A lot of thought and planning went into the Affordable Care Act, and every group, including insurance companies, business groups, Republicans and Democrats, were all consulted to incorporate their suggestions.
Yes, it was passed by a partisan vote. No kidding! The Republicans met during the inauguration and decided they would oppose any and all legislation put forth by this new president because they wanted him to fail.
There was a lot of debate on the floor of both houses of Congress, and many amendments were adopted, mostly Republican ones. Because there was no cost for a state to expand Medicaid the first year and very little cost in the follow-up years, all the states were expected to comply.
But the opposition party couldn’t have a success for Obama so it filed suit with the Supreme Court, and the right-wing justices on the court, for purely political reasons, ruled the law had gone too far, so states with Republican governors refused to participate.
Of course, they don’t care about their citizens who can’t afford any health care and hospitals that would have benefitted greatly from the expansion. Many rural hospitals have had to close, including some in Georgia.
The U.S. District Court ruling in D.C. last week by three Republican judges outlawed subsidies for people in states without their own exchange. The next step is to have the ruling made en banc (the full court of 11 judges) and I feel certain that ruling will be overturned.
There have been many adjustments made to the ACA, and there will be many more. All laws that are that expansive need tweaking, some for the life of the law. Social Security was tweaked and amended many times over the years. Health care Part D was changed and adjusted to fix unforeseen problems. Medicare took more than three years to implement, and it, too, was changed over the years.
I think the Republicans are kidding themselves if they really think they can make the ACA go away. By far, the majority of the people who have enrolled in it really like it.
As an aside, my son lost a job he had for 15 years and was temporarily unemployed. He’s a Republican and was very reluctant to check into Obamacare. But COBRA insurance was going to cost him $1,800 a month, and his unemployment was $400 per week, so he had no choice.
When he signed up I asked him “Be fair now, aren’t you glad Obamacare exists for you?” He said “Yes.”
Many people forget just how insane our health care system was before the ACA. People were complaining about premiums going up 150 percent, 200 percent or more each year. To call it unsustainable is an understatement.
The only other proposal I recall hearing to fix the mess was a single-payer system, but the Republicans shot that down completely.
If we can put partisanship aside and do what’s best for the people, we’ll keep Obamacare, and vote to make some needed adjustments to make it better, not kill it.