The House of Representatives on May 4 passed by a narrow margin the American Health Care Act. The effort, which had appeared sunk until late April, passed with 217—all Republicans—backing the measure and 213 opposed, including 20 Republicans and all House Democrats.
The vote came after a week of negotiations and intense lobbying by President Donald Trump and Republican leaders. The approval of the bill, which now goes to the Senate, is viewed as the first step to repealing and replacing Obamacare, or formally the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
This week’s RBJ Snap Poll ask readers their views of the health care coverage legislation. A plurality of respondents support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by roughly 2-to-1 over the Republican plan.
The battle is far from over and opponents are lining up against the bill. The repeal was a big part of the Republican campaign promises for more than a half-dozen years. President Donald Trump had promised during the campaign that he would do it on Day One.
Nearly 600 participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted May 9 and 10.
Q: What is your opinion on health care coverage legislation?
- Support the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare 46%
- Support the American Health Care Act, passed by House Republicans 23%
- Support a different plan 19%
- Oppose both plans 13%
The American Health Care Act is only halfway done. It’s the Senate’s turn to get it right and get the wrong parts corrected and add the parts of the act we must have. I wish Congress and the president would get this plan and not the special plan they have created for themselves. They always say how they will work for us—never happens. It’s all about their party and what they can get. The Congress (members) are a bunch of low lifes, and it will never change. Just look who is representing us in New York—nothing more needs to be said. Health care is so important and our plan has (to) be the best in the world. So take all the money for the U.N., countries that we give money to and don’t give a damn about us, our plans to go to Mars and all the worthless wars and create a plan that Americans deserves. We know the plan will be right when even Congress will want to be part of the American Health Care Act.
—Ken Pamatat, Creative Images
It’s very clear that Congress (politicians) have one goal: to keep everyone happy and as a result no one is happy! It’s clear after both parties have tried and failed/failing. The only solution is a single-payer system. and even that’s got a lot of faults, as the Europeans have learned.
—Hal Gaffin, Fairport
I support repealing Obamacare. It was flawed and unsustainable from the beginning. And it was owned 100 percent by the Democrat Party who created and imposed it on us. It was built on lies, like saving everyone $25,000 a year, etc. The new plan block- grants money to the states (where it belongs) to help fund their own safety net health care plans for those who need help. Now states can create their own plans. And if their plans are too generous or too stingy they will be held accountable by their state voters. It also removes the onerous taxes Obama put on young healthy people who didn’t want or need it. We already have Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security Disability. I don’t know why we even need another Federal program anyway.
—George Thomas, Ogden
While I believe that universal health care is the ultimate solution to America’s health care coverage issues, I am a recipient of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act—and I will lose access to affordable health insurance under the AHCA. It’s critical that we cover people with pre-existing conditions, as everyone in the country has some condition that could exclude them from coverage. The concept of raising the cost of health insurance as we get older is nothing short of appalling. The AHCA is not only tone-deaf, but it also demonstrates a profit-taking streak of inhumanity in the Republican party. The fact that most of the Congress people who voted in favor of it did not even read the bill makes it all the more clear that they have no concern for the people this law would affect. We can only hope that the cooler heads in the Senate make better choices than these thoughtless, reckless congressmen.
This is only hard if you promise to make everybody happy for less cost. Just not going to happen. Medicare for all, and serious work on getting costs under control, especially drug costs. Insurance companies can compete for supplemental coverage. Does it really matter what pocket the money comes from provided it is less overall?
Obamacare is not a health care bill, it is a tax bill with some health care provisions. Repealing it means a loss of revenue that needs to be addressed by Congress. The House booted the ball to Senate to claim they got something done and put the ball in the Senate’s court. They are delaying the obvious, there is no current solution, only a lot of ideas, which is embarrassing after sitting out of the solution game the past seven years.
—Hugh Rundle, Webster
Until I hear some credible articulation of just what benefits are supposed to accrue from the House Republican legislation—lower costs, more insureds, whatever—I’ll stick with what I’ve got via Obamacare and the NYS Healthcare Exchange.
—David Lamb, Rochester
I support the plan that Berkshire’s Charlie Munger advocates: single payer system. If the insurance companies do not want to participate in the current system, as business people that is their prerogative. The alternative is the one that would benefit all Americans regardless of party affiliation, employment, pre-existing conditions, wealthy or poor. Our health care system is the laughingstock of the world, and our politicians the architects.
