Editorial: The High Cost of Repealing Obamacare

What the propaganda says crumbles down in the face of professional, nonpartisan analyses.

Editorial: The High Cost of Repealing Obamacare
Foto: Archivo/AP / Impremedia

The debate regarding the Affordable Care Act becomes tougher with the threat of its repeal as the Trump Administration takes office. The political campaign to justify its elimination has intensified, but it ends up crashing with reality. What the propaganda says crumbles down in the face of professional, nonpartisan analyses.

Yesterday, those who want to destroy Obamacare announced the beginning of a television ad campaign aimed at Spanish speakers. The commercial is a translation of the English version of the ad used during the presidential campaign. It says that Republicans in Congress have a health plan that offers “more options” and “improves medical attention at a lower cost,” among other promises.

No specifics are given regarding how that is going to be done. It offers a link to a website for more information, but the site only shows the same advertisement in English, an invitation to register and nothing else.

Not much can be expected of the company who created the advert, American Action Network. Their business is not health, but convincing people that the market is a magical potion that solves everything and, now, protecting Latino legislators opposed to Obamacare.

Ironically, yesterday as well the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) filled a void that invalidates the advert.

The CBO analyzed the impact that the implementation of the only project approved by Congress to replace Obamacare will have on people’s medical coverage.

Bill H.R.3762 was created by Congressman Tom Price who, if confirmed, will be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price will be in charge of replacing Obamacare, and he has said that a measure – his – has already been sent to the lower chamber.

According to the CBO, Price’s proposal will cause 18 million people to be left without health insurance during its first year, 27 million when Medicare extension and subsidies expire, and 32 million more by 2026 than if Obamacare were to continue.

The measure would increase insurance premiums for everyone by 20% and, progressively, to 50%, compared to what they would if the law remained unchanged.

This would be the result of a proposal that kept parts of Obamacare and eliminated others. The health industry’s reaction will break a delicate balance.

It is clear that the law needs readjustments, not a dismantling, to improve. But when reality gets too harsh, it’s time to cue the TV ads.