Re: AHCA bill shortcomings
The House of Representatives passed what they titled the American Health Care Act with one vote to spare. This bill does a lot. For starters, the AHCA allows insurers to charge older Americans considerably more and impose yearly and lifetime caps on coverage. It gives states the ability to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to citizens with pre-existing conditions. The bill turns Medicaid into a block grant program enabling states to cut benefits and kick people off their coverage. For good measure, the bill also provides a tax cut for families making over $250,000 a year. In the preamble of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers stated one of the reasons for establishing the Constitution was to promote the general welfare. The House bill is a significant step in the wrong direction in realizing this goal.
Ironically, just hours after the House passed the bill, President Donald Trump offered a different path forward when he publicly acknowledged Australia has a better health care system than we do. Australia has government-run, universal health insurance just like every other industrialized nation. This is not the first time President Trump has publicly supported a universal, single-payer system. One of the reasons Trump was elected was because he “says it like it is.” I can only assume that the president would never so openly praise Australia’s model unless he truly believed their system is indeed better. The Senate should really explore the Australian system as they redo the House bill that is supported by almost no one.
There are Americans who, through no fault of their own, have pre-existing conditions, cannot afford coverage, or have been laid off from their job. Others, as is inevitable, are simply getting older. In the past, this nation has rallied and pulled together to accomplish big goals. We must find that spirit again and understand we are all in this together. Leaving any American behind due to circumstances they cannot control is unacceptable. We can do better. I truly believe the test of progress for a society is whether or not we can provide for those who have little. So what does the American Health Care Act say about our society and values?