It has to be repealed, Donald Trump spent his campaign saying it. Republicans have been saying it since 2010, and now they have power. But it doesn’t seem that repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, is going to be an easy task.
Here is what Trump said during his Joint Session address to Congress on Tuesday concerning the ObamaCare repeal:
Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.
Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.
Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State — it is unsustainable and collapsing.
One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges — leaving many Americans with no choice at all.
Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?
We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
Obamacare is collapsing — and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice — it is a necessity.
So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.
Sounds pretty simple since ObamaCare is, in fact, imploding. All those stats are true. Insurers are pulling out, coverage is more expensive than ever, and options for consumers are limited. Even the Democratic response to President Trump’s address admitted that the health care law needs some fixing:
And even more troubling, you and your Republican allies in Congress seem determined to rip affordable health insurance away from millions of Americans who most need it. Does the Affordable Care Act need some repairs? Sure, it does. But so far, every Republican idea to “replace” the Affordable Care Act would reduce the number of Americans covered, despite your promises to the contrary.
Mr. President, folks here in Kentucky expect you to keep your word. Because this isn’t a game. It’s life and death for people.
Even Hillary Clinton, as a candidate, said the law needed some fixing by expanding it to fill in the gaps and lack of coverage options in certain states and counties.
At this point, however, the ObamaCare repeal seems both certain to happen and certain to not happen depending on which Republican you speak to. Republicans are currently crafting a repeal bill – in secret. Yes, that’s right, the very criticism level against Democrats back in 2009, that the Affordable Care Act was crafted and basically approved sight-unseen, is now being hurled at the GOP, as Bloomberg reports:
House Republican leaders have a new version of their major Obamacare repeal and replacement bill. They just don’t want you to see it.
The document is being treated a bit like a top-secret surveillance intercept. It is expected to be available to members and staffers on the House Energy and Commerce panel starting Thursday, but only in a dedicated reading room, one Republican lawmaker and a committee aide said. Nobody will be given copies to take with them.
The unusual secrecy is a reflection of the sensitivity — and the stakes — surrounding the GOP effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, a top priority of President Donald Trump, who has yet to offer his own plan.
Republican leaders are trying to avoid a repeat of what happened last time. When an outdated draft leaked last week, it was quickly panned by conservatives.
This is going to be a rough ride for Republicans over the next few weeks as they roll out a repeal bill, with or without a “replace” bill accompanying it. There is no doubt that Trump voters demanded a repeal, it was a centerpiece of the Trump campaign. Delivering on that promise, however, may be one of the hardest things to do.