By Alexandra Griffin, Managing Editor
The Republican Party cancelled the GOP-proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) that has been anticipated since the approval of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as “Obamacare”) seven years ago on March 24. One would think that because Republicans had seven years to come up with a reasonable replacement for the ACA that it would go through, but that clearly didn’t happen.
With the start of the most recent presidential campaign came the start of hope for conservatives that the ACA would be repealed and replaced. Unfortunately, Donald Trump won the election and many of those people lost much of that hope.
Trump’s inability to understand the basis of the U. S. law making system began the downward spiral that led to the failed repeal.
Once President Trump came into office, Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Trump’s cabinet, began working on the new prospective health care bill, dubbed “Obamacare-Lite” by many.
Politicians who were involved in synthesising the bill wanted to get it approved and to repeal the ACA before April 7, when the House went on spring break. Additionally, Trump and his cabinet were also working on other new laws, like the controversial immigration policies, so they rushed the bill so much that by the time it was done, they didn’t completely understand what the bill meant.
The bill went into the House for approval without the inclusion of cost estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which later predicted that 24 million people who are currently insured under Obamacare would not be insured by 2026 under the AHCA.
Some changes that were proposed in the AHCA were to stop the expansion of Medicaid, eliminate tax penalties for those who are uninsured, not require large corporate companies to offer insurance to their employees, undo tax credits that help many American spay for health insurance, undo additional taxes on people with high incomes, cut off funds to Planned Parenthood and replace Medicaid’s open-end entitlement.
Ryan, one of the most instrumental politicians while making the bill, criticized the Obamacare of being rushed and disorganized, while the AHCA seems to have been just as rushed, if not more. Ryan and Trump also strongly opposed Obamacare, but the AHCA did not change many of the portions of Obamacare that Trump and Ryan criticized (hence the name “Obamacare-Lite” given to the bill by conservatives that oppose both Obamacare and the AHCA).
Despite the miserable failure at repealing the ACA on March 24, Trump announced that there will be yet another bill drafted to try to repeal the ACA.
If Republicans want to repeal the ACA, fine, more power to them, but they need to start learning from their own and other people’s mistakes. The writing of the bill cannot be rushed as the AHCA was and as Speaker Ryan claims the ACA was. The bill needs to be better catered to all citizens, not just major corporations and upper-middle- or upper-class families. The bill needs to not be a rash rebuttal to the failed act by Trump because it will fail again.
Whatever new healthcare law is proposed needs to be a long term solution to the health care problem for all of America, not just the rich.