It is good to hear that the American Health Care Act (also known as “TrumpCare”) failed to pass the House. Elected officials in the Democratic Party are already making the argument that this is a victory for voters. However, we should not operate under any illusions. We are still stuck with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”) – which is, was, and always will be a disaster. This law enriches a private and fractured health insurance industry that prioritizes greed over human need. The premiums and deductibles are not affordable for the middle class. Having the ability to access health care means nothing if it is too expensive.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that 19 out of 50 states have opted out of the Medicaid expansion. The result is that 2.5 million people are caught in the “coverage gap” – meaning they are without any health insurance. Most of these states are concentrated in the South – an area which has a poorer and blacker population.
Other industrialized nations have managed to implement socialized systems of health care that are cheaper with better health outcomes. This is possible – but the United States simply refuses to do so because it is not profitable. ObamaCare looks good in comparison to “TrumpCare” – but it is a far, far cry from universal health care.
We should not let the fear of losing coverage altogether make us grateful to have unaffordable insurance. We can, and must, do better.