Why do Republicans oppose Obamacare?

REPUBLICANS have been strongly opposed to Obamacare ever since it was signed into law in 2010. 

Around 4.1 million Americans signed up for new plans in 2019, according to government reports, down 12 percent from the previous year.

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Why do Republicans oppose Obamacare?

The Affordable Healthcare Act is better known as “Obamacare” and was created and signed during President Obama’s tenure.

The mandate guarantees health care for any individual under the age of 65 who earns at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) through an expansion of state-sponsored Medicaid programs.

Republicans have been opposed to the law since its inception, citing that the tax penalties or the individual mandate is unfair to taxpayers. 

According to the law, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you may pay a fee called the individual Shared Responsibility Payment when you file your federal taxes.

In December 2018, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the repeal of this part of the law meant the entirety of Obamacare is therefore unconstitutional.

Despite that, Obamacare has yet to be repealed.

Starting with the 2019 plan year the Shared Responsibility Payment no longer applies but it depends on the state where you live.

Many also say that the high premiums and deductibles are not “affordable” to the average American taxpayer.

The current law provisions include:

  • Children can stay on their parent's healthcare plan until age 26.
  • No one who is sick or has a medical condition can be denied insurance.
  • Companies can no longer charge women more than men.
  • Businesses with more than 50 full-time employees must offer health insurance.

What did Trump say about Obamacare?

President Trump has been actively trying to repeal the healthcare law since he campaigned for the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to revoke Obamacare because it's been an "unlawful failure."

A brief filed in June asked the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, arguing it became invalid after Congress axed parts of it.

"President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

"If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely.

"There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care."

Republicans also argue that some people are better off without Obamacare due to the fact that it does not cover those who need it “most.”

According to the provisions, people who earn just slightly too much to qualify for federal premium subsidies, particularly early retirees and people in their 50s and early 60s who are self-employed are not covered.

Trump endorsed a replacement to Obamacare in 2017 but fell short of passing the Republican-controlled Congress.

The replacement would have rolled back Medicaid coverage and weakened protections for pre-existing conditions due to state waivers allowing insurers to charge people more for coverage on the basis of factors like health status.

"People, even Trump voters, want their Medicaid. Trump just wants applause from right-wing Twitter for taking it away," said Democratic consultant Jesse Ferguson, who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign to NBC.

"The 2020 election will be pretty simple: if you want more sick people without healthcare coughing on you, vote Trump."

Obamacare fast facts

  • A 2018 government report saw 11.8 million Americans re-enrolled in Obamacare plans, and 27 percent were new users
  • It was around 400,000 fewer people than in 2017 – a smaller figure than expected given the Trump administration's efforts
  • Average premiums have nearly doubled since 2014
  • A Gallup poll reported the adult uninsured rate had dropped to a record low of 10.9 percent in 2016, but has since risen to 12.3 percent post-Trump

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