The Affordable Care Act has problems, but it was never as dastardly as its Republican critics made it sound. Years of exaggerations and misinformation about the law?s effect on individuals and businesses have now led to a political fiasco for Republicans.
The death of the Senate bill to scale back the ACA probably means Republicans? 7-year quest to kill the ACA is, itself, dead. The House passed a health bill in May, but without a Senate version, there?s no path forward. President Trump and a few Republicans now want to repeal the ACA outright, even if there?s nothing to replace it with. But if Congress can?t pass an unpopular bill that eases some Americans off health insurance over time, it?s hard to imagine how it could pass a bill that would boot more people off insurance, much more abruptly.
Trump blames Democrats and a few recalcitrant Republicans for the giant embarrassment. Instead, he should blame prominent GOP critics who characterize Obamacare as the source of every problem in the US health system and an albatross on the economy besides. By vastly overstating the negatives of the ACA, Republicans created a mythic Voldemort that could never be tamed; the only option was to slay it at the first opportunity. The GOP forced itself into a doomed, all-or-nothing misadventure when it should have been addressing the problems that affect the most Americans?especially rising costs.
GOP myths about Obamacare
The first myth spun by ACA critics is that the law, which has only been in effect for three years, is the root cause of soaring medical costs most Americans feel. This is nonsense. Medical costs in the United States have been rising far faster than overall inflation for nearly 40 years, which means the typical family has been devoting more and more of its disposable income to health care. Of the 320 million people in America, only about 20 million?6.3%?get health coverage under Obamacare. Most of the rest have been unaffected by the law.
There?s one exception. Roughly 10 million adult Americans buy insurance on their own, without the benefit of an employer plan or Obamacare subsidy. Some of those folks ended up paying more under Obamacare, because of new rules requiring all insurance policies to offer a wide range of benefits not everybody needs. Congress should have addressed this problem, finding some way to offer relief to people who buy their own insurance but don?t qualify for Obamacare subsidies. But the GOP?s slay-the-beast mentality seems to rule out pragmatic tinkering.
The other GOP myth about the ACA is that it?s a job-killing monstrosity. The ACA may have allowed some people to quit jobs they held mainly as a means to obtain insurance coverage. But this is arguably a good thing, not a bad thing, because it gives more people freedom to do what they feel is best for their families ? such as stay home with a child ? instead of holding a job just for insurance.
It?s also possible some firms are reluctant to hire, because any company with more than 50 workers must offer insurance or pay penalties. But that would only apply to companies on the cusp of exceeding 50 employees, since smaller companies are exempt from the ACA. Even so, employers have created nearly 9 million jobs since the ACA went into effect at the start of 2014?a pace of job growth that exceeds the last non-recessionary period prior to the ACA.
If they weren?t obsessed with the white whale they?ve created, here?s how the Republicans who control Congress could be improving the health care system for millions of Americans: Find ways to make health costs more transparent and consumer decisions more rational. Reduce exorbitant costs for end-of-life care. Extend coverage to the 28 million adult Americans who remain uninsured and often seek treatment in emergency rooms. And give Medicare the right to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical firms.
But don?t expect any of that. Obamacare?s not dead yet.
Boy you must be really mad at DJT then - after years of promises on the repeal and replace of ACA - he hasn't been able to do anything for you.
Not true. I'm a vet. He's in the process of fixing the VA. He's cut back a ton of unnecessary regulations on business. And much more.
He won't have to repeal the ACA, it's going to die soon. I predict 2018 to be the year it dies when there are no more exchanges left because all the insurance companies have pulled out. It was a terrible law that the democrats passed. They own it, so when it dies the American people will remember what they did.
jackass --- 39 min ago - quote - hide comments Overshadowed by what the republicans didn't do...?
Not true...the democrats own Obamacare. The Republicans didn't want a bad bill so they didn't vote for it. Unlike the democrats who wanted to pass anything they could so they passed the ACA and now it's dying. It will be gone soon after being around for 3 or 4 years. It sure didn't last long. It is and was a terrible law. BTW..."You can keep your doctor." Oops...he doesn't participate in Obamacare. LOL
Denmark, along with their Scandinavian neighbors, pay the highest income tax rate. That's how their health care system is paid for.
Scandinavian countries are known for having high taxes on income. Denmark (26.4 percent), Norway (19.7 percent), and Sweden (22.1 percent) all raise a high amount of tax revenue as a percent of GDP from individual income taxes and payroll taxes. This is compared to the 15 percent of GDP raised by the United States through its individual income taxes and payroll taxes.
However, the rates are not necessarily the most important feature of the Scandinavian income tax systems. In fact, the United States top marginal income tax rate is higher than Norways and only 18 percent lower than Swedens, yet raises 40 percent less income and payroll tax revenue than Norway and 50 percent less than Sweden.
How is that possible?
Scandinavian income taxes raise a lot of revenue because they are actually rather flat. In other words, they tax most people at these high rates, not just high-income taxpayers. The top marginal tax rate of 60 percent in Denmark applies to all income over 1.2 times the average income in Denmark. From the American perspective, this means that all income over $60,000 (1.2 times the average income of about $50,000 in the United States) would be taxed at 60 percent.
Compare this to The United States. The top marginal tax rate of 46.8 percent (state average and federal combined rates) kicks in at 8.5 times the average U.S. income (around $400,000). Comparatively, few taxpayers in the United States face the top marginal rate.
So, in order to acquire Denmark's style of health care, all citizens making over 60k per year would be required to pay taxes at an effective 60% rate.
Since a huge number of people are already getting subsidies for their health care, how do you think those folks would feel about paying taxes at the same rate as their richer neighbors?
The federal government should not be in the health care business.?
That's the best thing but all the left want to have the gov't take care of them. What they don't realize is that every time the Gov't does something the citizens have to give up something. Look at Great Britian and that sick baby who the British gov't has said should die.