Three things about Oba­macare on which Amer­i­cans ought to agree

The Weekly Vista - - News - RANDY MOLL Randy Moll is the man­ag­ing editor of the West­side Ea­gle Ob­server, which cov­ers Gravette, Dec­tur and Gen­try. He may be con­tacted by email at Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

It seems there is lit­tle agree­ment at the fed­eral level re­gard­ing health­care for the Amer­i­can peo­ple. Some want to re­peal Oba­macare and some would like to amend it. And, yes, there are many who want to keep the Af­ford­able Care Act and are an­gered that Pres­i­dent Trump and the Repub­li­cans threaten it.

There are some things about the health­care act upon which ev­ery hon­est Amer­i­can should be able to agree. The first is that Oba­macare has failed to pro­vide af­ford­able health­care to ev­ery Amer­i­can. Those with­out plans could go to the ex­changes and sign up for cov­er­age, but many found that cov­er­age un­af­ford­able and were forced to go with­out and face tax penal­ties. And those with pri­vate in­sur­ance found that they could not keep ev­ery­thing as it was. Plans changed, com­pa­nies opted out and prices in­creased.

Speak­ing per­son­ally, I was able to keep my in­sur­ance through my em­ployer, but it was not the same cov­er­age. I lost pre­scrip­tion cov­er­age and my de­ductible in­creased three­fold. Yes, I could have kept pretty much the same cov­er­age I had be­fore Oba­macare but it would have cost me my full salary and left me noth­ing for things like food, cloth­ing and hous­ing, which might also be im­por­tant for healthy liv­ing.

Another thing upon which hon­est Amer­i­cans should be able to agree is that, if noth­ing is done soon, the Af­ford­able Care Act will fail. In­sur­ance com­pa­nies are pulling out of the ex­changes and states will not be able to af­ford the costs of in­sur­ing ev­ery­one. And, if taxes are raised enough to pay for it, who is go­ing to want to keep work­ing?

The fi­nal and most im­por­tant point upon which ev­ery hon­est Amer­i­can should agree is that pro­vid­ing health­care is out­side of the con­sti­tu­tion­ally as­signed role of fed­eral gov­ern­ment. The Con­sti­tu­tion lim­ited the role of fed­eral gov­ern­ment to cer­tain spe­cific du­ties and re­served the rest to the states or to the peo­ple. Ar­ti­cle 1, Sec­tion 8, enu­mer­ates those pow­ers and pro­vid­ing health­care in­sur­ance is not on the list. The 10th Amend­ment re­serves ev­ery­thing else to the states and to the peo­ple.

And, if our politi­cians would just ac­knowl­edge the truth, it would be a no-brainer for both Repub­li­cans and Democrats to agree to re­peal Oba­macare. Aside from be­ing un­af­ford­able and a fail­ure, it is not some­thing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is even per­mit­ted to do. Hav­ing health in­sur­ance, or not, is some­thing which should be de­cided in­di­vid­u­ally by the peo­ple or, if nec­es­sary, by the states.

There’s no need to fix it at the fed­eral level. There is a need to ad­mit it’s out­side the purview of fed­eral gov­ern­ment and re­peal it.

And, while they are re­peal­ing the un­con­sti­tu­tional and un­af­ford­able health­care act, they could also re­peal all the other laws, agen­cies, de­part­ments and court rul­ings which are not in­cluded un­der the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s enu­mer­ated con­sti­tu­tional du­ties and pow­ers. That would go a long way to­ward solving some of our na­tion’s woes. It would cer­tainly help re­lieve the ever-grow­ing bur­den of our na­tional debt.

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