There is nothing political about providing low-cost affordable health care to Americans. At least there should not be anything political about it. Americans need affordable, comprehensive medical coverage, Congress and the President take oaths to do the bidding of the people.
Simple, one might image. However, you would be wrong. Thanks to the ACA even breathing now is a political act.
Since the years of the implementation of the ACA, the American people have seen every aspect of their health to become attached in some way to the political designs of Washington. Our Forefathers never envisioned or wanted this level of Federal interference in our private lives.
Congressional Republicans began the process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last week and U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va), a former college economics professor, says the party needs to keep moving with urgency toward fulfilling the GOP’s top campaign promise.
“We have a once-in-a-century opportunity for real to get this right. Medicare and Social Security are insolvent in 15 years if we don’t get this right. The kids will be left with nothing. I taught those kids for 20 years at the college level. That’s why I got into this business, to make sure we get this right.
We promised the American people this repeal and replace. It’s our No. 1 promise since 2010.”
Brat said some people are mistaken in believing that the votes Congress took last week already repealed the law. “All we did last week was have the budget resolution vote. You have to have a budget to move forward on what’s called reconciliation,” Brat explained. “Reconciliation is what allowed Obamacare to be passed in the first place with just 51 votes in the Senate.”
“Now Republicans are going to use the same reconciliation process to repeal and replace.”
Much of the talk on the GOP side centers on whether to have the repeal take effect in two or three years. Brat hopes it’s much sooner than that. “Some folks are getting a little wobbly,” he said. “The problem with the two-year is that will occur as our re-election occurs. So politics is going to get mixed in with policy, and that’s never a good model to do what’s in the best interest of the country.”
He said waiting three years to trigger the repeal is an even worse idea since the 2020 presidential race will already be underway. Brat said some congressional Republicans are getting skittish about moving so quickly and passing a repeal without a formal replacement attached.
“The details of that have not been worked out to put it mildly, so there’s a little angst from all sides on that. What’s the repeal going to look like? What’s the time frame? Is it going to be done in two years or three years, and what’s the replacement?”
Brat dismisses claims by Democrats that repealing Obamacare will take coverage away from up to 30 million Americans, calling the claim ‘nonsense.’ “People are nervous about being left in the lurch. They shouldn’t be,” he said. “There’s all sorts of plans out there that show we’re going to end up with a better product.”
What is unsustainable, Brat said, is the soaring cost of health care for Americans right now. He said the typical family pays $17,000 in premiums a year for coverage while still confronting much higher deductibles. He is working with Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., on expanding health savings accounts. Brat said allowing people to choose simple catastrophic plans while building up their health savings accounts would provide peace of mind while also showing people the exorbitant cost of health care.
Brat also said ideas like allowing people to pool together could bring down costs. As Republicans throw out different ideas, Democrats often allege that seven years after Obamacare was passed, Republicans still don’t have an alternative.
“The Democrats say we don’t have a plan. That’s true. We have nine of them,”
Brat doesn’t expect the GOP to take long in compiling a replacement. He said it’s the Democrats who have their heads in the sand. “The entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, are going insolvent and not a word from the Democrats’ side on these major issues, when the kids will end up with no systems whatsoever in 50 years,” Brat said. “Not a word, just crickets.”
But the start of the repeal and replace effort also has Republican critics. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and other Republican fiscal hawks are pointing out the budget used to trigger the reconciliation process blows a $9.7 trillion hole in the budget and adds significantly to an already out-of-control national debt.
Brat, who voted for the resolution, said Paul and his allies are technically correct. “They’re right. We chose the current CBO baseline, and it blows huge holes in the budget,” Brat said. “I think that was done to offer the Senate a little bit of latitude to get the vote right here.”
But Brat, a member of the House Budget Committee, said GOP budgets would fix that in the coming months. “We’re going to do another budget in four months, and that one will get back to normal balancing in 10 years, maybe sooner than that,” Brat said. “That’s the hope of some of us.”
Like many Americans, I am following this unfolding story with keen interest. Being a Type One Diabetic with a missing foot and heart problems, I am very interested, to say the least. I for one do not want to become a statistic in some political meme.
I have seen since the implementation of the ACA my prosthetic foot go from something covered with no question by my insurance company to something considered ‘experimental medical devices’ and not covered. I have been moved from one insulin to another since the insurance providers decided the one I was on ended up being too costly for them to cover.
For whatever intentions good or not that the ACA was created under, it was an overall failure. It might have controlled some people’s premiums while increasing others; it might have some redeemable bits, but having a sleek car means nothing if the engine doesn’t start. It needs to go and needs replacing by a viable long-term replacement.
The members of the Republican majority need to understand one simple fact. We are watching. We are taking notes. If you, who we gave a majority to, pick politics over people like the Loser Democrats did, we will find leaders in two years that can make the right choices.
You may share this post on Facebook and Twitter.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below: