Our lives are at stake
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 17 million next year alone if the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—also known as Obamacare—were to be scratched without a new health-care plan. It would rise to 27 million in 2020, and then to 32 million in 2026.
The ACA is neither perfect nor the end-all solution to health-care reform, but Arkansas has made considerable progress since its implementation. Four years ago, a bipartisan coalition in the state Legislature worked with thenGov. Mike Beebe to create the private option—now called Arkansas Works. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have access to health care. Our uninsured rate fell from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 10.2 percent in 2016, one of the largest reductions in the nation.
Earlier this year, Sen. Tom Cotton told Meet the Press “it would not be the right path” to repeal the ACA without a plan moving forward. Nevertheless, he and Sen. John Boozman support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to “repeal now, replace later.” According to the latest Talk Business and Politics/Hendrix College survey, a majority of Arkansans disapprove of this approach.
A few months ago, President Trump said, “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Mr. President, most Americans know—and have known for a long time—that health care is a complex issue. Health care is about people—not the legislative victory that the White House so desperately craves. Countless lives are at stake.
VICTOR J. ROJAS