The inauguration of Donald Trump promises big changes to the country’s health insurance market. Trump and his vice-president Mike Pence insist that they will work with the Congress on the very first day to repeal and replace Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. However, their plans to get rid of Obamacare is being met with resistance from progressives like Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi. These liberal leaders vow to host protest marches across the country on January 15.
The Planned Protests to Support the ACA
How much good their protests will be in keeping the ACA remains to be seen. However, taking into consideration that Democrats and liberals are in the vast minority for the next two years in Congress, the chances are that their protests will be more symbolic than substantive. Nonetheless, Sanders, Pelosi, and other progressives say that they cannot sit idly by while Trump and the GOP-led Congress kill legislation that was once the crown jewel of the Democratic Party and liberal agenda. They want their dismay and outright anger at the ACA’s repeal to be duly noted if nothing else.
They also aim to remind Speaker Paul Ryan of his own plans to dismantle and rebuild Medicare so that it no longer functions on an entitlement basis. Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and company argue that Ryan’s plan to restructure Medicare will cause more harm more than provide help to the program. It also will put already vulnerable senior citizens at risk of losing access to the health care that they currently enjoy.
Even so, Trump, Ryan, and other GOP leaders insist that the ACA will eventually fall under its own weight and that the program was set up to fail from the beginning. Despite saying that they are vetting several new healthcare program ideas, GOP leaders also note that they have not decided on a definitive replacement for Obamacare. Ryan says that the ACA will remain in effect until a replacement has been decided on and successfully implemented throughout the country.
The Details of Paul Ryan’s Medicare Restructuring
Some progressives argue that Paul Ryan talks in circles when he insists on repealing and replacing Obamacare but restructuring Medicare in a manner that looks and functions a lot like the ACA. Ryan argues that Obamacare is bleeding Medicare dry, this despite the trustees saying that Obamacare generated more money for the Medicare program. Those in charge of Medicare’s expenditures report that the program has enough money to pay its bills in full until 2028.
Still, Ryan wants to change Medicare into a program that allows private insurers to compete for senior citizens’ business, thereby in theory offering them the lowest rates and the highest level of service. Seniors who do not have enough money coming in will receive government subsidies to pay their premiums. The premiums will rise with enrollees’ age and declining state of health.
Ryan’s critics point out that his plan mimics the same way that the ACA functions right now, making his demands that Obamacare is repealed and replaced illogical at best. They plan on taking the debate to Congress in 2017 in the hopes of preventing ACA’s demise or even reaching a compromise with the GOP on health insurance.
The Future of Health Insurance in the United States
The state of health insurance in the U.S. has caused chaos, confusion, and outrage among American lawmakers. Trump, Pence, and Ryan, among other GOP leaders, aim to put the ACA out of its misery in 2017. Proponents of Obamacare insist that repealing it would generate greater loss and hardship for Americans of all ages. They are planning a day of protest on January 15 to show support for Obamacare and to have their outrage noted by the incoming Congress.
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