What Are We For? Healthcare (1)

As we resist the Trump/Republican political cyclone domination of national political institutions, it is important to say what we are for.  (Not just what we are against.)  Here’s a first contribution.

With Healthcare, it is relatively easy to say what we are for.  (There will be some difficult issues.)  At the present moment we want to preserve the Affordable Care Act.  Yes, it has problems.  Yes, a single payer system (Medicare for everyone) would be better.  But for the present, simply defending the ACA is essential.  That’s what we’re for.

The Republican Congressional leadership has just released their ‘replacement’ for the ACA for their repeal and replace strategy.  There will be lots to read, but for starters I suggest:

The New York Times provides a useful graphic that summarizes the current ACA and how the Republican bill would change it.

Ezra Klein, The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve; After seven years of drafting a replacement plan, we get … this?  Klein links to several other pieces worth reading.  I am especially drawn to this observation:

“In general,” writes Peter Suderman, “it’s not clear what problems this particular bill would actually solve.” This is a profound point. It is difficult to say what question, or set of questions, would lead to this bill as an answer. Were voters clamoring for a bill that cut taxes on the rich, raised premiums on the old, and cut subsidies for the poor? Will Americans be happy when 15 million people lose their health insurance and many of those remaining face higher deductibles?

Russell Berman gives a good preview of the problems that the Republicans will have in getting their bill through the Congress in The Conservative Uprising Against the Republican Healthcare Bill.   There will be opposition from within the Republican ranks to this proposal, and that opposition will come from both directions, too much and not enough.

We shouldn’t conclude that Republican disagreement will sink this plan.  We need to keep the pressure on Congress.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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