For more than seven years, the American public has been inundated with talk about legislation regarding health care. We are referring to what is commonly known as Obamacare. Its actual name is the Affordable Care Act.
It was introduced in Congress on Oct. 29, 2009, by the Obama Administration and received final passage in less than six months, on March 23, 2010. It has been the subject of debate ever since its introduction.
The bill was a whopping 2,300 pages long, and was passed so rapidly that most members of Congress didn’t really know what was in it. We remember then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous comment – “… we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it …”
Since it was signed into law, it has been the subject of controversy. Every Republican running for the Senate or House of Representatives during the ensuing seven years criticized it and called for its repeal. President Donald Trump made repeal and replacement of the law one of the cornerstones of his successful 2016 presidential campaign.
It’s no secret – Obamacare has never had a positive moment. It has steadily gone downhill in its effectiveness to the point that today, even many Democrats and former proponents of the plan admit its failure and acknowledge the need to fix it. The fact that Anthem has left Ohio as an insurer is evidence of the serious problems.
So why hasn’t it been repealed, replaced or at least fixed? Republicans in Congress have had seven years to get together and come up with a new plan. Okay, so Democrats were still in power in the Senate until the November election of 2014, and thwarted any attempt from the House to change the law. But since then, the GOP has had total control of Congress, and still nothing has been done.
With Trump’s election, Republicans not only had the majority in Congress, but they also had the presidency. But after nearly six months of this advantage, it’s the same old thing – nothing. It is difficult for me to understand why a plan to overhaul Obamacare was not ready to be brought forth immediately upon Trump’s taking office. There was nearly three months between the election and the inauguration to debate the issue within the party, give all factions a chance to voice their opinions, reach any compromises necessary and finalize a proposal.
Each week, the announcement is that a new health care bill is forthcoming, and at the end of each week, it is reported that no agreement has been reached and more time is needed. What is needed is not more delay but action by both Congress and Trump.
It’s obvious that no help will come from Democrats. Their mission is to make Trump look as bad as possible, and they are apparently willing to sacrifice the welfare of the country to accomplish that.
So Republicans must come together and do what they promised during all of their campaigns for election/re-election – fix the health system in the U.S.
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