Healthcare can’t be rushed
While the zeal to replace Obamacare with a system that is more sustainable and doesn’t penalize working Americans has been in place since the legislation became law several years ago, the effort should not be hasty.
The proposed American Health Care Act is flawed in its current form and the haste with which Congress is acting appears destined to create new flaws.
Conservatives don’t like the concept of replacing the entitlements of Obamacare with a new set of tax deductions that amount to a new set of entitlements.
The health care industry is worried hospital systems and physicians will soon go back to the days where charity care was a massive burden on the system with little prospect of any cash coming into the coffers for poor and underserved clientele.
Public clinic operators fear a drop in federal aid leaving them unable to serve their needy clients.
Labor fears employers will drop coverage and aging Americans fear they won’t be able to afford their plans. And, working people who buy their own plans are worried they still won’t have affordable alternatives.
Amid all this fear, the bill is moving through committees before even the Congressional Budget Office has weighed in with an estimate of the cost in terms of the federal budget and the number of Americans covered.
The haste to see a bill sent to President Trump by early April has reforms being made without clear hearings to gather input from insurers, hospital groups or even individual citizens. Even acrimonious townhall sessions back in the House members’ districts would provide more input than what seems to be on the current agenda.
While some deride the effort as “Obamacare 2.0,” we fear it could be far worse than a trite title, not only leaving millions uninsured but health providers struggling to keep the doors open, restricting access to all, not just those who lose federal coverage.
Obamacare originally was criticized for the unintended consequences it has proven to have created. An ill-informed bill can only make the consequences pile up and the system just as close, if not closer, to crashing.