• 36°

We all agree on health care

We all agree that the country needs health care reform.

A recent USA Today research project found that 92 percent of Americans want changes in our healthcare system. But, most likely, we won’t get those changes.

Why?

Because our Republican friends in Congress will never vote for changes in health care law that benefit the American people.

To understand this, consider three facts. One: Only one Republican voted for Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, that, among other things, provided protection for pre-existing conditions. Two: In 2017, the Trump administration and the Republican Congress came within one vote of repealing the Affordable Care Act with no replacement plan. Three: As you read this article 20 Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration are attempting to end the Affordable Care Act, without replacement, in the U.S. court system.

Ending Obamacare would leave over 21 million Americans without healthcare, adding to the already 26 million living without healthcare. That is not the kind of change 92 percent of Americans support and need.

If you vote Republican in 2020, one thing you can count on, that health care will face continued crisis and no reform for improvement. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that there is a Republican plan of any kind to address the health care challenges the nation faces.

What do Americans want according to the USA Today survey? First, more affordable care for ordinary Americans; lower cost of prescription drugs; protections that pre-existing conditions will not cost more; coverage for long-term care for the elderly and the disabled.

Americans also want health care provided for all American communities, including enough doctors and hospitals, ending the care islands that are spreading across rural and urban America.

The survey found that 90 percent of respondents want lower-income Americans to have equal access to basic healthcare.  The same percentage want mental health care and addiction services provided. Republicans have unveiled a plan to cut these programs though block-granting Medicaid.

Democrats support each and all of these goals; Republicans support, well, seemingly nothing. Trump promised to replace Obamacare with something wonderful, better and cheaper than Obamacare…that is until it became apparent that he had no idea at all about health care and no plan.

Clearly, Republicans hated Obamacare because they did not want Obama to get credit for the program.  And, at least in part, many Republicans just do not believe the government should have any role in healthcare, even though most Americans believe otherwise.

This is not rocket science. President Trump says he will protect the pre-existing clause of Obamacare. He is lying to you. What he is actually doing is seeking to end Obamacare and, with that, pre-existing conditions protections.

In most polling this year, health care is the number one concern for American families. Income increases, modest though they have been in this economy, have been consumed by increased health care costs, a trend preventing many families from financial security.

Election 2020 will be about many issues, but few, if any more important than health care. If health care matters to you, voting for Republicans in the House, the Senate or the presidency will not bring about the desired changes in health care.

We get the government we deserve.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State