It feels like my social media feeds exploded this week as Congress began the work to repeal and dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Especially with the 1:30 a.m. vote.
Now I get it, Republicans won control. They’re going to do what they want. There’s no saving the ACA as we know it.
But we can save the good (and popular) ideas in the ACA.
I’ve seen an outcry over all the good things in ACA that could be lost. And I’m not just hearing it from my lefty friends. Support for the Affordable Care Act is widespread:
- 66% of voters want preexisting conditions covered.
- 63% of voters want to be able to keep their kids on their plans until age 26.
- 56% want subsidies for low-income Americans.
- 56% want federal funding to expand state Medicare programs.
- 53% want insurers to cover birth control.
The ACA is flawed and needs improvement, but it has a lot of worthy ideas that have improved healthcare in America. Some of these ideas have literally saved lives.
For six years Republicans have tried to repeal the ACA without the votes to do it or a plan for anything better. It was simply a way to earn political points. In November they cashed those points in, but they still have no better plan.
But that’s fine. There are plenty of good ideas in the ACA. Take them. Use them. Come up with a better healthcare plan. Lives are depending on it.
We somehow managed to make it through a horrendously long political campaign season without having much of a substantive, public debate on healthcare. It seems a little late to do it now, a little late to hold candidates accountable when they railed against Obamacare but didn’t offer alternatives. But better late than never.
Contact your representatives. Participate. Be heard.