As we head into the New Year with a new Congress and Republicans fully in charge of our Government, the right-wing Boogie Man, the Affordable Health Act will finally be dealt with. Most polls show a slim majority of the public still support the Affordable Health Care act, known as Obamacare. The people would rather see changes made in the ACA plan than a full repeal.

Which makes one wonder, why after six plus years of Republicans trying to repeal Obamacare, they haven’t come up with a replacement? Note, there has been no “plan” put forward by the Republicans for the replacement of the ACA.

This is the reason Republicans have been floating the idea of a repeal now, and a someday replace plan. It would seem they are unable to formulate their own plan that would be seen as better than Obamacare. Will they just de-fund it, getting rid of the subsidies, and do away with the mandatory requirements that everyone have healthcare?

The fear is, they would just prefer to revert to what was the good old days – in their minds – where people that could not afford healthcare just showed up at the Emergency rooms, and the uncollected costs of their care was shared by the hospitals that provided the care, along with the rest us in the form of higher policy and tax rates. And of course, we would be going back to the days when a medical emergency would bankrupt you, according to Physicians for a National Health Care Plan.

 

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An article in Commwealth Fund, a private group that promotes higher standards and better health care, states that it is no secret we spend more for healthcare than nation in the world, and for that, we have less healthy people and a lower life expectancy than some other countries, including Sweden. “The U.S. spent more per person on health care than 12 other high-income nations in 2013, while seeing the lowest life expectancy and some of the worst health outcomes among this group, according to a Commonwealth Fund report out today. The analysis shows that in the U.S., which spent an average of $9,086 per person annually with a life expectancy of 78.8 years. Switzerland, the second-highest-spending country, spent $6,325 per person and had a life expectancy of 82.9 years.”

A majority of people in this country support this idea, and Medicare has been one of the best ran programs the country has ever enacted. Period, hands down, Medicare spends less on administrative costs than any other private insurance company.  “Politicians are beginning to debate the intricacies of their platforms, and a long-discussed health policy option has reemerged in debate between (mostly) Democratic Politicians; the idea of creating a national health plan in which all Americans would get their insurance through an expanded, universal form of health insurance called Medicare-for-all.  When asked their opinion, nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58 percent) say they favor the idea of Medicare-for-all, including 34 percent who say they strongly favor it.”  Source Kaiser Foundation poll.

In a poll taking by the Commonwealth fund about why some people haven’t been insured by the Affordable Care Act, it shows that there is a difference between enrollments of whites and latinos. With white enrollment increasing and Latino enrollment decreasing.

Key findings and conclusions: “There have been notable shifts in the demographic composition of the uninsured since the law’s major coverage expansions went into effect in 2014. Latinos have become a growing share of the uninsured, rising from 29 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2016. Whites have become a declining share, falling from half the uninsured in 2013 to 41 percent in 2016. The uninsured are very poor: 39 percent of uninsured adults have incomes below the federal poverty level, twice the rate of their overall representation in the adult population. Of uninsured adults who are aware of the marketplaces or who have tried to enroll for coverage, the majority point to affordability concerns as a reason for not signing up.”

It may be time to take the millions of dollars spent administratively and on sky high CEO salaries from the insurance companies and give it to a program (Medicare) so it can be invested in our actual healthcare?

The only way we will get this across to our elected Representatives is to call them. It is a known fact that they ignore emails and petitions, but they have to answer their phones. Call them, voice your opinion.

Here is a link that contains phone numbers for every US Senator:     https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

A link for every US Representative in Congress: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Please call them, make your preference heard because it really does matter.

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