Trump: Oba­macare key pro­vi­sions to re­main

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has said he is open to leav­ing in­tact key parts of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s health­care bill.

Mr Trump, who has pledged to re­peal the 2010 law, said he will keep the ban on in­sur­ers deny­ing cov­er­age for pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

He told the Wall Street Jour­nal that he also favoured al­low­ing young adults to be in­sured on their par­ents’ poli­cies.

“I like those very much,” Mr Trump said of the two pil­lars of the bill.

It was his meet­ing with Mr Obama on Thurs­day that had made him re­con­sider his calls for an all-out re­place­ment of the Af­ford­able Care Act, he told the news­pa­per.

Asked whether he would im­ple­ment a cam­paign prom­ise to ap­point a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor to in­ves­ti­gate his de­feated Demo­cratic op­po­nent Hil­lary Clin­ton over her use of a pri­vate email server while sec­re­tary of state, Mr Trump said: “It’s not some­thing I’ve given a lot of thought, be­cause I want to solve health­care, jobs, border con­trol, tax re­form.”

Mean­while, pro­test­ers an­gered by Mr Trump’s elec­tion gath­ered in sev­eral US cities for a third night on Fri­day. Thou­sands took to the streets of Mi­ami, At­lanta, Philadel­phia, New York, San Fran­cisco and Port­land, Ore­gon, voic­ing anger at the pres­i­dent-elect’s com­ments about im­mi­grants, Mus­lims and women.

Po­lice in Port­land are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the shoot- ing and wound­ing of a pro­tester on a bridge where anti-Trump demon­stra­tors were march­ing. Of­fi­cers had ear­lier used stun grenades to dis­perse a crowd of hun­dreds of peo­ple in the city cen­tre.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view with CBS, Mr Trump said the parts of Mr Obama’s health­care bill he was “go­ing to try to keep” were “the strong­est as­sets”.

He said that while the bill would be re­pealed and re­placed, the changes would pro­vide Amer­i­cans with “great health­care for much less money”.

He made the state­ment dur­ing an in­ter­view with the 60 Min­utes pro­gramme, which is due to air on Sun­day.

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, Mr Trump said the gov­ern­men­trun health in­sur­ance mar­ket­place was “a to­tal dis­as­ter” and “a catas­tro­phe”.

“Oba­macare is just blow­ing up,” he said only last month, while promis­ing his own plan would de­liver “great health­care at a frac­tion of the cost”.

While run­ning for pres­i­dent, Mr Trump did not of­fer much de­tail on what he en­vis­aged would be Oba­macare’s re­place­ment.

The Repub­li­can’s plan in­cluded tax-de­ductible health sav­ings ac­counts and al­low­ing in­sur­ers to sell cov­er­age across state lines.

His ap­par­ent change of heart on Fri­day comes amid a surge in ap­pli­ca­tions to join the plan from Amer­i­cans pos­si­bly fear­ful it is about to be over­turned.

More than 100,000 ap­pli­cants snapped up Oba­macare health in­sur­ance on the day af­ter Tues­day’s elec­tion, this year’s big­gest sign-up, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced.

About 22 mil­lion Amer­i­cans would be with­out in­sur­ance if the law was re­pealed.

Con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans have voted more than 50 times to undo the law.

Though the Repub­li­cans have main­tained con­trol of the Se­nate, they can­not re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act in its en­tirety be­cause un­der Se­nate rules, the Demo­cratic minority re­main in a po­si­tion to block the move.

The Repub­li­cans could, how­ever, starve parts of the bill of fund­ing through a bud­getary process called rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

The law has not been with­out its dif­fi­cul­ties.

Last month, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion said the av­er­age cost of med­i­cal cov­er­age un­der the bill was ex­pected to rise by 25% next year for those Amer­i­cans who do not qual­ify for sub­si­dies.

And about one in five con­sumers would only be able to pick plans from a sin­gle in­surer, it added.

For­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton last month called the un­sub­sidised por­tion of the law “the cra­zi­est thing in the world”.

In the US - un­like in many other West­ern coun­tries - pri­vate com­pa­nies, rather than the gov­ern­ment, pro­vide health in­sur­ance for most cit­i­zens.

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