With mixed messages about healthcare coming from incoming Republicans, it seems to be anyone’s guess what will happen next. It is almost certain that the ACA (or Obamacare) will be repealed. In fact, it would be very hard for many Congressional Republicans and Trump to explain themselves to voters if they did not repeal it. But many of these same individuals promise a replacement that is as good or better than the ACA at making sure Americans get covered. Trump said over the weekend that he intends to “insure everybody.”
But during the very same weekend address he also gave preliminary numbers for his ever-changing tax cut. As many feared it will give the greatest cut to Americans making at least a quarter million dollars in taxable income. The overall cost of the cut will likely be around $60 billion per year and cost the US government about $1 trillion in lost revenue per decade. For comparison the cost of the ACA is approximately $1.2 trillion per decade.
There is some leeway when it comes to the cost of coverage. Obamacare for instance wound up costing about half a trillion less than it should have because of dropping healthcare costs and reduced waste. But at the end of the day giving people something as costly as healthcare will cost money. If there were a real concentrated effort to replace the ACA with something at least as good fiscal conservatives would be looking for ways to pay for it. Instead, they seem to be giving away money to their rich friends.
It is possible that the individuals in charge don’t understand how expensive an Obamacare replacement would be; especially in the case of Trump and his administration. But what’s more likely is that they plan to allow the whole thing to slip through the cracks and to blame it on Obama or their remaining Democratic rivals. It is up to American citizens whether or not this sorry excuse will work.
Obamacare will likely be defeated exactly because it was named after Obama. In fact, this past week some very confused Republican voters (allegedly) realized that the ACA which had given them affordable insurance was the same “Obamacare” that they were voting to repeal. The “Trump Repeal” will be equally unpopular as time goes on and if Democrats have any hope of a reasonable, affordable healthcare system in the future they must fight to remind Americans who made this happen and how.
Featured Image via Drew Angerer/Getty