America currently has a health reform model that has given it the highest rate of health insurance coverage in history, covering more than 20 million of its most difficult to insure citizens. It has helped those 20 million Americans avoid having their lives ruined by crushing medical bills, or shifting those costs onto other Americans.
And despite years of heavily-financed and relentless attacks on the model, most Americans now have a favorable impression of it.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) system isn’t perfect. Yes liberals, a Medicare for All system would be much more effective and efficient than the current ACA system. Yes conservatives, this ACA needs adjustments, though, to borrow from Mark Twain, the reports of its death spiraliness have been greatly exaggerated.
“You could, I think, relatively simply address the issues that the exchanges have,” said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, a health consulting firm, noting that other major programs including Medicare have been tweaked repeatedly since their creation.
Now President Trump and the Republicans want to blow up the ACA model — the one that covered the most Americans in history — in favor of a model that will cause an estimated 6 million to10 million Americans to lose their coverage. Their alternative particularly hurts the low-income, rural and elderly. To add insult to injury, it shoehorns in a grotesquely large tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, at a time when we have the worst inequality in incomes since the 1920s. The alternative is vehemently opposed by doctors, nurses, hospitals, seniors, conservatives, and liberals. And Republicans promise to pass it within three weeks, without cost estimates if necessary, after complaining about the ACA being “rammed through” over 13 months.
This is the political and policymaking genius that is Trumpcare.
Will Rogers said, “this country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” Never has that been more true than now.