In this election cycle, the majority in congress shifted and we now have an overwhelming majority of republicans in the senate. With this comes the usually territory of efforts to make government smaller, defund planned parenthood and other things that typically fall under the republican platform, but so far the republicans that have taken office have been really adamant about repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Initially, hearing the republicans speaking about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act did not come as a shock to anybody. The Affordable Care Act is not by any means perfect and of course since it is a law that a democrat made, the republicans are naturally going to be more critical of it than they would be if it was created by a republican. The part that shocked the country was their replacement for the this health care system that helped make health insurance accessible to millions of people.
In the most basic sense, the republicans do not have a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. They have a lot of scattered ideas and what Paul Ryan refers to as a framework of a new plan that the GOP claims will be better than what we have now. The details are supposed to be discussed more by congressional committees but for now, we get to watch the end of healthcare for millions while the congress sits around throwing around ideas like they have all the time in the world to negotiate and argue while people’s health is at stake.
The problem here is not that republicans want to change our current healthcare system, because it is true that it has had its problems, but rather the problem is that they want to entirely get rid of a system that has helped people of all walks of life remain healthy- and in some cases alive- with no way to effectively replace it and make it better.
However, the GOP have come up with a few ideas that they feel will benefit Americans and help fix the healthcare system. They have one idea that is similar to the idea of subsidies under the ACA but without income limits and gives them a wider variety of plans to chose from. They want to expand the use of private health savings accounts, charge older people more, create stated mandated “high risk pools” to lower deductibles for healthier patients and restructure medicare and medicaid.
While many of these ideas seem to help the problems we are currently having with healthcare, they aren’t an entire healthcare system in and of itself. Obamacare can not be replaced if there is nothing to replace it, that will leave America in a worse situation than it was before this law was passed, and it will put a lot of our citizens at risk. For the sake of our country, the GOP in congress need to put partisan politics aside and do what is best for the country as a whole.