Photo via The New York Times
After six and a half years of unsuccessful attempts to block and repeal Obama’s healthcare reform, Republicans finally have the opportunity to make it happen and they cannot quite decide on how to do it.
Obamacare, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed during Obama’s first term as President and became the quick enemy of the Republican Party. Now with control of the House, Senate, and the White House it would seem the opportune moment if not the first change expected to occur following President Trump’s inauguration. However, Republicans are finding it a little more difficult than anticipated to can the legislation. As a presidential candidate, Trump was clear that he wanted to quickly annul the law and advocated for a superior plan yet to be defined. One of his first executive orders as President was to call for its “prompt repeal”. Since then, politicians are finding following through with such an order certainly comes with a price. First, while adamant during his campaign to end Obamacare, it remains unclear whether the Republicans feel confident in President Trump’s ability to replace the bill with something more beneficial. The lack of progress could be the result of a party that was at times a bit skeptical prior to Trump’s election. The uncertainty has also been largely felt as some Republicans recognize that while not in favor of the reform, they have failed to come up with an alternative measure to help the millions of Americans find a way to manage their healthcare coverage.
Complete nullification is not the only option available to lawmakers – the 2,700 page document could always be revised and rewritten to edit out unfavorable sections. This presents a new level of difficulty in determining what parts of the law should remain intact. Since its passage, insurance providers cannot refuse coverage based on preexisting conditions, which for many Republicans and Democrats alike shines as a benefit. Obamacare also specifies the coverage required for employees based on worked hours, but the response taken by some employers was far from expected. Rather than pay for coverage costs, employers simply cut worker’s hours to avoid having to pay the fees. Regardless of the opinions floating around, universal healthcare coverage remains the uncured sickness of D.C. politicians with an unidentified timeline for the remedy.
Read Robert Draper’s full report here.