Bob-n-Along: Thoughts on repealing and replacing Obamacare: the Affordable Care Act

By Bob Stealey | March 09, 2017
There has been quite a lot of talk lately about Obamacare, or, as the creators of it have preferred to call it, the Affordable Care Act (ACT). From all the information I've been hearing about it, since it became an actual system of medical and surgical insurance coverage, it comes with many flaws. In addition, I've come to understand--as have plenty of colleagues--that it's anything but affordable.
 
In President Trump's address to both branches of Congress on Tuesday evening, he once again pledged to replace Obamacare with a much more practical measure, so as to provide Americans with acceptable health coverage, a plan that just might work for them and also one they'll be better able to afford. Plenty of Clarksburg area residents have voiced their many concerns.
 
In the beginning, Americans seeking health insurance were told they would be able to keep their current doctor under Obamacare, however, as the president declared in his dynamic and impressive speech before legislators, this has simply not been the case at all.
 
Yet despite the president's best efforts to bring about positive change throughout the United States, he has certainly come against a brick wall, especially with Democrat liberals. There's even balking among representatives and senators of Trump's own Republican party. Gladly, I have not heard of any such opposition from lawmakers of West Virginia.
 
Some Clarksburg residents expressed concern about a statement written in the March 1 edition of the Wall Street Journal, "The speech came at a time of high risk for Mr. Trump's agenda. Republicans are divided and looking to Mr. Trump for leadership on his plans to repeal and replace Obamacare and to revamp the tax code."
 
The WSJ story also stated regarding Congress and the ACC: "A key question is whether any Democrats in the Senate are open-minded enough to support any element of his agenda. He will need at least eight of them to move most legislation through the chamber. But many Democrats are under heavy pressure from the party's liberal, activist base to oppose Mr. Trump at every turn."
 
Definitely not everybody has a closed mind where Trump's discussion of his plans for a replacement for Obamacare is concerned. There are plenty who are pleased that the president has promised to fix--not just repeal--the Affordable Care Act, saying that the health care law that covers some 20 million people is "collapsing."  
 
Trump said he is in support of protections for persons who have pre-existing conditions and that he also supports the use of tax credits and Health Savings Accounts, although he did not address whether the tax credits would be refundable. Quite a few conservative lawmakers recently came out against the draft legislation, claiming that the proposed refundable tax credits could amount to a whole new entitlement program.
 
One conservative group that calls itself the House Freedom Caucus--its members haven't been bashful in opposing the Republican Obamacare draft legislation, showed a positive reaction to the president's Obamacare remarks during his address. In a statement, members expressed their pleasure that Trump reaffirmed his commitment to fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with a "patient-centered, market-driven policy."
 
Trump asserted that the burden of fixing the health care system should include both Republicans and Democrats and called on "all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster."
 
When it comes to the problems with health care costs that have faced so many people in the Clarksburg-Harrison County area, in West Virginia and across the country, many people I've discussed the situation with are saying they wonder if one huge answer just might be the costs that have been attached to medical/surgical procedures and the exorbitant amounts that prescription drug manufacturers have been demanding. It seems everybody wants to make a buck, even if it greatly cripples others. That would appear to be the bottom line.
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Even for folks in central West Virginia who have been crowing their gratitude for the fine, spring-like conditions that we've been recently blessed with, I believe they'd all have to agree that March "came in like a lion" on Wednesday. Not just the region but most of the Mountain State experienced some sort of "watch" or "warning" on Wednesday from the National Weather Service and other meteorological agencies.
 
There has apparently been no official confirmation, but I had heard from a local television station's weather center that the city of Spencer in Roane County was touched by a small tornado and that the outskirts of Glenville in Gilmer County may have also had a light twister on Wednesday.
 
With certainty I could say there was rain aplenty, going not only by broadcast reports but seeing the high water leaving its banks--in my case, along W.Va. Route 270 between West Milford and Lost Creek. There was a lot of filmed evidence of this on TV stations.
 
Numerous times my family and friends have heard me say that we, here in Harrison County, are indeed fortunate to be living where we do. Although we're not free from adverse weather conditions, relatively speaking we're better off than so many other sections of our state and nation.
 
We can't say what Mother Nature has in store, but if we're just a little more patient, the official arrival of spring is only 17 days away and the start of Daylight Saving Time is just nine days off.
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This Week's Bible Verses:  "Oh, how can I give you up, my Ephraim? How can I let you go? How can I forsake you like Admah and Zeboiim? My heart cries out within me; how I long to help you! No, I will not punish you as much as my fierce anger tells me to. This is the last time I will destroy Ephraim. For I am God and not man. I am the Holy One living among you, and I did not come to destroy." -- Hosea 11:8-9
 

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