Update 1/19/2017. It seems that in fact the Congressional Republicans do have an alternative of sorts to Obamacare. A link has been added to this article.
The top video from Vox is about Kathy Oller, who lives in southeastern Kentucky and has a job signing people up for the Affordable Care Act. It tells why many people in her area think the cost of the ACA is too high, and why they voted for Donald Trump.
The bottom video is about an interview of President Barack Obama by Vox reporters on the topic of health care. Kathy Oller came along. Her question to President Obama and his answer begin at the 37th minute and take about eight minutes.
President Obama is right in saying Republican leaders are irresponsible in proposing to repeal the ACA without having a replacement plan in place, and in challenging them to come up with a better plan.
It’s apparent that the Republican leadership doesn’t have such a plan..
The non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation reported that, since the ACA went into effect, the number of uninsured Americans fell from 41 million to 28.5 million—from 16.6% to 10.5% of the population. President Obama said he has received letters from people who would not have been able to afford life-saving medical care without the ACA.
That’s good, but tt’s also true that many people covered under the ACA have premiums they can’t afford for insurance that is useless because of high deductibles. In the interview, Obama said the solution is higher subsidies. But subsidies can be eaten up by higher costs very quickly.
One reason health care is more expensive in the United States than other advanced countries is the cost of for-profit insurance companies getting between the physician and the patient. Another is the cost of drugs. Our peer countries don’t have a big cost for administering insurance, and they bargain with drug companies to keep prices low.
The Affordable Care Act preserves the role of for-profit insurance companies, and it forbids the government to negotiate drug prices.
There is a better plan—Medicare for all, known as a single-payer system. Obama mentioned it in passing in the interview as an ideal that is not politically feasible, but I see anything standing in its way except the power of the health insurance and drug lobbies.
So if Republicans are going to repeal and replace Obamacare, a single-payer plan is what they should replace it with. But this is definitely not the direction that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan want to go. I don’t know what President-elect Donald Trump will do, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to go this way, either.
How Does Obamacare Work? by Obamacare Facts.
Summary of the Affordable Care Act by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The law is complicated, which is a big drawback. I admit I have not read this summary all the way through.
Key Facts About the Uninsured Population by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
I read this morning on The American Conservative web site that the Congressional Republicans do in fact have an alternative of sorts to the Affordable Care Act. Here are the links—
A Better Way—Our Vision for a Confident America released by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Yes, Republicans Have a Plan for Health Care Reform by Jean-Marie Turner for The American Conservative.
On my first read-through, I see the Republican plan as a cheap, inadequate, privatized knockoff of Obamacare. But I would appreciate more comments from people with greater personal experience or expert knowledge of the health insurance system than I have.
Here are more reasons why some voters might prefer Trump’s vague proposals to Obamacare’s reality—
‘Stunning Rise’ in the Death Rate for Middle-Aged, Less Educated Whites by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism.
The US Health System Is an ‘International Scandal,’ an interview of Noam Chomsky for Truthout.