As the Trump Administration/GOP sue and try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, 10 million people would lose coverage and the Washington Post estimates 43,000 Americans will die annually without ACA insurance. Zero, the number of EU citizens that went bankrupt for medical costs.
Americans borrowed more than $88,000,000,000 last year to cover healthcare expenses
You cannot go very long without hearing or reading about someone trying to raise money in order to offset the healthcare costs that are not covered under their current healthcare insurance plan. The fact that the Republican Party never had an actual plan to replace the ACA meant that when push came to shove, they were happy not to get legislation passed. Unfortunately, the American people want a healthcare system that works considerably better than it does right now, and costs continue to rise. So Republicans have hoped to use their mealymouthed criticisms of the hamstrung Affordable Care Act, as a platform to promise all kinds of dreams to their constituents. This has been thwarted by their white supremacist in chief, Donald Trump, a blunt object with very little real intelligence. His decision to try and dismantle what little health care people have, with ZERO plans on what and how to replace them, before the 2020 elections is a big problem for the GOP.
Why is it a big problem? Because Americans are hurting badly from healthcare costs. A new survey by Gallup shows Americans borrowed upward of $88 billion last year to pay for healthcare expenses not covered by their health insurance. One in four of the respondents also said they had skipped “a medical treatment because of cost.” Forty-five percent of those asked said they feared a “major healthcare event” would lead them into bankruptcy, including a third of respondents from households making more than $180,000 annually saying they shared that apprehension. Three-quarters of respondents told Gallup they believed the rising costs of health care would damage our economy.
Sadly, these are not surprising numbers. Medicare, which does a considerably better job of covering people at relatively affordable prices, has large gaps of its own that need fixing. Civiqs polling has shown for a long time now that most Americans want the ACA to be improved and expanded—with large gaps between GOP and Democratic respondents.
There are all kinds of theories one can pull from the above polling in combination with Gallup’s findings, but the most important takeaway is that before the 2016 election there was a plurality of Americans that seemed to like the idea of repealing the ACA. It wasn’t under the proceeding months after the election, when Republicans and Democrats began debating what things would look like without the ACA that Americans began to realize we need to fix our healthcare system seriously, not just drive around with bumper stickers and Confederate flags, wearing red hats.
Something that all candidates seeking elected office in the coming year/s should pay attention to is how much of a priority healthcare costs are to the American voter: “When given the choice between a freeze in healthcare costs for the next five years or a 10% increase in household income, 61% of Americans report that their preference is a freeze in costs.” According to Gallup, over 40 percent responded that they had skipped going to an emergency room for fear of the costs.
And while over half of Republicans polled believe the America’s healthcare system is the best of the best, the majority of Americans did not agree with that sentiment. So while Americans can see that there are very fancy and expensive treatments out there, most know that they have zero chance at ever receiving that “Rolls Royce” treatment. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the United States doesn’t even come close to the best rates of infant and maternal mortality in the industrialized world.
Republicans have offered up bad jokes in the hopes of covering up for their craven inadequacies, like Republican Sen. John Cornyn, from Texas, humoring reporters asking serious questions.
Meanwhile, the new Democratic majority in our House of Representatives introduced an ambitious Medicare for All legislation at the end of February, that they hope will anchor the coming debates on the subject.