for administering their Medicaid systems will not provide access to healthcare to more Americans. Instead, it will force cash-strapped states to make even tougher choices among healthcare, education, infrastructure, aid to local governments, and other services. State and local tax increases would be sure to follow.
Giving people the choice to choose plans which provide only the services they expect to use would not reduce the cost of healthcare plans, but instead would impose added costs on each plan and undermine the entire concept of insurance. We would end up paying more through an increase in the use of emergency services for non-emergencies.
Taking healthcare away from the elderly, the disabled, veterans, and the working poor is not the kind of healthcare reform the average American will accept.
Once an alternative to the Affordable Care Act became a real-life possibility, people began to understand the realities of Obamacare and found it to be much more acceptable than the rhetoric they have been exposed to for the past seven years. Americans want to fix the ACA, not blindly repeal it for the sake of allowing politicians to save face on their constant rhetoric.
Universal healthcare – whether in the form of Medicaid for all, a government option, or a single-payer system – is now more acceptable to the American people than it was before, or than it has been believed to be. This is true even among those who always vote for Republicans. Healthcare is less of a partisan issue among the people than it is among the politicians.
There has never been a successful free market system for health insurance. The reason is simple. A fundamental and necessary aspect of market forces is that many people will be priced out of the market, making the market available only to those who can afford it. Without pricing people out of healthcare, you don’t have a “free market” solution to healthcare.
Americans will never accept a replacement to the ACA which results in fewer people being able to obtain affordable healthcare. The demands of the Freedom Caucus are not sustainable. A system which provides wider and better access to healthcare services – services which don’t create economic burdens on sick and vulnerable Americans – is the only type of system which is sustainable.
The American people have begun to understand and have begun to speak out. They will continue to learn and to speak out until the healthcare system is improved. The GOP plan (call it TrumpCare, RyanCare, AHCA, or whatever) is not an approach which America will accept. If a similar plan is introduced in Congress, you can be assured that the resulting protests will be larger and louder than we have seen yet.
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