US: Trump outlines US health care plan to replace Obamacare

11th Nov 2016
US: Trump outlines US health care plan to replace Obamacare

By Ovunc Kutlu and Gulbin Yildirim

 

NEW YORK (AA): President-elect Donald Trump is adamant about repealing the country’s health care law and replacing it with a new system, according to a statement on his website late Thursday.

“A Trump Administration will work with Congress to repeal the ACA [Affordable Care Act],” the statement read.

Known as Obamacare, the ACA was enacted in 2010 by President Barack Obama. Since then, it has been under fire from Republicans and Trump.

“Obamacare. We’re going to repel it, we’re going to replace it, get something real,” Trump said during a speech in September.

The statement on Trump’s website said the new health care system would allow states to regulate health insurance instead of the federal government.

Americans will also be able to “purchase insurance across state lines.

“The Administration recognizes that the problems with the U.S. health care system did not begin with – and will not end with the repeal of – the ACA,” the statement said.

The new plan would protect Americans with disabilities, advance heath care research and development, reform the Food and Drug Administration for innovative medical products, modernize Medicare for senior citizens, and maximize the flexibility of states enrolled in Medicaid for low-income citizens.

Trump argued last month that Obamacare led to higher prices, lower quality and fewer choices for Americans.

Due to Obamacare, federal spending is expected to rise by $1.76 trillion by 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Obama administration expects that amount to be $1.2 trillion in the next nine years.

“Obamacare is not working,” Steve Hanke, an economics professor at John Hopkins and director of the Cato Institute, told Anadolu Agency.

“The premiums are too high, insurance companies are running away from it,” he said.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced last month that premiums will jump 25 percent next year. Since then, a significant number of insurance companies have left Obamacare.

“Trump said he was going to get rid of it, and the Congress wants to get rid of it. Congress is now Republican. So I think they will get rid of Obamacare, which has been a disaster,” Hanke said.

“In my judgment, it will be very good for the U.S. economy,” he added.

Repealing Obamacare, however, may cost around $6.2 trillion, according to a report in 2013 by the Government Accountability Office.

Now that Republicans control Congress with a Republican in the White House, Trump’s promise may be a reality.

Democrats, however, may be willing to fight.

“I think Democrats in the Senate will not concede and let Obamacare [be] repealed,” according to lawyer and economist Gary Hufbauer.

“They will defend it to the dead and there is nearly no doubt for a filibuster,” the senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics told Anadolu Agency.

A filibuster is a tactic used by lawmakers in which they speak for long hours to allow time to expire for voting on a measure.

Hufbauer also said there is a possibility Democrats may allow some amendments to Obamacare.

Congress has voted 62 times to repeal the ACA and Obama used his veto power whenever the measure has made it to his desk.

Americans, meanwhile, have been increasingly critical of lawmakers who do not focus on improving the current health care law, but use it as a political instrument.

The U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world, and ranked last among 11 developed countries in efficiency, equality, cost-related problems, and total cost, according to the New York-based independent research institute Commonwealth Fund.

[Photo: President-elect Donald Trump, with his wife Melania (L), two days after winning the 2016 Presidential Election in Washington, USA on November 10, 2016.  Photographer: Muhabiri Samuel Corum/AA]

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