Republicans voted more than 60 times to dismantle the Affordable Care Act when Barack Obama was president. But now that the GOP finally holds the White House and can take the law apart, they’ve spent months failing to get enough votes for a repeal bill to even clear the House of Representatives.
Why is repealing Obamacare so complicated? Start with these five factors.
22 million patients got covered
The health law’s coverage expansion and new protections have led to a 9 percent uninsured rate, the lowest ever on record, and the Urban Institute and others have tracked how.
What the opposition saysCoverage isn’t the same as access to medical care.
Millions of other Americans are benefitting from its guarantees
Republicans’ bill would weaken the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing conditions protections, which could affect tens of millions of Americans.
What the opposition saysOur bill takes steps to protect pre-existing conditions, too.
Republican governors have taken ACA dollars
Sixteen states led by Republicans are receiving billions of dollars in Medicaid funds that are available under the law, which they could lose if Congress rolls back the ACA.
What the opposition saysMedicaid is a failing entitlement program that needs an overhaul — not an expansion.
The health care industry is seeing an influx of revenue
The five biggest health insurers had profits of $23.7 billion last year, a 25 percent increase since the ACA took full effect in 2014, according to a POLITICO analysis. Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other players also have seen major gains.
What the opposition saysThe ACA’s propping up a bloated industry.
Democrats see it as signature issue
The law — which informally bears the name of former President Barack Obama — accomplished major progressive goals, and they see no reason to compromise to overturn the party’s biggest achievement in years.
What the opposition saysObamacare’s a signature issue, alright — a signature failure.