Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Time for Compromise on Health Care

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Editorial: Time for Compromise on Health Care

Article excerpt

Last week, former House Speaker John Boehner told a Las Vegas audience that Congressional Republicans are "not going to repeal and replace Obamacare. It's been around too long and the American people have gotten accustomed to it." However, he said the GOP may be able to "move it away from government control" by getting rid of the employer/individual mandates, giving states more discretion in how they deliver Medicaid (though the existing expansion "will be there") and repealing "a lot of the Obamacare taxes."

While these would be major changes to our health care system, a series of isolated adjustments wouldn't be nearly as much of a shock as a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. But President Trump and the Republican leadership still seem to be obsessed with demolishing the bill in its entirety. For example, the most recent botched proposal in the Senate was a repeal amendment that President Obama vetoed in 2015. Although the amendment would have kept Obamacare in place for another two years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would've left three-quarters of Americans without access to the individual market -- and another 32 million without health insurance -- by 2026.

When Boehner said the "American people have gotten accustomed" to Obamacare, he was right.

Although many Americans want to see the ACA improved, they're not eager to see it dismantled -- nor have they been fond of its replacements. According to a survey conducted by USA TODAY and Suffolk University last month, only 12 percent of Americans supported the Better Care Reconciliation Act. A poll released by NPR, PBS News Hour and Marist on June 28 found similar results: 17 percent of respondents supported the bill.

Each of these polls revealed that a substantial proportion of Americans want Congress to address problems with Obamacare but keep the overall structure intact.

Last week, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research published a survey that found similar results. …

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