After months of struggle, it seems Republicans are getting what they wanted: changes to Obamacare. But these changes will hurt those they promised to help, the middle class that will now have to bear higher burdens and will see their premiums increase next year. For the party of traditionalism, there sure is a lot of uncertainty in the horizon.
I consider the changes to the Affordable Care Act to be a failure because they are making insurance more expensive for those who stay in ACA, they’re antagonizing the policy instead of making meaningful changes and they can’t ensure those no longer covered by ACA will find a viable alternative.
The way Obamacare works is difficult to explain, especially since it’s different for everyone. Some pay less, some pay more. The main idea is to provide – you guessed it – affordable insurance for the most amount of people.
In the few years we've had ACA, we have seen some of that change in this country: more people enjoy preventative care, insurance companies can no longer refuse coverage because of pre-existing conditions and health care costs have increased at a slower rate.
However, there also were disadvantages to ACA, mainly to healthy citizens who saw their premiums rising to cover for other people's treatment. Republicans saw this as their main argument to oppose Obamacare, and to this day they've been trying to change this.
When Trump was elected, he promised to get rid of Obamacare, and this decision was backed by most Republicans, who wanted to get rid of federal intervention so more companies can enter the market and reduce prices for those who had seen their insurance premiums rise under the ACA.
Unfortunately for this administration, this task was not as simple and they thought it was, and for months they have tried and failed to repeal it. The next option seemed more likely: to change Obamacare and turn it into something more in line with what they wanted.
The changes announced will do the opposite.
According to Time, costs for people already in ACA will increase, causing many of them to flee and in turn raise the burden of those who stay. The argument of Obamacare being too expensive starts to make sense, but at what cost?
From an outsider's perspective, these changes seem more politically motivated than anything else. It looks more like an administration trying to erase the memory of the last one, something that happens all too often.
This tactic to try to demonize a policy by changing it for the worse is nothing new, and now it's affecting health care, something everyone will need at one point or another.
These political tactics make every policy a battleground, every bill another fight, every act a war. And I don't mind. For all I care, they could have a ring inside of the House and wrestle, as long as they pass meaningful legislature that benefits their constituency.
What upsets me is that while these colossus fight, the people are the ones who suffer the most. Trump was elected based on the promise that he would ease the taxes and the financial burden on the middle and lower classes, but he has been unable to do so. Now, citizens face the impossible choice of staying and paying for insurance they can't afford, or leaving and hoping their premiums won't increase – even though companies are already raising their costs to account for the extra costs the government wants to put on them.
Some might say that this rising cost is just temporary, and that the average healthy taxpayer now won't have to pay for someone else's health care. And they're right. But in our deeply divided society, unity is what we need. Sacrificing some of your livelihood for the greater good is what is morally right, especially when it comes to protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
We all need to do our part.
The free market won't solve this either, unless there is a complete overhaul of how health care is organized in the United States we won't see anything but companies looking out for their bottom line instead of looking out for the consumer, a reality those in favor of competition cannot seem to understand.
The fact this administration hasn't been able to fulfill this promise speaks volumes of how things are going inside of the government. The promise of a healthy population under affordable health care seems more unlikely than ever, and the future doesn't look bright either.
For all the shortcomings of Obamacare, Trump shouldn't want to demolish policies just because a Democrat's name is on it.