It’s no surprise that with Trump as our president-elect, Republicans are renewing their efforts to repeal Obamacare. Their latest goal is to repeal key portions as early as 2017, not long after Trump takes office—though the changes wouldn’t go into effect until at least 2019.
And that’s the key point here: Republicans aren’t about to let 20-30 million people go without healthcare by acting rashly. Their aim is to slowly but surely repeal and rework the existing Obamacare system piece by piece into something that not only provides reliable healthcare to Americans, but also allows states the opportunity to govern their own healthcare choices based on what their constituents need; not a one-size-fits-all solution.
In order to make this happen, Republicans must come up with a bipartisan plan that will earn them 60 votes—enough to overcome a Democratic filibuster. That means working with the Congressional Budget Office to draft a proposal that offers equal or better care than Obamacare.
The sticking point is Obamacare’s individual mandate, generally believed to be the most positive element of the plan. In fact, we don’t need the individual mandate to provide individuals with the options they need. Other laws already prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. The same can be said for Medicaid and the employer-sponsored market.
In effect, what Obamacare does is require people to sign up for plans they’ve already been offered.
While not all Republicans agree on exactly how Obamacare should be reformed, they do agree that it needs to be done quickly and efficiently. Florida Governor Rick Scott is one among many urging politicians to act quickly and decisively to provide excellent healthcare while still allowing the economy opportunities to grow.
“Governors all across the country, Republicans and Democrats, all know we’ve got to reform Obamacare if we’re going to be able to continue to grow this economy,” Scott said. He has already met with president-elect Trump to discuss plan flexibility for programs like Medicaid as well as an entitlement program for low income families and those with disabilities.
If both parties can put aside politics and focus on creating a healthcare plan that serves everyone and steamrolls no one, we’ll see a marked improvement in our healthcare situation.