It’s time to start talking about specific fixes for Obamacare, also known as The Affordable Care Act (ACA). Make no mistake that the overall solution will be complex. In a perfect world the solution might well be to repeal and replace The ACA with a single-payer solution which maybe is what Democrats should have gone for in 2009 instead of trying to compromise with Republicans who ultimately wouldn’t cast a single vote for the bill.
I have two suggestions that will have a major impact on the fortunes of the bill. Based on reversing the attempts of Republicans to sabotage the Act. The Act that Paul Ryan grudgingly acknowledges is “the law of the land.” If we follow the path of Republican instruction and sabotage. It provides a light on the way to begin fixing it.
The first step is for all the states that refused to expand Medicaid to now do so. It was thought by Democrats that the reasons for participating in the expansion were so compelling for their own residents than no Republican Governor’s or state legislatures could refuse to accept the funds. Little did they know the obstinacy of the generally rich men with government provided health care to deny their less well to do citizens a bit of the same.
Kansas and North Carolina are already working to expand Medicaid in their states. Before the Presidential election, Nebraska, Idaho, South Dakota, and Georgia were considering expansion which they put on hold when they were certain the ACA would be repealed. The epic failure of Trump/Ryan to eliminate the ACA may have them reconsidering. Think of the positive impact on the laws financial projection and the health benefits to more citizens if Florida, Texas, and all of the 17 states that didn’t expand the ACA simply did so? I’ve written to my Congresswoman to suggest she request a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score, depicting the results and increase in coverage if the 17 holdout states accepted the Medicaid expansion.
Of course the word simply doesn’t apply because not only to the Governor’s of those states need to be convinced. Many Republican controlled states, fortified by gerrymandering. Will still be stubborn opponents to provide to the have-not’s what they themselves take for granted. It will require the same types of pressure as recently applied across the country at town halls held by Congress members. Instead of confronting Congressmen and Senators the focus should be on State legislators an Governor’s to enact the will of the people.
The second fix is to undo the sabotage that Sen. Marco Rubio and others did to the ACA in secret. They reduced funding for the obscure “risk-corridors” which basically made insurance companies whole if they lost money by covering those with pre-existing conditions and heaven forbid, sick people. The withdrawal from some markets by insurers was not based on the failure of Obamacare but the deviousness of Rubio et.al.
A bonus third thing is to boycott companies like Aetna who withdrew coverage from profitable areas to punish the government for opposing their merger.
Much as the Republicans spoke of “repeal and replace” for seven years without actually having a plan. It’s incumbent on Democrats and indeed the people to make specific demands to fix the ACA.
- Expand Medicaid
- Restore Risk Corridors
- Boycott companies that harm citizens
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