4.7 million people marched last Saturday, and hundreds of thousands of people are joining Indivisible, Common Cause, Let Us Rise and other groups, talking to Congress about the Affordable Care Act and other legislation. As Senator Cory Gardner’s aides have told us, repealing Obamacare is inevitable. A hasty repeal with no replacement is opposed by 80% of Americans. The Congressional Budget Office claims 32 million people would eventually lose health insurance.
Most Americans favor preserving: no coverage caps, keeping kids on parents’ policies through age 26, no limitations for pre-existing conditions, preservation of Medicare and Medicaid, and cost containment. Whatever replacement plan the Republicans come up with must take these into account. Countless people are now clogging congressional phone lines and offices. Embedded in Obamacare are provisions to shore up Medicare, which Forbes Magazine says are now imperiled with repeal.
Trump, while saying he opposes repeal without replace, created an executive order that is confusing even his Republican colleagues, which knocks out enforcement of an unknown number of essential Obamacare provisions. Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins have unveiled the Patient Freedom Act of 2017, which allows each state to either keep Obamacare or go to a pre-funded Health Savings Account plan with catastrophic insurance. They claim that even more of the 30 million people still uninsured will get coverage. Their plan has not been vetted yet by the Congressional Budget Office, nor do we know whether insurance companies will pull out of Obamacare states. Senator Chuck Schumer said it “would create chaos – not care – for millions of Americans.” It has a three-year implementation timetable.
If you’re concerned about healthcare, you can contact Senators Michael Bennett and Cory Gardner. Google their names, and their phone numbers pop right up.