—Tom Sargent, Rochester
The AHCA is terrible! They have done nothing to limit the amount of increases for drugs and health care premiums. Allowing health care companies the right to charge people more for pre-existing conditions, limiting federal government subsidies will affect our seniors, people with limited income who are trying to take care of their health. It is unthinkable to not cover birth control, labor, delivery, maternity care. Many young families don’t have the funds to cover this cost. How would they afford a house, food on the table? These politicians who supported this bill have no concept of what people are going through today just to pay their bills.
Single-payer health care works for every other industrialized country in the world. There’s no reason it can’t work here.
It is truly amazing and frustrating that the Affordable Care Act has become politically demonized. The 536 people who will decide its future have no doubt great coverage courtesy of us taxpayers, and they should ensure that the other 350,000,000+ Americans have access to affordable care as well. Whether it lives or dies, at least the ACA helped move the conversation from whether there should be some form of national health insurance to what should it look like. It is well past time for Washington to move on and tackle the major issues impacting this country.
—Dan Karin, retired
Give the Senate a chance. All this negative hype is premature.—Ted Marks
Americans want it all, but do not want to pay for it for it all. Replace/overhaul our current Medicaid/Medicare scheme and replace it with a system that provides basic universal health care coverage and access for all Americans, including seniors and low income folks. Make hard choices about what services Basic Universal Healthcare will cover. Simplify the billing process. Allow the federal government and states to negotiate drug prices/medical services. Expand support for teaching hospitals responsible for training the next generation of medical providers.
—Spencer Cook, corporate counsel, Crosman Corp.
For a number of reasons, I think the ultimate solution is a single payer solution. It eliminates health insurance as a company responsibility, removes the excessive overhead and profits infused in the system by the insurance companies and spreads insurance risks across all citizens. The federal government should serve as the single payer but not deliver the health care itself. That should remain a free market. Moving from a procedure to outcome based system will help reduce costs, as will tort reform (eliminating frivolous lawsuits). And the most important factor is preventing smoking and obesity, the two largest contributors to health care costs.
—Brad VanAuken, president, BrandForward Inc.
Let’s see, the Affordable Health Care Act is imploding; exchanges are collapsing; some states will have no exchanges by the end of the year, leaving how many people without health care coverage; and health insurance premiums have been skyrocketing. Now AARP, SEIU and the Democrats are trying to scare millions of Americans that the new Republican plan is even worse and that the Republican plan will literally kill people! What more reason than any or all of the above to support the Republican Plan?
—Keith Robinson, Diamond Packaging
The Republicans are making the same mistakes of which they correctly accused Democrats eight years ago. They are trying to engineer a social outcome with a complex set of rules, regulations and tax measures. It is virtually impossible for the federal government to create a national social program that will serve the needs of all without serious unintended consequences. The simple thing for them to do would be to leave ACA in place without the mandates, allowing alternative plans to compete. This would leave the Medicaid expansion in place for those in need and would allow competitive alternatives to the very expensive plans that many cannot afford.
— John Calia, Fairport
Obamacare is flawed but should be fixed, not broken further. Single payer would actually be best for national competitiveness.
Obamacare was a decent albeit compromised start, but America deserves comprehensive, single-payer health care.
—Mike Bergin, Chariot Learning
The new plan cannot be any worse than ACA. ACA was bleeding red ink and causing my insurance to go up just to cover the ACA losses. Insurance companies, unlike the federal government, actually have to remain profitable to stay in business. All the federal government has to do is increase national debt and tax us more. Remaining within a budget is beyond the concept of the federal government.
I believe government’s role is not to provide products (in this case health insurance/coverage) to the public but to protect the public from unscrupulous vendors of these products. It might be better if government were to rate both products and vendors and educate the public on their findings. They could easily employ the internet for this. Government should not hinder vendors from offering any product to any person as long as this is done lawfully. This includes across state lines.
While the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, it is considerably fairer and better than the American Health Care Act. Better still, although with little or no chance of being approved, would be the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act (H.R. 676). Every citizen of our country deserves access to health care, regardless of age or income.
Let’s face it, the GOP doesn’t have a plan, just a catchphrase. If they were honest with themselves they would agree that a universal coverage system would be better for everyone because it would remove all the work that everyone has to do to maintain coverage.
Until the “new” Congress comes up with a better plan (not just one, passed without appropriate review, that saves ($$$) by depriving current participants of significant coverage), I support the current one; it has provided health care for over 20 million Americans.