Affordable Care Act: GOP Beginning to See Reality?
By EGP Editorial
The Republican members of Congress have been spouting their dislike of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare as they named it) since the act became law.
While campaigning for president, Donald Trump said if elected his first order of business would be to do away with Obamacare.
Both Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say they want to do away with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the end of the year.
Yet, many members of the Republican Party seem to be slowly coming to the realization that they don’t have an alternative plan to offer the millions of Americans who now get their health care through Obamacare exchanges. It seems they are quickly learning it may take a year or two to figure out a suitable alternative to Obamacare their constituents will accept.
The reality is that millions of Americans, many of them in red states, GOP strongholds, say they will not accept changes that leave them in heath care limbo for two years.
Even President Trump now says the elimination of ACA probably won’t happen until early 2018.
Speaker Ryan, however, says the Congress can probably approve some type of grant to allow states to continue to provide health care to some of those who don’t have insurance, but Americans have now figured out that grants to states means cuts in funding and that just won’t do.
Despite its flaws, millions of Americans consider the ACA a benefit, giving them access to doctors and medical care.
While those on the plan may accept there are problems with Obamacare, what they want is for the Trump Administration to tweak the Act so their premiums are lower, not do away with their coverage. They want to keep the mandate prohibiting denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and to continue receiving the subsidies many need to pay for their insurance, the expansion of Medicaid, and for the president and GOP to eliminate the million dollar limit in insurance policies.
It’s time Americans insist that President Trump not only put America first, but to also keep Americans first.
According to an article by David Lazarus in the Feb. 7 edition of the Los Angeles Times, members of Congress can buy their health coverage from any source they want, but if they want the government to continue to pay for their health coverage, they must buy it through the ACA exchange in Washington, but with some added advantages not available to regular folks, such as being eligible for employer contributions of 75% of cost of their premiums; they care also about getting their care at an in-house clinic or military hospitals staffed by Navy doctors, nurses, technicians and pharmacists for just an additional $600 per year – that’s all they pay no matter what services they use, including seeing some of the country’s foremost medical specialists.
If the ACA is repealed, lawmakers’ health care will probably return to what it was before ACA, under the Federal Employees Benefits Plan, with 75% of their coverage still being subsidized by taxpayers – the same people they want to eliminate subsidies for.
If Congress votes to cut ACA benefits for ordinary Americans, it’s imperative – and only fair – that they also cut subsidies to all government employees, including members of Congress.
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February 10, 2017 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.