HUNTER SAVERY ’20
After much anticipation, congressional Republicans released the conservative answer to Obamacare, the American Healthcare Act, or Trumpcare on March 6th. Unfortunately, the plan that promised to offer consumers more choices, lower costs, and greater fiscal sustainability offers none of the above. Trumpcare is a great plan, if the goal were finding more ways to give the wealthiest Americans tax breaks or finding a way to ensure that 24 million Americans would lose insurance by 2026, as reported by Congressional Budget Office, (CBO.) The report released by the nonpartisan CBO on Mar. 13 was quickly denounced by Republicans backing the bill, such as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who called the report, “just not believable”. What is actually unbelievable here is how far many Republicans are willing to go to get rid of Obamacare.
The task of replacing the Affordable Care Act is no small one. Obamacare has its flaws, but coming up with a fiscally conservative alternative that will not harm congressional constituencies is just about impossible.
For months prior to its release, Republicans in Washington were talking up their replacement for Obamacare, which at the time had no name and no publicly released details. Many suspected that there was no plan for most of that time, and the release of the American Healthcare Act only seems to confirm those suspicions. The bill looks cobbled together, it makes no logical sense, and even Paul Ryan admits that it needs to be worked on. Republicans have had months, if not years, to devise a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, yet they come out with a clunky and ineffective plan that not only fails to be better than Obamacare, but is in fact much worse than it.
Trumpcare helps no one but the Republicans in Washington and the very wealthy. In fact, estimates show that if 20 million Americans do lose insurance, then the nation will see 24,000 additional deaths per year. That is an alarming figure, especially considering the fact that the CBO estimates that over 20 million Americans will lose coverage. The CBO also estimates that Social Security expenditures would decrease, so on the surface, it looks like Trumpcare was successful in that area. That’s not exactly the case though. The reason expenditures would go down is because of an increased mortality rate. The budget is only getting better because people are going to die. This raises a troubling question, do the supporters of this bill care more about the bottom line or their constituents? Based on the numbers of people losing healthcare and dying, the answer does not seem to be in favor of the constituents.
Recent data from Public Policy Polling showed that 62% of Americans want Obamacare to be kept on the books, but for improvements to be made. Republicans are trying to destroy legislation that most Americans want. Donald Trump and the other supporters of this bill want to pass a bill that Americans do not want, remove 24 million Americans from affordable health care coverage, and decrease subsidies for healthcare, all while giving the wealthiest Americans tax breaks, and worst of all killing an estimated 24,000 people a year.
If there is sound logic behind Trumpcare, it is certainly elusive. Congressmen, senators, presidents, secretaries: what do they all have in common? They are public servants, it is their job to act in the interest of the Amercan people. Trumpcare is detrimental to any American who is not significantly wealthy or a Republican lawmaker. Trump and his fellow Republicans want to destroy the Obama legacy at any cost, do not let them. If you value fair and affordable healthcare, then call your congressman or senator and let them know that people come before conservative principles.