Not a day goes by without hearing something new from the President. Whether Americans like him or not, President Trump isn’t a quiet president.
However, considering he was a candidate who ran on the notion that being an outsider would give him the capacity to cross party lines, so far, he’s hardly scratched the surface. Granted, he negotiated with top Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on combining funding for Hurricane Harvey with a three month increase to the debt limit, keeping the government afloat through December 15 of this year. That aside, he’s mostly failed to live up to the expectations of a deal maker.
Being someone who supported Mr. Trump in the primaries and the general election of 2016, I’m hoping he can prove my regrets wrong. He might just be able to through one simple matter: Compromise with the Democrats again on healthcare. In a fashion like the agreement concerning the debt limit, President Trump reached out to House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on crafting a temporary healthcare reform deal with Democrats.
“If we made a temporary deal, I think it would be a great thing for people, but it’s really up to them (Democrats),” Trump stated to reporters at the white house.
Mr. President, speaking as someone who gave you support through your rise to political prominence, it’s up to the both of you. The Republican party has failed time and time again to pass a workable healthcare reform largely due to the fact they’d rather see a bill that caters to conservative doctrine rather than what the common people (the people who took a risk electing you), want to see.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is far from a perfect piece of legislation, it has established a starting ground that reasonable people can agree on. The ground rule being that people can’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. On the other hand, it hasn’t provided as broad of coverage as supporters of it expected it too, and critics of the legislation are correct when mentioning that health care costs haven’t gone down.
The fact remains though, that millions of Americans are enrolled in the ACA, and rather than advocating a full repeal of the legislation that will leave this substantial portion of Americans out to dry, it’d be more productive to work with Democrats on tinkering the ACA rather than destroying it.
Noam N. Levey, a contact reporter with the Los Angeles Times, pointed out some facts that led to the first healthcare bill by Republicans to fail before it even started.
“Americans who swept President Trump to victory, lower income, older voters in conservative, rural parts of the country – stand to lose the most in federal aid.”
Levey also reported that under the bill championed by House Republicans at the time, 60-year old’s who only have an annual income of $30,000 would make up a large part of the group that stands to lose if Obamacare was to be repealed with no replacement.
With that in mind, tinkering the Affordable Care Act alongside Democrats in a bipartisan fashion is the way to not only reform healthcare, but to fulfill Trump’s campaign promise of making America great again. After all, voters like myself wanted a deal maker, not a staunch conservative like Ted Cruz or God forbid Jeb Bush.
Ideally, a better healthcare bill would be one that doesn’t penalize Americans for lacking insurance, prevents Insurers from covering people with pre-existing conditions, allows states to expand Medicaid coverage, and puts in a measure that takes the growing opioid epidemic into consideration.
Currently under the ACA, the federal government and the state governments share the cost of insuring the poor. The amount of money the federal government gives each state is determined by how much medical care a state’s Medicaid patients receive. From a fiscal conservative view, this is quite reasonable as a state would only get the amount it needs.
Hampering this aspect of the policy will do little to turn things around for the better. Instead, keeping this measure while eliminating the tax penalty on Americans who still lack coverage would be a better starting point for both parties, as states would still receive the necessary funds, and regular Americans have one less tax to deal with.
Requiring insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions and including provisions that establish more funding for treating the opioid crisis will most likely require an increase in income taxes, but that’s a necessary sacrifice to maintain the healthcare of a nation as big as the United States.
Lowering the corporate tax rate and small business tax rate stands to encourage more growth than a tax cut for the wealthy, however, so Republicans should keep that in mind before becoming reluctant to sacrifice their ideals in the face of reality.
Bipartisanship is the foundation of what makes a democratic republic great and most of all political problems in the beautiful glorious nation that is America stem from the domination of partisan politics. America can be great again, Mr. President, but understand it will take Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and the common citizen to achieve your goal of making the country great again. Pursuing a mainstream conservative agenda that discourages working with the other side as sin will only produce an America where leaders like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan would turn away from in disgust.