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Obamacare is again in serious jeopardy

Obamacare is again in serious jeopardy

Former US President Barack Obama celebrates signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law at the Department of the Interior on March 23, 2010 in Washington. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File

Are you better off than you were 14 years ago? If you're one of the millions of Americans who already have and don't have a job with health benefits, the answer is a huge, Yes.

Because? Because also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Obamacare (enacted on March 23, 2010, although many of its provisions did not go into effect until 2014), she cannot obtain health insurance. Thanks to provisions of the law that prevent insurers from discriminating based on medical history and subsidize insurance premiums for many Americans. (These subsidies give healthy people an incentive to insure, improving the risk pool.)

And this President Biden Strengthened the projectEspecially by expanding the rules to eliminate the “cliff” that cuts off subsidies for many middle-class Americans.

But in the future, you may lose your hard-earned access. In 2017, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress Tried to gut the ACA and nearly succeeded in passing a bill the Congressional Budget Office said left uninsured. 22 million Americans More by 2026. If the Republican Party (GOP) takes control of Congress and the White House in November, there is every reason to believe that it will try to bring back the bad times for health insurance. And he will succeed, because his failure in 2017 was thanks to a policy stance. John McCainAn impossibility in the current Republican Party, where Slavish obedience to Trump has become almost universal.

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Before we get to the politics, let's talk about what Obamacare accomplished.

Under Obamacare, the percentage of Americans without health insurance has halved since 2010 (Getty/File)

During the Obama era, voices on the right made many dire predictions about its consequences. They said the legislation would not actually expand coverage and would be a financial disaster and job killer.

None of these predictions came true. The percentage of Americans without health insurance has fallen by half since 2010. Central government spending on health programs has grown more slowly than expected, not skyrocketing. Already in 2010, the budget office expected to pay in major mandatory health programs 10% GDP in the mid-2030s and “continually increasing thereafter”; Now that number is expected to be lower 7%. In terms of employment, the employment rate among working-age Americans is at its highest level in more than two decades.

Obamacare, which was initially a political liability for Democrats, now exists Very popular. In fact, the Republican effort to gut the law, which narrowly failed, may have played a large role in the Democratic victory in the 2018 midterm elections.

Why is this success story at such great risk?

First, it's important to remember that Trump, aside from his venomous attitude toward immigrants and his protectionist instincts, has shown that he doesn't know or care much about policy details. Last week, he posted a rant about how “Invasion” of Immigrants Is “Killing Social Security and Medicare”This is the opposite of reality and proves that you don't know how even the biggest and most important government programs work.

Former US President Donald Trump. EFE/EPA/Michael Reynolds/Archive

During his time in office, Trump has played into the hands of right-wing economic ideologues who know how to write legislation that serves their goals; Almost his only major budget initiatives were tax cuts for the rich and corporations, which passed, and an attempt to cut back on Obamacare.

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Although Trump likes to portray himself as a populist, we know that right-wing economic ideology continues to prevail among congressional Republicans. Effectively destroy Obamacare. Last week, the Republican caucus, which includes most House GOP members, released a budget proposal that laid out several 2017 “reforms” that could put millions of Americans out of their homes. (He also called for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.)

What surprised me in the budget proposal was how its authors addressed the fact that none of the worst predictions the right had made about Obamacare came true. The answer is that they simply pretend to have done something bad that they predicted did not happen. For example, I was struck by the claim that Obamacare “sharply exacerbated unsustainable increases in America's health care costs.” In fact, in 2010, total US health care spending was 17.2% That number increased by 2022 to GDP 17.3% in gross domestic product

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with Vice President Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. on November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File

So the fact of Obamacare's success won't deter Republicans who want to destroy it. In any case, The success of the law only increases their determination to end itBecause it contradicts his ideology Government can actually improve the lives of Americans.

Trump will play along, he'll throw eggs at them, because Improving the lives of Americans is not their primary goal..

Ultimately, the right wants to destroy America's entire security network. But they'll probably start with Obamacare; If they sweep this year, I wouldn't be surprised if the program is gone by 2026.

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Paul Krugman has been an opinion columnist since 2000 and a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2008 for his work on international trade and economic geography. @Paul Krugman

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