Donald Trump believes congressional Republicans and Democrats are going to find a way to craft a new national health care insurance plan.
That’s a bold prediction, Mr. President, given the record so far.
GOP and Democratic lawmakers couldn’t agree on the time of day, let alone a fix to the Affordable Care Act. The president didn’t help any search for common ground, mainly because he couldn’t articulate any reasonable alternatives to the ACA. Congress tried twice to “repeal and replace” the ACA, but face-planted over arguments over the cost — and the impact any replacement would have on Americans’ future health insurance availability.
I continue to believe that a total repeal of the ACA is unnecessary and draconian. Millions of Americans now have health insurance who couldn’t afford it before. Every alleged alternative to the ACA has been deemed too harsh and too punitive.
I share the thoughts of many analysts who say that if Medicare and Social Security — to other landmark legislative achievements — can be tinkered and tweaked to make them necessary to Americans’ way of life, so can the ACA.
Whether the president’s prediction comes true will depend on whether Republicans — who want desperately to remove Barack Obama’s name from this achievement — are willing to improve the ACA, rather than destroy it.
Mend it. Don’t end the Affordable Care Act.