A week before the election, the fourth open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act began, and spikes in insurance premiums soared as high as 25 percent. Trump used it to his advantage, calling Obamacare a "catastrophe" and vowing to kill it "very, very quickly."
If we take the president-elect at his word, the law will be "repealed and replaced" as soon as Obama leaves office.
Senate Majority Leader
All this destructive talk is a shame, because
"We'll see premiums level off as insurers gain experience and more people get covered," predicts state Insurance Commissioner
Those who rejoice that the ACA is on course to collapse may want to ask the 1.6 million
According to an
Nationally, however, discontent with health care reform runs strong and doesn't stop with the politicians. Exit polls from Tuesday's election indicate that the Trump verdict was in large part a referendum on Obamacare.
In spite of the ACA's strengths -- including a 50-year drop in healthcare inflation, the clause that allows children to stay on their parents' policy until age 26 and protections for people with pre-existing conditions -- the government mandate never sat right with many Americans.
One of the biggest challenges has always been the philosophical linchpin that healthcare should be part of the American social contract, much like the military, schools, police and fire protection.
Indeed, in the richest nation in the world, access to health care and affordable insurance should not be a privilege afforded to the few. In spite of its flaws, and there are many, Obamacare has been a worthy public option plan wherein government sets the rules.
Its premise is less socialism and more symbiosis. Its success depends on mass participation to build a large risk pool, and it depends on young, healthy people climbing aboard.
Americans have accepted this "all-in"model with auto insurance. If good drivers suddenly pulled out, premiums would double in nanoseconds. This is why the ACA correctly made carrying health insurance a legal obligation. Consumers who opt out face tax penalties of
But instead of looking at states like
How many times did they try to fix the flaws in the ACA? Zero. How many times did they try to repeal it? Sixty.
No one knows exactly what a Trumped-up healthcare paradigm will look like. Other than an oft-cited health care savings account and tax credits, the president-elect and his fellow
When Obama met with Trump at the
No promises were made, but Trump acknowledged afterward that Obamacare has favorable elements including extended coverage for dependents and the prohibition against insurers denying coverage.
We believe it would be a mistake for Trump to dismantle a health care network that took millions of dollars and eight years to build; its demise would no doubt leave both providers and patients bereft. Congressional
What will happen to the 20 million people who now have insurance under Obamacare? Uncertainties abound.
The only thing we know for sure is that what one president giveth -- in tandem with a compliant
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