Even as House Republicans ready the possibility of a second attempt at a vote on their legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act next week, there are still too many content to simply let the law implode. “Democrats own ObamaCare,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer last month. “It’s a failing system … but it’s now squarely in the hands of Democrats.”
Other Republicans previously offered similar sentiments, with lawmakers like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declaring that the new Republican strategy should be dubbed “collapse and replace” – the assumption being that Democrats will bear the blame.
The only problem with that strategy? Voters aren’t buying it.
New polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 61 percent of voters will lay the blame for future problems with the health care law at the feet of President Trump and Congressional Republicans. Fair or not, Republicans bought a broken system and now they own it.
At the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, where I serve as President, we have devoted our work to identifying and implementing free market health care solutions to make coverage more affordable for all Americans. We know that Obamacare’s burdensome mandates are bad medicine for health care costs, but the reality is that millions of people rely on coverage in the current market.
In testimony last year before Congress I laid out the law’s damaging effects, telling the Ways and Means Committee, “while many Americans with significant health needs or lower incomes have greater access to coverage now, the reality is that for millions of others, health coverage is less affordable and more out of reach than when the ACA was enacted six years ago” – a situation that has gotten worse since my summation.
But if conservatives in Congress are to have any hope of making a meaningful impact on health policy in the long-term, they must avoid the political trap of letting the law implode today. In other words, enacting new, patient-centered health reforms requires there be a market left to reform.
The best thing that Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration could do to bolster their Obamacare replacement legislation – a bill that gains just 17 percent approval in recent polling – is to show that they are serious about stabilizing the expensive and failing Obamacare markets and authorizing an orderly transition to a workable system.Download the Article
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