The Politics Of The Affordable Care Act

Air Date:
Heard On The Morning Show

The Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act has a new vehicle: the tax reform bill. The latest version eliminates a requirement that people buy health insurance. U.S. Senators could vote on the plan this week. Our guest is Sarah Kliff. She’s a health policy journalist who breaks down enrollment numbers, coverage costs and the politics of undermining Obamacare.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates repealing the individual mandate saves $338 billion during the next decade. That helps U.S. Senators work within rules that limit changes to revenue and spending. Supporters say people with middle and low incomes suffer when the government charges them a penalty for skipping health coverage. Some advocates are concerned the bill translates into billions of dollars in Medicare cuts, which would hurt older Americans.

Our guest is senior policy correspondent for Vox Sarah Kliff; she’s in Wisconsin at the UW-Madison for the week as a journalist in residence. Kliff focuses on the Affordable Care Act and the effort to repeal Obamacare. She writes that the individual mandate is crucial to avoid skyrocketing insurance premiums, because the requirement ensures healthy people buy coverage they would otherwise decline. This month’s CBO report shows the number of people without insurance would increase from 4 million in 2019 to 13 million in 2027, because more healthy people would choose not to purchase plans and increasing prices would deter more people from getting health insurance.

How have you seen your health care options change? Is the exchange a viable option for you to enroll in health insurance? Should leaders let Obamacare implode, or should they do everything they can to make the program successful? Help us understand your reasoning. Email, post on the Ideas Network Facebook page, or tweet @wprmornings. Call 800-642-1234 during the show to share your thoughts on the air.

Episode Credits

  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Kealey Bultena Producer
  • Sarah Kliff Guest