The American Healthcare Conflict A Path to compromise

Glossary:

  • Copay: An amount that is paid in exchange for a health care service.
  • Deductible: The amount that you pay before your health insurance begins to pay.

Our current system does not offer equity for all those who need insurance. Many do not have access to healthcare. Those that do may not be able to pay for their premiums or their copays. According to Kimberly Amadeo, “In 2011, the average cost for family of four increased 7.3 percent, to $19,393.” If healthcare costs are increasing, then less people will be able to afford healthcare. Therefore, the U.S. needs a healthcare plan with lower costs so more people can be insured. An additional problem that the government faces is universal coverage. Despite attempts to allow everyone to be covered by insurance, many people still go without it for various reasons. According to fivethirtyeight.com, “33 million Americans, 10.4 percent of the U.S. population, still went without health insurance for the entirety of 2014.” If some people are still uninsured when the intent behind the Affordable Care Act was to get everyone insured, then the program needs to be changed. Therefore, additional healthcare reform is needed.

The Affordable Care Act is a healthcare plan put in place by former President Obama. The original purpose of the plan was to help more Americans be insured. “To achieve this, the law requires all Americans to have health insurance, but offers subsidies to make coverage more affordable and aims to reduce the cost of insurance by bringing younger, healthier people into the medical coverage system,” says the BBC. The American Institute for Economic Research says, “While the vast majority of people in the United States had health insurance before the ACA, the new law is aimed at people who would not or could not buy insurance.” In conclusion, the ACA serves to help everyone get affordable insurance.

The major political parties in the United States disagree on how to best run our healthcare system. The ACA is currently the major discussion point in Congress and among voters. Most Democrats voted to keep it, while Republicans vote against it. According to the Pew Research Center, “Today about three-quarters (73%) of Democrats approve of the law, while 85% of Republicans disapprove.” If Democrats and Republicans are so strongly divided on the ACA, then they will need to work out a plan that they can both agree to. The reason for this split between parties is a difference on the role government should take in the economy. “While Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act will economically damage the country, Democrats believe that making healthcare available and more affordable to Americans will help heal the economy,” according to Republican Views. If Republicans and Democrats are conflicted on the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act, they should work together to come up with a plan that will be beneficial to American companies and individuals. The issue of healthcare is a significant for both parties. Both Democrats and Republicans want what’s best for Americans, but they will need to work together to solve this issue.

Paul Ryan recently introduced the Republican healthcare plan to replace the ACA. However, the bill is proving controversial, even within his own party. According to Reihan Salam, a columnist for Slate, “While the president has stated on the record that he wants health care for everyone, his nominee for secretary of health and human services refused to back that promise in confirmation hearings.” If government officials in the same can’t agree on how to run healthcare, then it will be difficult for them to be successful in making changes to the current system. The Republicans are also split on details of the healthcare acts, such as whether to keep some parts of the ACA. “The purists, most of whom are from solidly Republican constituencies, see getting rid of Obamacare root and branch as the mission their voters sent them to Congress to accomplish, and they want to do it even if it means millions of insurance policies get canceled and swing voters go nuts. The pragmatists, who tend to be drawn from more competitive districts and states, don’t want to push things quite so far,” says Eric McNulty from the Harvard Business Review. If the Republican party is split between moderate and extreme ideologies, then they are going to need to come together to create a united stance on the issue. In conclusion, the Republican party will have to choose which ideology to appeal to in their new plan.

Democrats and Republicans have found themselves unable to compromise on many issues, one of the most notable being healthcare. However, some people have solutions that can leave both sides relatively satisfied. According to James Pethokoukis, a writer for ‘The Week’, “Many health policy analysts would love to "transcend ObamaCare" by, in effect, creating an ObamaCare-for-all (or TrumpCare-for-all) system that eventually moves everyone to individual health insurance policies sold through reformed ObamaCare exchanges.” If reforming the ACA would help people get insurance, then it will be better as a result. Therefore, this type of reform will be beneficial. Not only will this type of reform be helpful, but it is also something that many in Congress can agree on. “The good news is that one crafter of the original plan recently said that liberal and conservative health policy experts agree on 70%–80% of what is needed going forward,” said Eric McNulty, a writer for the Harvard Business Review. If the person making this statement helped contribute to the ACA, then they must be knowledgeable about politics and healthcare. Therefore, both parties can agree on a majority of health care issues.

Works Cited:

“AIER.” Understanding the Affordable Care Act | AIER, 8 May 2014, www.aier.org/research/understanding-affordable-care-act#disqus_thread. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

Amadeo, Kimberly. “4 Reasons Why We Need Healthcare Reform.” The Balance, 12 Jan. 2017, www.thebalance.com/why-reform-health-care-3305749. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

Barry-Jester, Anna Maria, and Ben Casselman. “33 Million Americans Still Don’t Have Health Insurance.” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, 28 Sept. 2015, fivethirtyeight.com/features/33-million-americans-still-dont-have-health-insurance/. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

Bialik, Kristen, and Abigail Geiger. “Republicans, Democrats find common ground on many provisions of health care law.” Pew Research Center, 8 Dec. 2016, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/08/partisans-on-affordable-care-act-provisions/?scrlybrkr=cdcf53a9. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

“Democratic View on Health Care.” Republican Views, 20 Oct. 2014, www.republicanviews.org/democratic-view-on-health-care/. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

McNulty, Eric J. “U.S. Health Care Reform Will Require Politicians to Change Their Attitude.” Harvard Business Review, 2 Feb. 2017, hbr.org/2017/02/u-s-health-care-reform-will-require-politicians-to-change-their-attitude. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

Pethokoukis, James. “An ObamaCare compromise that Republicans and Democrats can both love.” The Week, The Week, 11 Jan. 2017, theweek.com/articles/672113/obamacare-compromise-that-republicans-democrats-both-love?scrlybrkr=a1f450a9. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

Salam, Reihan. “Why Republicans Hate the Republican Health Care Plan.” Slate Magazine, 9 Mar. 2017, www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/03/why_republicans_hate_the_republican_health_care_plan.html. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

“Why is Obamacare so controversial?” BBC News, BBC, 11 Nov. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-24370967?scrlybrkr=b29b4fa5. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

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Created with images by Andrew Choy - "White House"

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