By State Representative, Leon D. Young
For the past 7 years, it had become a Republican mantra of sorts: The call for repealing Obamacare. Donald Trump, the current occupant of the White House, had promised on numerous occasions that he would repeal the act on his first day in office. However, just recently, the clueless chief executive after realizing the enormity of this issue quipped, “Who knew that healthcare was so complicated.”
Donald Trump has literally been all over the map in discussing his position on health care. For instance, in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Mr. Trump considered a presidential run and favored universal health care. Trump went on record as having told Larry King that he had liberal views on health care.
In his book, The America We Deserve, printed in 2000, Trump went as far as considering a single-payer approach: We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single payer plan, as many individual states are doing. But implementing such a plan is not simple.
One major problem is that the single-payer plan in Canada is in financial difficulty, as is the nationalized plan in the United Kingdom. We have to improve on the prototype.” And, by 2011, Trump’s tune had completely changed. He started calling into question Obamacare’s constitutionality and affordability.
Faced with the enormous task of gutting President Obama’s signature legislation, Trump and his Republican cohorts are having a difficult time getting their act together.
The House Republican leadership finally got around to rolling out its secretive plan (to repeal and replace) the Affordable Care Act, which they have dubbed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Some provisions of the new Republican health bill include:
• Like ACA, the GOP plan will offer tax credits to offset the cost of health care;
• Individuals will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they reach the age of 26;
• One cannot be denied coverage for a preexisting condition;
• The requirement to buy insurance is gone;
• The state insurance marketplaces will stay, for now. The marketplaces are the go-to option for people under 65 who don’t get health insurance through work or qualify for Medicaid;
• Medicaid stays the same-ish until 2020. In the 32 states plus D.C. that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, people who are eligible can continue to enroll until Jan. 1, 2020, if it becomes law.
However, the AHCA now faces a growing revolt from within its own Conservative ranks. Some conservatives have mockingly labeled the House proposal as “Obamacare lite,” and specifically deride the legislation for offering a new system of tax credits. And, if given their druthers, these conservatives would simply opt to repeal Obamacare — period.
Mr. Trump has already indicated that he intends to support the new American Health Care Act. But, it remains to be seen what changes the bill will ultimately undergo, or whether Republicans can muster enough support for passage.