Email #42, Subject: repeal but replace later?

You recently criticized Obamacare for: 1) “unaffordable premiums,” 2) “deductibles through the roof,” 3) “losing a doctor you’ve had for years,” and 4) “being dropped from the coverage you need.” May I assume these are also your top priorities for any health care bill that would replace Obamacare? If so, I strongly agree.

You also state that you “want the families who are hurting under Obamacare to feel relief as quickly possible,” but that it’s more “important that we have a transition.” Why is that exactly? What does this “stable transition period” do for those families? How does it answer your four criticisms? In what sense is it “stable” at all? Isn’t it further destabilizing the health care market?

You also state that “Before Congress can implement a new health care system that truly works for the American people, we have to get rid of what is not working today.” But getting rid of Obamacare “today” without simultaneously replacing it with something better would increase all four of the top concerns you named.

Without either Obamacare or a stronger replacement bill replacing it immediately, families who are already hurting now would face: 1) even more unaffordable premiums, 2) even higher deductibles, 3) losing even more doctors, and 4) being dropped from even more coverage plans.

The process you outlined will create a bill to “dismantle” Obamacare, but not replace it. You say you will then work on another, separate bill that will provide better health care. But how does that help the people who needed Obamacare in the first place? 

If the only thing keeping people from drowning is a half-inflated life preserver, they cling to it. You want to rip that life preserver out of Americans’ hands as you shout from the safety of the shore: “We’ll be back later with a better one.”

I understand you hate Obamacare. That’s why you call it “Obamacare” instead of the Affordable Care Act. I don’t care what it’s called. It’s all many Americans have right now. Don’t put partisan fighting ahead of the health care needs of the people you are supposed to be serving.

Chris Gavaler


Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2017).

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