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Our View: Obamacare Can’t Be Repealed Blindly | The Daily Nonpareil

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate once again rolled out a measure Wednesday designed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.


Upon news the same day that health care spending in the country grew by 5.3 percent – a growth of $3 trillion, or $9,523 per American, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services – in 2014, after five years of much slower growth, such a reaction may seem appropriate. After all, a large chunk of that hike can be attributed to President Barack Obama’s signature health law.


In reality, doing so would be a knee-jerk reaction – one that would not only further balloon the national debt but also complicate the already complex state of health care in the U.S.

By no means is Obamacare a perfect program. Several of its elements are flawed, and its approach to certain situations is unpopular with members of both political parties.

But Republicans in Congress have yet to flock to a single plan to replace Obamacare. And, without an alternate option on the table, however flawed the law may be, it must remain in place.

Though a two-year delay in repealing the exchange subsidies would ease the transition, Washington politics hardly guarantee a sufficient program to replace the controversial law.

A full repeal of Obamacare would lead to an increased federal budget deficit of between $137 billion and $353 billion, as reported in June by the Congressional Budget Office, chaired by a Republican. This figure that should concern a party using fiscal responsibility as a calling card to muster support.

The short-term gain of this political victory would be tempered by the long-term results.

A study issued this summer by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington-based nonpartisan nonprofit geared toward reducing federal debt, indicated a full repeal of Obamacare would lead to $40 billion in savings in the first three years. But, within a decade, that number would flip to a $118 billion shortfall in 2025 alone.

Furthermore, the anticipated growth of uninsured Americans – projected by the CBO to rise by 5 million people by 2020 – would likely lead to additional growth in health care spending.

Some of the options included by Senate Republicans in their proposal, such as additional spending for drug-abuse programs, are steps in the right direction for caring for Americans. But more concrete proposals are needed by the GOP if repealing Obamacare is to become a reality.

Otherwise, a gap with no Obamacare and no new system to replace it could have dramatic effects on both the fiscal health of the nation and the physical health of its residents.

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