Reform the ACA

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

Joe Biden has made himself quite clear on a number of issues as he seeks to remove Donald J. Trump from the presidency.

One of those issues is health care. He doesn’t favor Medicare for All. Instead, he wants to improve, reform, tinker with the Affordable Care Act to make it work better for millions of Americans.

I happen to agree with the former vice president who, you might recall, whispered into Obama’s ear at the signing ceremony that it is a “big fu**ing deal.”

Indeed, The Hill newspaper reports: Biden’s campaign sent a press release to supporters advertising the gift of a sticker reading “Obamacare: It’s a BFD” after his fellow 2020 contenders attacked his health care policy that seeks to “protect and build on Obamacare.”

Biden helped craft the ACA. The rollout was pretty much a catastrophe, shutting down the government’s website created to assist Americans in signing up for the health care package. However, they fixed that aspect of the ACA.

The rest of it hasn’t gone swimmingly, although millions of Americans now have health insurance who didn’t have it before the ACA was enacted in 2010.

Donald Trump swore when he was elected that he would eliminate the ACA. He calls it a “disaster,” just as he calls anything associated with President Obama a “disaster.” Of course, Trump has no plan to take the ACA’s place. The Supreme Court has delivered a body blow to the dump-the-ACA movement by ruling against legal challenges to the law.

The ACA isn’t perfect. President Obama even recognizes that reality. He has said repeatedly he would welcome improvements to the law. Improvements aren’t part of the Donald Trump strategy. He wants to erase Barack Obama’s name from everything in sight. Why? Who the hell knows?

Joe Biden’s resistance to Medicare for All is partly due to his role in crafting the ACA and his public service career as a mainstream center/left Democrat. He is not a socialist, as Trump would have us believe. He wants to work within the current government and economic system to provide, among other things, affordable health care for Americans.

To that end, my hope — should Biden win the election for president — is for him to craft a comprehensive improvement package that makes the Affordable Care Act truly affordable for all Americans.