As 2019 draws near, it's time to start thinking towards the future. What will the new year bring all of us? More acceptance? Less divisiveness? Less Twitter rants? Well, judging from Donald Trump's comment about a new health care plan, I'd say 2019 might be a lot more similar to 2018 than we'd like.
Following a federal judge's ruling on Friday, Dec. 14 that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was "unconstitutional" due to the individual mandate, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday, Dec. 17, to discuss his plans to for a new health care system. In the tweet, Trump blasted the ACA for high deductibles, and then claimed that he wants to work with Democrats in order to deliver "great" health care for Americans. Even though the idea of Republicans and Democrats working together in the name of a very important public issue sounds ideal, to be honest, previous attempts aren't giving me much hope. I don't know about y'all, but I'm feeling a little bit of deja vu.
The DEDUCTIBLE which comes with ObamaCare is so high that it is practically not even useable! Hurts families badly. We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare! A confirming Supreme Court Decision will lead to GREAT HealthCare results for Americans!
Of course, it's no secret that the Republican party has actively opposed Obamacare since its inception, and Trump's claim that he plans to work with Democrats on a new health care plan sounds all too familiar to his previous statements — and failures. Since Republicans took control of the presidency, as well as both chambers of Congress, after the 2016 election, there have been multiple attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, all of which have failed. What's more, some of the attempts were criticized for a lack of bipartisanship and refusal to reach across the aisle for Democratic input. In the spring and summer of 2017, no less than three attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare failed, including Republican plans the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which failed in March 2017, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which failed in July 2017, and the so-called "skinny repeal" bill, which was famously shut down by the late Sen. John McCain, also in July 2017. In September 2017, Trump appeared on Fox & Friends told the hosts that he'd "negotiate with Democrats" in order to come up with a better health care plan. He said,
We’ll vote it — it’s block grants. It’s going to be great health care. But in the meantime, I have that little period of time, I’ll negotiate with the Democrats if we can come up with a fantastic health care bill, that’s okay with me. Good for both parties. Bipartisan.
Taking in all of these failed attempts to repeal the ACA, I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the likelihood that Democrats will work with Trump to find a new health care system is slim to none.
Trump's comment follows a Friday, Dec. 14 ruling in Texas, in which a federal judge struck down the ACA, claiming that the individual mandate forcing people to purchase health insurance is "unconstitutional," and therefore the entirety of the ACA is no longer valid. The Texas judge's ruling is controversial and may be overturned on appeal, especially since the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the ACA, including the individual mandate all the way back in 2012. However, the judge's ruling couldn't have come at a more inopportune time. The final day to sign up for Obamacare was Saturday, Dec. 15, and even though the judge's decision won't immediately impact this enrollment, it could mean serious changes are coming in 2019.
Following the judge's ruling, a number of prominent Democrats started to speak out against the decision, including Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. So, if you happen to disagree with the judge's ruling, rest assured you're not alone.
I may be all for Democrats and Republicans coming together to help our country, but unfortunately history shows that it might not work out.