• November 27, 2020

NATIONAL VIEW: Republicans are the radicals on health-care - Odessa American: Guest Columns

e-Edition Subscribe

NATIONAL VIEW: Republicans are the radicals on health-care

THE POINT: Republicans never had a plausible replacement for Obamacare while Democrats are showing that they have a detailed plan to fill in the system’s gaps.

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, July 6, 2020 2:30 am

The Trump Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on June 25 to kill Obamacare. This has long been a foolish, foolhardy obsession for President Trump. Even in the middle of a widening pandemic, he seeks to eliminate health-care coverage for some 23 million Americans.

In so doing, the president betrays his responsibility to defend in court a statute that Congress passed, resorting to bizarre legal arguments that liberal and conservative legal experts have denounced. The reasoning is so far-fetched that the Justice Department initially shuddered to embrace it. Even Attorney General William P. Barr tried last month to soften the Justice Department’s stance. Government lawyers had argued that only parts of the Affordable Care Act had to go. Now they insist that if part of the law is flawed, the courts must dismantle the whole structure.

Mr. Trump claims that he would maintain protections for people with preexisting conditions and other popular elements of Obamacare. But he has no plan to do so. His position is for health-care chaos.

Anticipating the Trump administration’s court filing, House Democrats offered a different vision. Discrediting Mr. Trump’s attempts to paint them as unhinged socialists, the Democrats eschewed a revolutionary health-care agenda. Instead, they offered the Affordable Care Enhancement Act, a package of changes that would dramatically improve the existing system.

The Democrats would not touch the employer-sponsored health insurance that most non-elderly Americans depend on. Instead, they would bolster the system meant to help those without access to employer-based coverage. The centerpiece is an increase in federal subsidies that would enable low-income Americans to pay little or nothing in health insurance premiums and protect middle-income Americans from the high premiums and cost-sharing that have made it difficult for some to participate in Obamacare, particularly in rural areas. The plan would pump money into state-based “reinsurance” programs that have already proved to restrain premium costs in the states that have tried them. It would also undo some of the damage Republicans have inflicted, pressing more states to expand Medicaid and rolling back the Trump administration’s efforts to allow junk insurance plans. The result would be millions more covered Americans.

The Democrats would fund the bill by lowering prescription drug spending, a policy that requires further debate. But the overall package is solid. Unlike Republicans — who never had a plausible replacement for Obamacare, despite years of braying about its defects — Democrats are showing that they have a detailed plan to fill in the system’s gaps, in specific legislative text, that they could take off the shelf should they have the opportunity to govern. Their plan also refutes those in their party who argue that nothing but radical reform can bring progress.

The Republicans, not Democrats, are the health-care radicals.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Cloudy
52°
Humidity: 49%
Winds: ENE at 16mph
Feels Like: 47°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 56°/Low 39°
Showers late. Lows overnight in the upper 30s.

saturday

weather
High 52°/Low 32°
Showers ending by midday. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 30s.

sunday

weather
High 59°/Low 28°
Sunshine. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 20s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.