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Obamacare's Ascension and Persecution
2019-01-07 15:59:20
Liza Tan

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Photo by: Obama via Wikimedia CommonsIn his eight-year tenure as President of the United States, one policy has made a significance that changed America's health and established a legacy that will be forever associated with his name, the Obamacare (also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or the Affordable Care Act [ACA]).

The Ascension

According to Jonathan Oberlander's "Long Time Coming: Why Health Reform Finally Passed," health reformers such as Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton have a history of losing their respective health reform battles.Whenever reformers have high hopes for their health reform plans, a trio of obstacles serves as their toughest foes - the American Medical Association, the business industry, and the insurance industry.

These obstacles exercise everything in their power to make it difficult for the act to materialize.However, one president was able to successfully conquer these obstacles, yet only by narrowing the reform's scope, which is former US President Lyndon Johnson.

Since 1969, health care debates feature a stereotyped sequence of rising costs, politicians' rediscovery of a health care crisis, and the reformers' argument over "moral and economic imperatives to fix an unsustainable system."

However, On March 23, 2010, then President Barack Obama signed the ACA, which was a culmination of a decade-long journey of the country's pursuit of health reforms.

Oberlander mentioned that Obama's road to enacting Obamacare was never an easy one as he faces the toughest challenge in the absence of huge partisan majorities, ones the Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson experienced when Congress was able to implement Social Security and Medicare.

Eight years ago, reformers encounter a rising federal budget deficit, which was engineered by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.Here, Democrats needed to satisfy the Congressional Budget Office's demands and yield enough "scorable" savings to pay for expanding coverage without aggravating deficit projections.Oberlander also observed another problem of establishing popular support for reform in a country where "many citizens had little faith in government and where most insured Americans were satisfied with their own health care coverage.

What were the elements that allowed President Obama to achieve what his predecessors have long been fighting for during their presidencies?

Oberlander mentioned that Obama achieved success through commitment, studying history, and by holding Democrats together.

Obamacare's Nature - What prompted Donald Trump to bring it down

As reported by Metro last January 22, 2017, the Obamacare is USA's response to England's National Health Service (NHS), engineered to guarantee that everyone has access to medical treatment.

The Obamacare requires every American to secure a health insurance, legally, to make sure that health insurance companies exercise fairness.Government subsidies created to make the insurance more affordable for individuals have also existed.It also cautions that the healthcare costs for everyone will go down if everyone pays a little.

Obamacare also requires companies to serve healthcare should they house more than 50 full-time employees.The said provision was only implemented in 2015.

And lastly, the law also seeks that health insurance companies must not deny anyone of coverage.

The Persecution

With Obama’s term coming to an end in 2016, the Democrats and healthcare supporters place their hopes in Hillary Clinton, who expressed her desire to upgrade her predecessor’s healthcare.However, the Republicans have unleashed their ace in the form of Donald Trump, a businessman armed with a vision to "Make America Great Again."

On top of Trump's plans was to repeal and replace the Obamacare.In its place, Trump sought to widen the use of health savings accounts, allowing people to save money to pay for health care costs.He also believed that costs will be cut if insurance companies are permitted to sell policies.

In a midnight congressional session on January 11, 2017, the Senate of the 115th COngress of the United States has voted to approve a "budget blueprint" that will permit Republicans to repeal parts of the Obamacare.This plan will be known as the "Obamacare repeal resolution." In response, Democrats staged a protest to oppose the plan.

Upon assuming his position on January 20, 2017, Trump proceeds to fulfill his plan of repealing his predecessor's health care act by signing an executive order that will "ease the burden of Obamacare."

On March 6, 2017, House Republicans present their ACA replacement in the form of the American Health Care Act.However, 18 days later, the attempt has failed to push through amid a revolt among Republican representatives.

But on May 6, 2017, President Trump is close to making his election plan a reality as the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the American Health Care Act, albeit by a narrow margin of 217 to 213.Yet, the Senate stated that they will write their own version of the bill, instead of voting on the House version.

The Story Thus Far

CNBC reported that President Trump is pressuring the Senate Republicans to establish plans to repeal the ACA this week.

"So far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.They now have a chance, however, to hopefully, hopefully, fix what has been so badly broken for such a long time and that is through replacement of a horrible disaster known as Obamacare," Trump said.

The Senate is pushing for a vote on a motion to proceed with a health-care bill that would allow it to go up for debate with potential amendments.Yet, Republican leaders are still uncertain about what plan they will proceed with.

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