Politics of Opposition
Legislations encounter a political burden with some groups supporting and others opposing the process. The pressure does not end with the signing of a law by the president (Patashnik & Oberlander, 2018). The battle continues, explaining the tendency to repeal, narrow, or expand laws long after they are enacted. Opponents might force for the withdrawal of the legislation or major reforms, while supporters may seek to accelerate its integration into the legal landscape (Raphael, 2014). Although many laws have been passed in recent years without much political pressure, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to experience serious controversy, concerning significant reforms.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be a highly debated topic in American politics. The discussion arises amid the need to reform healthcare in the country. Various political and interest groups have debated the law since its enactment in 2010. Conservatives have always tried to undermine the entrenchment of the law in the country’s healthcare system. However, they failed in repealing the law. Regardless, opponents have effectively overturned one of its major provisions, the individual mandate penalty (Patashnik & Oberlander, 2018). They have also narrowed down its reach, complicated its implementation, and fomented doubts regarding its political sustainability. Besides the conservatives’ view of the ACA, other political groups have diverse views regarding its post-enactment implementation and continued application in health care.
Republicans undermine the Act and oppose many Medicare-for-all proposals. They have increased their efforts to unwind the Act entirely. Conversely, Democrats want to retain the ACA by changing a few of its features. The argument centers on the financial implications of the Act. Supporters and opponents argue about the extent to which the law has impacted on various outcomes, such as family economic wellbeing and financial security, as well as participation in social safety net programs. Democrats cite the financial impact of the law in reducing the healthcare burden on Americans and improving access (Jacobs & Mettler, 2018). On the other hand, Republicans suggest that the law has not achieved the expected economic benefits, explaining their push for the unwinding of the Act. Therefore, diverse debates concerning ACA are evident for both Democrats and Republicans.
The 116th Congress has introduced various bills to reform the healthcare system and potentially improve the role of public programs. The KFF comparison of proposals provides a side-by-side comparison of the emerging reform options. Some of the suggestions are Single Payer (Medicare-for-all), Public Programs with Opt-Out Public Plan Option, Medicare Buy-In for Older Adults, and Medicaid Buy-In. The first option offers single national health insurance for all Americans. The second option provides an opt-out option for qualified coverage. It would deliver a public plan option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The third option is a Medicare plan for adults who are not covered by the current public health program. The final option provides states with the mandate to select individual to offer Medicaid through the ACA marketplace (KFF, 2019). The choices depend on whether the group is pro-or anti-ACA.
Major political debates surround healthcare policy in the United States. Such issues arise before and post-implementation, leading to significant reforms. The ACA is one of the currently debated health care policies in the country. Various political and interest parties are involved in the debate, including conservatives, republicans, and democrats. The discussion will lead to a reform in the health care coverage in the country.