After the U.S. Supreme Court heard opening arguments in the third legal challenge to put an end to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it appears as if the Justices are going to leave the controversial and broken healthcare law in place.
Democrats have always contended that the ACA was the perfect fix to the previous healthcare issues the country faced, but over the years, and after many issues within the law have come to light, Democrats have begun to backtrack from their initial position that President Barack Obama’s legacy legislation was the answer to the nation’s healthcare coverage problems.
Is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare broken?
According to many Democrats, it is.
“I’ve been saying we’ve got to fix what’s broken and keep what works,” she former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “A that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
While a growing number of Progressive legislators in the House of Representatives are pushing the Medicare for All healthcare option, the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic Party favor keeping the ACA and want to introduce fixes to the failing healthcare measure.
Florida Democrats Reps. Kathy Castor and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who voted in favor of the ACA in 2010, now believe Obamacare needs to be fixed and do not support the Progressive Medicare for All measure.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor and arguably the staunchest supporter of the ACA has been open to fix the existing issue with the law since 2013
“With an issue like comprehensive health care, the stakes are too high to engage in fear-mongering,” wrote Wasserman Schultz in 2013 “If Republicans think this health care law doesn’t trim enough from future deficits, by all means let’s talk about ways we can make it even more efficient — but as part of that conversation, we have to at least agree that every American is entitled to quality affordable health care coverage, If we can’t agree on that, then it won’t be possible to have a constructive discussion about moving forward.” (Washington Times)
But even some of the more left-of-center Democratic members of the U.S. Congress believe that the ACE is not just flawed, but unaffordable.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D), who recently lost her reelection bid in the 2020 presidential election to Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, is on the record of calling the ACA a “crisis” and that Americans simply “can’t afford it.”
“People can’t get appointments with their doctors, and when they do, their premiums are so high, their copayments are so high, their deductibles are so high, that they can’t afford it,” said Rep. Mucarsel-Powell in an interview with The Floridian. “Many people just wait, and then it’s too late.”
Mucarsel-Powell also gave her own personal perspective of how high the healthcare premiums under the Affordable Care Act.
“We have to make major improvements to the ACA. I as a congressperson have to purchase, I have to participate in the ACA, that is the insurance plan that I have. So, believe me, I know the premiums are very high and we need to fix some of those issues.”- Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Mucarsel-Powell’s remarks about the ACA affirms that the long-standing Republican argument that the healthcare law would raise premiums and deductibles.
With Republicans appearing to hold control of the U.S. Senate, and with Democrats holding a narrower majority in the House, if President-elect Joe Biden manages to fend off President Trump’s legal challenges to the election results, Biden may have to revert to executive orders to fix the healthcare law he helped create.