This Republican administration’s attempt to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) was again defeated on July 28. Senate Democrats and three Republicans rejected the “skinny” repeal of the ACA with a vote 51-49. However, wealthier individuals who lobbied for a repeal of the ACA in exchange for tax cuts are still waiting for their handouts.

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, suggests eliminating the individual mandate that requires people to buy private insurance. And if this is achieved, what are the ramifications when the young and healthy discontinue their insurance? Cancelling subsidies for lower-income American families will also have a negative impact on insurance premiums and deductibles. The less-healthy will remain on health insurance, which will increase premiums in order to offset insurance companies’ profit losses.

What is the solution?

While the ACA is far from perfect, defunding healthcare is morally wrong and will certainly drive up costs for everyone! Congress must put forth a public option plan that will allow Americans to buy state insurance, which will increase competition between the profit-driven insurance companies and a public-run insurance plan, like Medicare, that is so popular among older Americans.

Melissa Wellema

West Milford