Americans are asking for better health care. Actually, they are demanding increased access to health care providers. We voted in a majority of Democrats to the House of Representatives in 2018 to address the issue of access. Unable to pass any real reform due to the Republican held Senate and White House, it will be up to voters in 2020 to determine if any solution can be found.
Yesterday, a Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans put the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) in limbo due to a challenge by a variety of conservative states. (Key part of law invalid, A4, 12/19/19, AZ Daily Sun) In 2017, unable to successfully put forward an alternative to the ACA or Obamacare, the Republican lead Congress decided to just make the tax on people without insurance zero. This “individual mandate,” a crucial but unpopular part of the ACA, incentivized people to get health care insurance. Without it, the ACA survives and even thrives today in some parts of the country. Yet the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is stating that the law may be unconstitutional without it.
If this decision stands and the ACA no longer exists, the millions of people of Americans who have gained access to health care insurance through Medicaid and buying insurance through the Federal Exchange, may loose their insurance. Other benefits of the ACA including allowing children to remain on their parents insurance and not penalizing patients for pre-existing conditions, will also be in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the White House nor the Senate have any other viable plan to replace the ACA and thus we could once again see up to 50 million Americans without health care insurance.
Therefore, we need new politicians in the White House and the Senate if we want increased access to health care. After years of railing against the ACA, Republicans have failed to replace it when they had the chance. The only option now is to vote in 2020 to replace them.