“Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time.” So starts the Facebook post of the former US President Barack Obama. Obama used social media to share his thoughts on the current draft legislation that is before the Senate, and set to replace the Affordable Care Act, more widely known as “Obamacare.”
US Senate leaders on Thursday unveiled a draft of legislation to replace Obamacare, proposing to kill a tax on the wealthy that pays for it and reduce aid to the poor to cut costs.
Obama said that he understands that repealing the Act has become a central focus of the Republican Party, but he asked those in power to consider what was really at stake beyond political point scoring, “the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something the Democrats did,” he wrote.
So far the state of the Bill that is before the Senate is unknown, with four conservative Republicans saying they were not ready to vote on the legislation. Democrats need the support of only three Republicans to quash the measure in the Republican-led chamber.
In his post, Obama refers to the millions of Americans who now had security when it comes to health insurance. “Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free,” he explained. “Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a pre-existing condition – we made that a thing of the past.”
Republicans, including current President Donald Trump, have always been highly critical of the Obamacare, saying that it costs too much and involves the federal government too much in healthcare. Trump made Obamacare repeal a centrepiece of his 2016 election campaign.
Obama also conceded that the current legislation may not be perfect, and called on those elected to have a rational and effective debate that would make sure all Americans benefit. “After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be,” he wrote. “And that’s always worth fighting for.”