Americans want the Affordable Care Act improved, not undermined

Published August 18, 2017

By Chris Fitzsimon

by Chris Fitzsimon, NC Policy Watch and NC SPIN panelist, August 17, 2017.

Here is something you probably haven’t heard much lately, if at all, given the shocking news from Charlottesville and the disturbing reaction by President Trump.

Roughly 80 percent of Americans believe that Trump and his administration should do all they can to make the Affordable Care Act work while only 17 percent believe they should try to make the law fail so they can replace it.

The numbers come from a recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation that also found that even more than half of the supporters of President Trump want him to do what he can to make the law work.

That hasn’t stopped Republican members of Congress from continuing to push for repeal of the ACA or to continue to misrepresent the bill they supported earlier this summer to allegedly replace it.

The Hickory Daily Record reported recently that North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry told a town hall meeting that he had done his part to repeal the health care law by voting for the legislation that narrowly passed the U.S. House.

The legislation that McHenry supported would leave 14 million more people without insurance coverage next year and 26 million more people uninsured in the next ten years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The House plan would also slash Medicaid spending by almost $900 billion in the next ten years, with $6 billion worth of cuts to North Carolina’s Medicaid program that currently insures almost 2 million people, including 42 percent of children in the state and 21 percent of seniors and people with disabilities.

The Senate rejected the House plan and defeated several versions of its own replacement plan that would also dramatically increase the number of people without insurance across the country and in North Carolina.

The failure of the repeal efforts mean that for now the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land and so does its most popular provisions, like banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions, allowing children to stay on their parents plan until they are 26 and providing physicals and other preventive care for free.

But President Trump is now considering ending cost sharing reduction payments to insurance companies designed to keep deductibles and copayments reasonable for low and moderate-income families who buy insurance on the health care marketplace.

Trump has called these payments an insurance company bailout, but as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities explains, they are an essential part of the Affordable Care Act that help make sure that low income families can afford to buy insurance, which is the point of the health care law in the first place.

There are also reports that the Trump Administration will curtail efforts to encourage people to sign up for health care coverage when the enrollment period begins this fall. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reports the Administration has already diverted funds available to publicize and market the health care law and instead used to money for propaganda criticizing the ACA.

The ACA was based on a common sense assumption that whatever Administration was in power, it would do its job and follow the law and do all it can to help Americans access the health care it provides.

If President Trump does that, the law will work the way it was designed to. There are adjustments that need to be made to improve the ACA, especially with the marketplace, and there is some encouraging news that Republicans might be willing work with Democrats to make them, now that the radical repeal efforts have failed. 

Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change in Washington, if the two parties would work together to improve a health care law that is generally working well and popular with the American people?


August 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm
Norm Kelly says:

With this much misleading information right at the beginning of the post, the author must be an alt-left-wing zealot. Oh, wait, I just noticed the author is Chris. See, I was right.

Let's start with this winner. 'only 17 percent believe they should try to make the law fail'. How was that question worded when this survey was done? 'Make the law fail'? What stoopidity is this? The law was DESIGNED to fail so alt-left zealots could then step in and implement single payer. And what is the result of a built-to-fail system? It's FAILING! And the only ones who refuse to acknowledge this monumental built-in failure are alt-left zealots who want a single payer system. Except even alt-left zealots, apparently Chris included, actually do know the system was designed to fail, is failing, and they want the Republicans to implement the single payer system that arch-left-wing zealots want. So when single payer also fails, which it will, they can point the finger at Republicans instead of themselves. Cuz all lefties know that none of their schemes ever fail. The only reason their plans don't succeed as well as libs want is because Republicans always, always, always refuse to spend enough money on the schemes. If the pot of money were simply as bottomless as lib want, then their schemes would succeed. Which is what libs always say about their schemes. And their allies (Chris!) in media simply carry water for them. Even when libs and their allies (Chris) know the scheme is doomed to failure before it's implemented.

Nothing about gov't insurance or interferrence in the insurance market is or was meant to make the market better, more responsive to customers, or more cost effective for customers. The lie about $2500 per year savings was known to be a lie when it was uttered, multiple times, yet media types and allies (Chris) refused to mention, report on, acknowledge the lie. Which is why they are called allies and fake news!

'The legislation that McHenry supported would leave 14 million more people without insurance'. Whine, whine, and more whine from libs who know nothing but whining. Oh, and libs also know about lying. But where were these same liars when their law kicked millions off their insurance? Where were these whiners when their law caused people to lose their doctors? Where were these whiners when truth was being told about how premiums would skyrocket and choice would plummet? When the facts of socialized medicine were made known, where were these media allies, alt-left zealots, and demoncrat pols who are now lying about repeal?!

'used ... money for propaganda criticizing the ACA.' Really? Telling the truth about this monumental failure is called 'propaganda'? Is this because the truth is being told by a Republican? When the lies were being told by demoncrats across the country, including here in NC, was that called propaganda? Was it even called a lie? Nope. Not only was it called spreading useful information, but the lies were either ignored by libs or defended by libs and media allies (Chris).

'The ACA was based on a common sense'. Nope, you may have wanted it to be based on common sense because you are an alt-left zealot. But it had nothing to do with common sense. Socialized medicine has failed everywhere it's been tried. Nothing of what we were told by alt-left zealots concerning ACA has come true. Everything we were told by opponents of ACA has come true. Premiums have skyrocketed. Choice has plummeted. Deductibles have skyrocketed. Availability of insurance in major areas of the nation has become a joke - meaning no coverage or single company coverage is available. The lie that getting more gov't involved in health care would increase choice, increase options, decrease costs, decrease deductibles were all lies. And not a single lib pointed this out. And not a single person can show where ANY of ACA was based on common sense. Was it common sense that for the first time in American history an industry was forced to pay income tax on GROSS INCOME not adjusted income? What did this do to the medical device manufacturing business? Dramatically increased costs, dramatically decreased availability of American made medical devices. Which also meant a much smaller gov't take on this new bogus tax? So, that's just one example of non-common-sense built into ACA. It would be interesting to see what alt-left zealots call Common Sense. Seems that one thing lacking with lefties is common sense.

What do alt-left zealots have to be proud of? Implementing a failing health care law. Supporting Black Lives Matter. Supporting Anti-Fa groups. Calling Republicans racists. Making fun of Bible believers. Calling Republicans a basket of deplorables. In short, nothing about the modern demon party, or their alt-left allies, is admirable or commendable.

While I may not be a Republican, I'm sure glad I ain't no demoncrat! I'll happily stay a Libertarian!

August 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm
Mike McDonald says:

If only one more Senator, Democrat or Republican, had voted to openly and fully debate this issue there may have been an opportunity for working together to fix the disaster of ACA. Instead, the faulty law, passed with not one Republican vote in favor, continues to plummet and taxpayers are getting another raw deal. Trump and many others were elected on a promise to repeal Obamacare. Are those votes meaningless? I prefer votes over surveys.