Time for democrats to offer Obamacare fix

It happens that in the weeks since first approaching Salem Weekly about submitting current issues columns, the stumbling, fumbling attempt of House Republicans and the Trump Administration to replace Obamacare has faded into the background. Had the House bill passed this probably would have been about how terrible and inequitable it was. But it was yanked out of sight, so that raises the question of what Obamacare supporters should do next. Any glee over the bill’s failure, any satisfaction over unmasking of how it benefited the younger healthier, and wealthier over the older, sicker and poorer, ought be short-lived. Republicans are still seeking votes and Democrats can’t afford to confine themselves to just defending Obamacare while Trump and the GOP Congress are in position to sabotage it and  run against it again in 2018. It’s time Democrats countered by offering a plan showing how the Alternative Care Act can be fixed rather than be replaced by the draconian Republican alternative. A state agency analysis estimated the House replacement bill would mean an increase in uninsured in Oregon from five percent to 15 percent, create a $2.5 billion state budget hole and put 23,000 health care jobs at risk. The Oregon Center for Public Policy estimated nearly one million Oregonians would go uninsured or suffer higher costs and the state could lose up to 41.8 percent of federal funds for...

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