ObamaCare is much more popular than Republicans want us to believe. Now that Obama is almost out of office and his nationwide healthcare policy, the Affordable Care Act, is threatened with elimination, people are letting the government know they do not want this crucial law to go away.
In fact, not only do Americans want to keep Obamacare—the majority want to see it expanded. According to a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 3 out of 4 Americans want to keep Obamacare.
The poll found that 30% of Americans want to see ObamaCare expanded, 19% want the plan to remain the same and 17% would like to see it downsized; only 26% want to see the end of nationwide healthcare.
Of those polled, the majority rated components of the plan widely popular, with 80% backing stipulations which include financially supporting those that cannot afford healthcare and denying insurers the right to refuse coverage to those with a pre-existing condition.
The poll found that the only unpopular aspect of the ACA is that it is mandated, and those who do not enroll are subject to a fine, with a comparatively low 35% supporting this. However, making sure everyone is enrolled is a key component of ObamaCare; there is an agreement from experts that the law would not work if healthy people did not sign up.
Although Republicans have relentlessly threatened to tear down and ultimately repeal the health law, the public wants the opposite. As of now, Republicans have stated the law will be repealed as soon as early 2017, but it may take years as the GOP still has no alternative plan. Over 20 million people became insured because of Obama’s mandate, and these people clearly do not want to lose their healthcare—including the Republicans among them.
The Kaiser poll found that not even members of the GOP want ObamaCare repealed, they just want it amended. Prior to the election, 69% of Republicans claimed they wanted to get rid of Obamacare totally. Now that this is a real possibility, only 52% want the law fully repealed. However, those who would like to see ObamaCare scaled back went up significantly, from 11% before Trump became the PEOTUS to 24%.
If the ACA is totally repealed, not only would millions lose their access to healthcare, but insurance companies would again be given free rein to pick and chose who gets coverage—or to put it another way, who gets to survive without going into massive debt. The effects would be immediate—if you could not afford your drugs, what do you do? Both increased incidents of crime and death from treatable disease are likely. It will also cost us; repealing ObamaCare could cost the government $550 billion over a decade.
This is the risk Republicans are willing to take to get a tax break, which will only benefit the richest of the rich. Indeed, now that Trump has been elected to office, the corruption and fat-cat cronyism of right-wing politics will go unchecked. The king of avoiding taxes and taking the law for granted will soon sit in the Oval office. It would be foolish to think he cared at all about your healthcare.
Christine is an avid supporter of progressive politics. She is currently getting her Masters degree after concentrating in Gender Studies as an undergrad.