THEIRS: Trump's right, health issues are hard

Rep. Roger Marshall. CREDIT (AP

Despite the Republican Party being in control of the House of Representatives since 2010, due to Affordable Care Act blowback, they have yet to produce a single, reasonable plan to replace the law without bringing back all the problems the original law solved.

In fact, what the Republicans have in mind doesn't look like a replacement at all. "After all, they are planning to take an axe to Medicaid funding, pull the rug out from under millions of Americans, and increase taxes and out-of-pocket health care costs for working people", - Alliance For Healthcare Security.

And before the Affordable Care Act, they woke up every morning and went to work, just hoping and praying they wouldn't get sick. It is hard enough to have serious health care issues, why add worry about paying the bills. The law has raised taxes on the wealthy and, controversially, it has imposed a financial penalty on anybody who declines to get coverage and can not prove it would cause a financial hardship.

So, while the president claims "nobody knew" about the complexity of the matter, it's clear that lawmakers, industry officials, providers, patients and others have always realized, to varying degrees, what a complicated monster the health care issue is.

And we Democrats are going to do everything in our power to keep President Trump and the Republican Congress from reneging on that commitment. Legislation will be made public when its drafting is complete, he said. If that happens, we'll be staring at one of the biggest cost shifts from the federal government to the states in the history of our country.

Trump said he wants to make sure Americans with pre-existing medical conditions can still buy insurance. During and after the campaign Mr. Trump condemned both high deductibles and high premiums, seemingly promising to lower both. The existing tax credit is adjusted by income, age, and the average price of insurance in a person's market.

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One reason for the plan's popularity is that pre-existing conditions can no longer be used to deny coverage.

Will you prevent insurance companies from charging people over 55 more than they are today? That's because most people in the state obtain their coverage through their employer (61%), or through government-run programs like Medicare and Medicaid (27%). "With a smart strategy in place, companies can offer better health care at much lower costs, gain a competitive advantage and level the playing field when it comes to attracting top talent". You can see the most popular features participants have wanted to include in "America's Bill" as it is updated in real time. Not only is almost every other industrialized nation delivering better outcomes to all of their citizens at less cost, our health care costs have been cited as the single biggest threat to our economy.

The ultimate goal of both the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid is to make sure all Americans have access to medical care without fear of financial ruin. Hundreds of thousands of us are going overseas for more affordable care, though. But the result of the two programs has been better access and less financial distress.

Even Republicans don't agree on why it is that they hate the program, so they can't agree on how to fix it. And unless it evolves in a radically different direction, it would ultimately offer a lot less help to people who need it.

Trump met Wednesday with Republican congressional leaders at the White House in a legislative strategy session, a half day after spelling out details in his address to a joint session of Congress of how he wants to repeal and revamp the Obama health law, popularly known as Obamacare. Obamacare linked the federal subsidies that health-care consumers get to people's incomes.

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