Linda Delaney: You broke it, Mr. Trump, now you own it | SteamboatToday.com

Linda Delaney: You broke it, Mr. Trump, now you own it

Article II of the Constitution says the President will, “take care that the laws be faithfully executed." At no point does the Constitution suggest the President or the executive agencies can ignore or change laws but that is exactly what the current administration has done.

The Affordable Care Act, or as the Republicans have cleverly renamed it, "Obamacare," is and continues to be the law but this administration has done everything possible to cripple and ignore the law. The battle cry has been to "repeal and replace," but in this first year in office, all they have done is inflict serious wounds with no progress on the "replace" plan. You broke it, you own it is more than a catchy phrase.

The executive agencies were told on day one of this administration to lighten up on enforcement of any ACA provisions delegated to their agencies. The Department of Health and Human Services that oversees most of the ACA has done everything to comply with that instruction and has done more damage than can be covered in one letter.

In October, the White House stopped "cost-sharing reduction" payments that help offset deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for roughly 7 million Americans earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. These subsidy payments are crucial for individuals buying coverage under the law. Attorneys general from 20 states are suing to stop this but for now, insurers have no choice but to raise premiums.

Now Congress is turning their tax plan into a major attack on the ACA by removing the medical care deduction and the individual mandate. Losing, or even capping the medical deduction will have a devastating effect on those with chronic health conditions, those in nursing homes and those with disabilities.

All the polls, regardless of their political bent, show that the public is in favor of the ACA. In fact, it's popularity has grown this past year, and over 2,000,000 more people have signed up during this shortened 2017 enrollment season. Nobody ever suggested the ACA was a perfect plan, but it has proved to be better than anything we have had and needs to be improved, not dismantled.

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Some of our Congressmen are trying to protect health care but their efforts are being thwarted at every turn. The bipartisan Alexander/Murray bill that does provide some fixes to the ACA and reduces the federal deficit cannot even make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Bills to protect the subsidies are suffering the same fate.

Today is the day to contact our representatives and tell them to drop this continued assault on health care whether it is through the tax bill (the Senate will likely vote this week) or keeping potential fixes from a vote and drop this "repeal and replace" rhetoric. Contact Rep. Scott Tipton at 202-225-4761 or 970-241-2499; Sen. Cory Gardner at 202-224.5941 or 303-391-5777; or Sen. Michael Bennet at 202-224-5852 or 970-241-6631.

Linda Delaney

Steamboat Springs

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