Enrollment for 2018 in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, reached 9 million Americans when open enrollment ended Dec. 15. Many of those enrolled lived in states that voted for Donald Trump. This was achieved in spite of the fact that the administration shortened the enrollment period by 50 percent, and cut 90 percent of the funds for publicity and navigator assistance. The new tax law will eliminate the mandate that everyone should be insured, however the other important health care provisions of the ACA remain intact. The ACA is still the law of the land.
This confirms the polls indicating that public support for affordable health care has grown substantially over the past year, now reaching well over 50 percent. This should make our legislators realize that they need to preserve and strengthen health care, instead of repealing or undermining it. It is time for Democrats and Republicans to work together to broaden coverage, strengthen the insurance marketplaces, expand Medicaid, and cut the costs of health care - especially the rapid escalation of prescription drug prices.
Now is the time to write and call your senators and representatives and tell them to work on bi-partisan legislation that will begin to accomplish these goals that are so important for all Americans. As candidates campaign this year, make sure that they make clear their policies on health care. And vote accordingly.
Editor’s note: Samuelson is a facilitator of the Health Care Reform Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good