by Sarah Willson
Before President Trump had even taken office, Senate Republicans began their effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare provides affordable healthcare insurance for an estimated 18 to 24 million people.
The Senate voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a 51-48 vote on Thursday, Jan. 5, just eight days before Trump’s inauguration. The final vote took place around 1:30 a.m.
According to an article entitled “House Takes First Steps Towards Repealing Obamacare” by CNN, on Friday, Jan. 13, the House of Representatives voted to approve the repeal of Obamacare with a tally of 227-198.
“This resolution will set the stage for true legislative relief from Obamacare that Americans have long demanded while ensuring a stable transition,” said Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi.
“The Obamacare bridge is collapsing and we’re sending in a rescue team,” said Enzi.
Democratic Senators protested in the Senate as Republicans cast their votes, angered by the fact that the Republican-controlled Congress had made no formal plans to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats, including Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, spoke at the protest and voiced their concerns over the repeal.
“I think it’s important for this country to know this was not a usual thing, this is a day which lays the groundwork for 30 million people to be thrown off their health insurance, and if that happens, many of these people will die,” said Sanders.
Like many in Washington D.C., Central Connecticut State University students had their own opinions and concerns when it came to discussing the Affordable Care Act.
Ashley Ciarlo, a junior at CCSU, explained that while some people may find Obamacare helpful, it ultimately does more harm than good.
“People who have private health care are not getting the benefits that they need because Obamacare is raising the cost of their insurance” said Ciarlo. “I’m glad Trump is repealing it.”
Ciarlo goes on to suggest that Trump and his cabinet should push for all Americans to have their own private health insurance, believing that the cost of coverage would lower for most middle-class families.
“Nobody should be paying for anyone but themselves,” said Ciarlo.
Kenzie Merza, who is finishing her junior year at CCSU, has a different take on Trump’s plan.
“It helps people who cannot afford healthcare have an opportunity that they may not have otherwise”, said Merza. “Repealing Obamacare is fine, as long as there’s another plan to replace it. You cannot just take something away and leave everyone uninsured.”
Merza later states that she believes a single-payer healthcare system, or Medicare for all, would be the best plan to replace Obamacare.
“No one should have to work multiple jobs to afford healthcare,” said Merza.
Although Merza understands this would raise taxes on middle-class families, she still believes that millionaires’ and billionaires’ taxes should increase in order to help those who cannot afford insurance.
Although both students expressed opposing views, they agreed that those who are currently covered under the Affordable Care Act should have enough time to find new insurance.
“You can’t just leave everyone stranded,” said Ciarlo. “No one should be left behind when it comes to something as serious as their health,” said Merza.
According to an article published by CNN entitled “The GOP’s Incredible, Shrinking Obamacare Repeal,” as of now, the process of repealing Obamacare will take months to finalize.
Greg Walden, the GOP chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says there is a “mega-bill” that will soon attempt to take the place of Obamacare.
There is no word on what the bill entails, or if and when it will pass.