Alter ACA piece by piece

It has been suggested there is no sense in crying over spilled milk. But an enormous amount of it was spilled by the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — and members of Congress are right to attempt to clean at least some of it up.

Their most recent attempt to do so failed dismally this week, when a vote on the Graham-Cassidy health insurance overhaul bill was delayed indefinitely. That happened when it became clear the measure had no chance of being approved in the U.S. Senate.

Proponents of repealing and replacing Obamacare have failed on multiple occasions because the ACA’s creators, led by then-President Barack Obama, did their work very well, at least by their standards. They inflicted upon Americans a set of comprehensive, costly entitlements giving millions of people either free insurance through Medicaid or subsidies for their own policies.

But millions of other Americans are suffering the side-effects of Obamacare — soaring insurance premiums and limited choice in buying policies.

Clearly, something has to be done about Obamacare. Leaving the program in place, as is, is not an option.

Instead of a thorough repeal and replacement, lawmakers and President Donald Trump should turn to a piecemeal approach. Small changes, such as giving states the power to hold down Medicaid costs, could be productive. They could encourage additional reform in the future.

Sometimes, half a loaf is better than none. The stalemate over Obamacare appears to be just such a situation.


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