If you’ve been anywhere near the internet recently, you’ve probably heard that the Republican replacement for Obamacare has imploded. After a disastrous 17-day roll-out, the White House is pinning blame largely on House Democrats. Why the President is under the assumption that Democrats will willfully undo their signature domestic policy achievement of the last decade is anyone’s guess.
Democrats wasted no time taking a victory lap around the ashes of Trumpcare. Many even credit grassroots organizing that has happened around the county.
To be clear, the Affordable Care Act still has problems that need to be fixed.
According to the Physicians for a National Health Program, the Affordable Care Act under-delivers four ways:
- About 30 million people will still be uninsured in 2023, and tens of millions will remain underinsured. (The Affordable Care Act does NOT guarantee coverage as an economic right.)
- Insurers will continue to strip down policies, maintain restrictive networks, limit and deny care, and increase patients’ co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. (After all, if the healthcare system is designed to maximize profit, it will be incentivized to produce less healthy outcomes overall.)
- The law preserves our fragmented financing system, making it impossible to control costs. (Have you tried to understand what your health insurance covers recently? It’s nearly impossible.)
- The law continues the unfair financing of health care, whereby costs are disproportionately borne by middle- and lower-income Americans and those families facing acute or chronic illness. (We’re still grappling with economic inequality that is off the charts, by the way.)
“The Ryan health care bill was a declaration of war on our own people, on behalf of the elite of the elite. The only ‘health’ in this bill was for corporate profits and billionaire bank accounts” says RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director of National Nurses United.
DeMoro continues, “What policy makers should do now is learn the lesson that most of the rest of the world has discovered, implement a system based on care, not profits, not corporate insurance. As the town halls and massive protests have made clear, the people are ready for real reform and a change in national priorities that puts our health first, not last.”
Any opposition party worth it’s salt would take advantage this moment to introduce a newer, popular, more affordable plan in a public way — like Medicare for All.
According to the Physicians for National Health Program,
Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. The program would be funded by the savings obtained from replacing today’s inefficient, profit-oriented, multiple insurance payers with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public payer, and by modest new taxes based on ability to pay. Premiums would disappear; 95 percent of all households would save money. Patients would no longer face financial barriers to care such as co-pays and deductibles, and would regain free choice of doctor and hospital. Doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.
So Democrats, it’s time to put the champagne down and learn from your constituents. People in every single Congressional district have been advocating for bold, popular policy solutions like this for years, and now is the time to act.
I’ve even wrote a tweet for you. I won’t be mad if you happen to plagiarize it.