Obama Gambled about Health Care and Lost, Will Trump Succeed?

by Amna El Tawil
The most debated question among the US politicians is, of course, health care which is quite unaffordable. While politicians and parties debate, contradict each other, and so on, the common people are the ones who suffer the most. Undergoing a basic procedure costs a fortune, it’s needless to mention other expenses. Barack Obama has gambled about health care and despite millions of people use Obamacare now, he still lost. Can Trump do better? It won’t be easy, that’s for sure.
 
Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made it perfectly clear he’ll repeal Obamacare. His website contains the following about the health care: “Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry. But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.”
 
Although in November 2016, Trump announced he may keep parts of Obamacare that is unlikely to happen. After his presidential victory, Trump met Obama and stated: “I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that. Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.”
 
The CBS News reports: “President-elect Donald Trump plans to issue executive orders related to Obamacare as soon as he takes office, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told House Republicans on Wednesday morning. “The American people have spoken,” Pence said. “They want to see us repeal and replace Obamacare.”
 
Whilst Pence was announcing the complete repeal of Obamacare, the incoming president took to Twitter to warn Republicans to be “careful” because Democrats will have to “own” the effects of health care law.
 


 


Further commentary: You and I will have to wait for Trump to finally take the office in order to see what’s going to happen regarding health care for sure. At this point, we can only guess and witness conflicting reports from media. Obama dedicated almost entire presidency to health care act which proved to be flawed in a number of ways. Trump wants to replace it, meaning he’ll need a more effective solution. This won’t be easy considering that health care is in crisis and it, definitely won’t come cheap. End of commentary
 
Fully repealing Obamacare would cost $350 million over the next decade under conventional scoring and $150 billion using dynamic scoring, according to a new analysis from the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This makes repeal of this health care act more complex than previously seemed.
 
The analysis showed the following:

  • Repealing just ACA’s coverage provisions would save $1.55 trillion through 2027 ($1.75 trillion on a dynamic basis)
  • Repealing ACA’s coverage and revenue provisions would save $750 billion ($950 billion on a dynamic basis) through 2027
  • Delaying repeal of most coverage provisions but not revenue offsets or mandates would significantly reduce potential savings. A 4-year delay would reduce savings to $300 billion ($500 billion on a dynamic basis)
  • Repealing ACA would increase the number of uninsured people by 23 million
  • Legislation to replace the ACA with other coverage provisions could be costly, likely requiring policymakers to retain the majority of ACA’s offsets

 

(Photo credit: Screenshot/CRFB.org)
Mr. Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare with something “terrific,” because Obamacare premiums are “going through the roof,” deductibles are so high that you can’t use your Obamacare plan “unless you get hit by a truck” and because people can’t keep doctors and plans they like. Since he recognized that some Obamacare provisions are good and should be retained one would assume that whatever he proposes to replace Obamacare with will lower premiums, lower deductibles and increase the choice of plans and doctors. Despite the facts, the details were fuzzy, two things were consistently mentioned during the campaign: selling insurance across state lines and utilization of health savings accounts (HSA). Both ideas can be summed up as deregulation of the health insurance industry and the unleashing of free markets.
 
The incoming president chose Rep. Tom Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Dr. Price is a man with a plan which is to replace Obamacare with age-adjusted, tax credits and HSAs while making the same model available to employers, Medicare and Medicaid too.
 
People would use the tax credits to buy health plans across state lines and deposit the difference in their HSAs to cover routine health care. One of the major issues that experts have about this is that tax credits proposed by Dr. Price are very low and would cover less than half the cost of an insurance plan. It is possible that once all Obamacare protections are removed; health plans priced exactly the same as the tax credits, will return to the marketplace.
 
Mr. Trump has the mandate to replace Obamacare with something “terrific.” He has four years to defend Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Obamacare needs to be replaced, and the best and safest way to replace it is not to repeal it, but to augment it. If must, try selling insurance across state lines. Add options to pair catastrophic plans with HSAs, and so on.
 
Further commentary: Obamacare isn’t the most effective health care plan in the world and, frankly, it’s a major bummer that one of the most powerful countries in the world has such a bad health care act for its citizens. The repealing entire act would cost more than previously assumed, it would create such a complex situation that the new administration will need to solve. At this point, we can’t know whether Trump will be more successful than Obama regarding health care. What we can do is to hope that he learned from Obama’s mistakes. Not repeating them would be a major step forward for all Americans who’ll finally have a useful and affordable health care protection. End of commentary

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