As the Republican-led federal legislative branch inches closer and closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act, the potential ramifications for many Americans are causing concern.
According to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday, 18 million more Americans will be uninsured, and premiums for the insured would double in less than a decade if Republicans repeal the healthcare law without replacement legislation.
Although Republicans have made repealing Obamacare their rallying cry ever since the law was passed in 2010, GOP lawmakers have yet to agree on what to replace it with. Several plans have been drafted, but there is a distinct lack of general consensus among legislators. Complicating the problem is strong resistance from Democrats, coupled with political consequences from constituents who would suffer without some form of coverage.
Not doing the Republicans any favors, President-elect Donald Trump announced that the new healthcare plan was almost complete, and that everyone would be insured.
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump told the Washington Post.
“It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon.”
That promise is one Republicans probably wish that he did not make, considering they don’t even have one final plan drafted yet. As MSNBC commentator Steve Benen wrote, it is highly unlikely Congressional Republicans will be able to live up to Trump’s promises.
“Look, you don’t have to be a health-care wonk to know Trump is establishing benchmarks he simply cannot meet. There is no scenario in which Republicans can create a system with universal coverage and lower deductibles unless they were prepared to dramatically increase government investments into the system.”
So which one will it be? Will all Americans be insured, or will 18 million more be uninsured? Those are two very different outcomes to the problems facing GOP lawmakers as they attempt to rewrite U.S. healthcare insurance with no clear road map ahead.
Editor’s note: Release date of CBO report corrected
[AP] [Politico] [Washington Post] [MSNBC] [Photo courtesy Charles Dharapak/AP via CNS News]