Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

    Republicans will have to do better than the AHCA

    Last week, I wrote about the AHCA (American Health Care Act) and what it did well and what it did badly.
    Now, it’s failed to gain momentum and conservatives have to figure out their next step. This attempt was likely to fail for multiple reasons.
    Firstly, the republicans don’t seem to agree about what to do about Obamacare.
    Some want to repeal it and just be done with it all, and some want to replace it. Some people want to keep parts of it.
    What this showed is that many people (including many lawmakers), don’t know enough about why they hated it. It was a government program that involved taxes and “forcing” people to pay. That was about it.
    Just as well, the Congressional Budget Office’s report showed that the changes offered by the AHCA would disproportional damage Trump supporters.
    Lower class people and older people would be taking most of the hits. For example, older people could have been charged five times more for their health care than under Obamacare. They might hate Obamacare, but I imagine not that much.
    Along with that, Trump did absolutely nothing to improve the odds of this passing. He’s still amazed at how “complex” health care is.
    Aside from the internal battles, there are also the issues of what republican lawmakers have been doing at the federal level for the last eight years. The deal is, republicans have spent no time actually planning for the moment when they could actually dismantle the law.
    What they do know is how to  cut taxes. As seen in the AHCA, thy tried to use those methods. From what the CBO found, that method wasn’t going to work (this time).
    If the republicans want to be able to pass a health care law, without only appealing to the hard right, they’ll have to accept that they cannot solve our deficit issues with health care adjustment alone.
    People have different standards now than they did eight years ago. People have benefited from Obamacare. Republicans may suggest that isn’t true, but statistically it is provable that nearly half of Americans have favorable views of Obamacare.
    On top of all that, Obamacare’s support has risen recently (according to multiple polls).
    So removing health care, or replacing it with health care that really isn’t very good, won’t make the general population happy.
    For those of us that are happy that AHCA failed, we also have to recognize that Obamacare hasn’t been that great, either.
    It hasn’t solved all of our problems, as we hoped, and while it has helped the deficit slightly, it hasn’t done enough (at least, not yet).
    Also important to keep in mind is that republicans are not just “defeated” and Obamacare is staying. Republicans have at several years to pass another health care law.
    If republicans really want to help Americans, it will take more than what they’ve presented so far.
    They need to be willing to find ways to help people without just using their go-to of lowering taxes. They need to prove to people that their health care plan will be better for people, not just the deficit.
    Democrats need to be open to change, too. It’s alright to protest to protect yourself from losing the care you need, but if the republicans present something that works, they should be open to the idea of trying it.
    Health care is complicated. Republicans need to take the time to do it right.

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    Republicans will have to do better than the AHCA