It seems nearly every conservative in the nation is talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but what they are ignoring is public opinion. A Kaiser Foundation poll shows only 26 percent of Americans are in favor of repealing the healthcare law.
Then, you also have the fact that Republicans have no plan to replace it – that’s a big problem for them. Conservatives also like to call it an entitlement, which it is not. For the most part, Americans are paying for it themselves through the individual mandate.
Besides the fact that millions have signed up and would find themselves without insurance – more than 20 million people – prescription drug prices would increase for seniors, leaving many without the medications they need.
Then there is another clause few people seem to know about, the part of the law that forces insurers to spend 85 percent of their premiums toward healthcare. Employers, or sometimes the employees themselves, receive refund checks at the end of the year when insurers don’t make the 85 percent mark. So, employers would lose this benefit and be saddled with providing more costly healthcare for their employees. These costs would likely be passed down to consumers.
Republicans also have the option of picking away at the healthcare law, but many of those parts that are unpopular, like the individual mandate, will only cause other parts of the law to fail or become more expensive, to the government, the consumers and the insurance industry. As the government pays out more, they are force to cut other programs or raise taxes. As the insurance industry’s profits begin to fall they increase premiums. What this means is less money for the middle class to spend.
Already today we’ve heard Macy’s is closing 68 stores and laying off thousands and Sears announced they plan to close 150 stores. These actions are not due to a poor economy, but because consumers are spending less, and they are doing so because they are unsure of the future. Will we lose our healthcare? Will healthcare premiums rise? Will prescription drug prices increase? If Republicans continue on the path they’re on, the answers are yes, yes and yes.
There is no quick fix or quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the reality of this will soon settle in to the 115th Congress. What will also settle in, is the fact they will not be able to repeal the program like they promised they would, and in turn anger millions of Americans who believed in their knee-jerk promise.
Even Trump himself Tweeted “Be Careful,” concerning Obamacare. In an effort to deny President Obama any legacy for his term in office, and out of hateful spite, the Republicans have put themselves in the middle of a beehive, and it looks like they’re going to get stung.
In addition, the president has advised Democrats not to bail the Republicans out. He knows the Republicans are on the ropes and it’s only a matter of time until the knockout punch arrives.