Imminent Threats to American Healthcare

The Kaiser Foundation recently released survey data they collected on a rather hot-button issue: Republican plans for healthcare reform. We have all, no doubt, heard rumblings of Republicans’ intentions to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act (or, “Obamacare” as it’s affectionately and unaffectionately called) immediately following Donald Trump’s on accession to the presidency.

Voters, however, are uneasy. According to the poll, an overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law. According to NPR, nearly 75 percent of Americans say they either want lawmakers to assume a hands-off approach, or repeal Obamacare if and only if there is a replacement ready. A minority of 20 percent say they prefer to see the law repealed immediately. But, House Speaker Paul Ryan, has assured voters that replacement legislation would pass by the end of the year.

Another interesting data point is public opinion regarding the new leadership’s top priority for lowering healthcare costs. A healthy majority of voters polled - approximately 67 percent - identified their top priority as finding a way to lower their health care costs. Lowering healthcare costs may be easier said than done, however.

A repeal will be costly. According to a recent study done by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, repealing the current healthcare act will cost hospitals multiple billions of dollars. This places an enormous, monetary burden on hospitals - a burden which, many worry, may lead to cuts in healthcare technology investment and staffing, leading to a decline in the quality of medical care nationwide, in addition to a hefty increase in the cost of healthcare. Consequently, it’s very likely that patients will be shouldering much of this burden.


Anna Graff

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