by Angela Fortuna
President Donald Trump’s healthcare proposal was not ready to be implemented because it lacked support from both Democrats and Republicans, according to Central Connecticut State University associate professor of political science, Dr. Diana Cohen.
The House was prepared to vote on Trump’s healthcare plan, known as “Trumpcare,” or the American Health Care Act, on March 24, when it was cancelled before the voting could begin because of an insufficient number of votes.
“Instead of totally dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Trump should work across party lines to fix specific weaknesses of current legislation,” said Cohen. “The issue is that Trump has backed himself into a corner with his ‘repeal and replace’ campaign rhetoric, and a total repeal is not going to happen.”
“Obamacare was put in place to provide rules and regulations for insurance while providing for those too sick or too poor to afford insurance,” said CCSU sophomore Jessica Gojuk, who added that the ACA has certainly helped the economy.
The ACA will continue to act as the primary health insurance plan for many Americans. “The AHCA did not adequately address one of the largest issues with the ACA — the dwindling number of health care plans in the commercial market,” said Cohen.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, from 2011 to 2016, the number of people in the U.S. under the age of 65 in families having difficulty paying medical bills and expenses decreased, dropping 22 percent, or nearly 13 million people.
However, the ACA has caused the U.S. national debt to rise dramatically. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the ACA will cost the federal government $1.34 trillion over the next decade, adding even more to the current national debt of roughly $20 trillion.
When Trump’s healthcare plan was discussed in the House of Representatives, many House members agreed that the plan had too many flaws and therefore would not vote to support it.
“Trumpcare isn’t about helping people or our economy,” said Gojuk. “It’s about company profit, which means free reign to insurance companies and hurting the American people.”
Even with a House and Senate full of Republicans, Trump’s healthcare plan did not satisfy the needs of a replacement for the ACA that will now stay intact.
“Trump will change course and focus on other issues. He already announced a pivot to focusing on tax reform. This pivot is because Trump has yet to figure out how to appeal to the Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP,” said Cohen.
“To use a sports analogy, Trump tried to hit a home run on the very first pitch. A patient batter would let some pitches go by to get a feel for what he or she is up against. Instead, Trump was impatient, swung and missed on three consecutive pitches, and struck out,” Cohen added.
To many, healthcare is a top priority that needs to be handled with the utmost attention.
“[The government] is obligated to provide an option to those unable to get insurance,” said Gojuk.
According to the New York Post, Trump is willing to turn his back on the Republican party in order to satisfy his beliefs and take action on what healthcare should be.
“President Trump said if resistant Republicans don’t come around on repealing and replacing Obamacare, he will work with Democrats,” said the New York Post in an article entitled “Trump Ready to Ditch Republicans on Health Care Reform.”
“The bill was not ready for prime time,” said Cohen. “Consequently, it lacked support from members of both parties.”