Sunday, January 15, 2017

Leading with Inquiry, Week 2

Question for our political leaders: Is access to affordable healthcare coverage a right for Americans?

There's a somewhat confused rush to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which I get to a certain extent. At one time I opposed it quite heartily. Though I've come to think of it as legislation that has done more good than harm, I certainly acknowledge that it has many shortcomings. And the process by which the Democrats rammed it through Congress was regrettable. It's no wonder that Republicans, now enjoying unified government and one of their own (I guess) in the White House, the time seems right to them to remove this legislation.

There is a big however. They don't necessarily have any replacement legislation.

Catherine Rampell's recent blog post on the ACA is worth a read (link). Apparently the majority of Americans like nearly all the major provisions of the legislation except for, wait for it, the individual mandate. In other words, we wants the protections and affordability, but we don't want to share the costs with sicker Americans.

Until we're one of those sicker Americans.

So I'm curious as to how the leaders in Washington are going to solve this riddle. Essentially this comes down to a very old dilemma for Americans: whether equality or liberty is more important. And when it comes to health coverage, there seems to be a mandate to address liberty more than equality. But there might be more support for equality of access than meets the eye.

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