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POTUS’s healthcare plans surprise some students

Perspectives on the President: Healthcare

Dhangur Singh, Digital Media Editor

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This is the third article in a series in which The Freelancer will explore the policies of newly-elected-president Donald Trump and potential impact on La Serna High School students and culture.

Newly inaugurated President Trump and GOP lawmakers promised during the presidential campaign to repeal and replace the main form of healthcare in the United States – the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. President Donald Trump told his massive rallies that he would create a much better system for medical care as he guaranteed insurance and very low deductibles – even telling the Washington Post that his plan would give “insurance for everybody.” According to an NBC News reporter Benjy Sarlin, failing to keep this promise would deeply disappoint his campaign supporters. However, many across the country are skeptical of a Trump medical plan.

According to the official Donald J. Trump website, “On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” Since the election, President Trump and his advisers have stepped back from their calls for a full repeal. The broken campaign promise was evident in an interview with CNN where he stated the Obamacare replacement might not happen until 2018. “(It’s) very complicated — Obamacare is a disaster. You have to remember, Obamacare doesn’t work so we are putting in a wonderful plan,” he said. “It statutorily takes a while to get. We’re going to be putting it in fairly soon, I think that — yes, I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments but we should have something within the year and the following year.” Since the election, the Republican leadership has been in a crisis about what to do with the rising popularity of Obamacare. The Democratic consensus is that President Trump’s claim to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been an utter fail, and he neither has a plan on what to do with Obamacare, nor any clue of what it will be replaced with. Signs of foreshadowing President Trump’s success in healthcare can be seen through La Serna junior Anthony Gonzalez who, when told about President Trump’s goals, said, “He’s repealing Obamacare?”

About 94% of teenagers aged 13-18 are covered by government, private, or Medicaid healthcare, which is a record high as claimed in a study by the Child Trends website. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act without implementation of a new healthcare system will result in approximately 20 million people without insured healthcare. Some of those millions would be teenagers, and Obamacare’s repeal would heavily affect teenagers with chronic medical issues. However Matthew Rahe, a junior, thinks that the change is necessary. “It’s probably a good thing if he puts that in the place, then gets rid of Obamacare because everyone can get good healthcare.” But when informed of the number of people that could end up uninsured he said, “That sounds pretty bad.” Some students, like Gonzalez, were unaware of the projected statistics of how an Obamacare repeal will affect his fellow peers and said, “I think that’s terrible.”

It has also been speculated that the cost of a potential “Trumpcare” could cause medical costs to skyrocket. Axios News claims that Trump’s administration could charge older Americans more because their care usually costs more. Donald Trump’s repeal and replace plan could cost nearly 550 billion dollars over the span of his presidency, which would primarily come out of taxpayers’ pockets. Some La Serna students were shocked to learn this. Rahe’s initial reaction was, “I feel like my wallet and bank account are going to be empty.” Another student, Jonah Sancho said, “Are you serious? What’s the point?” Other students were unaware of how it would affect them directly. Gonzalez said initially, “I think that’s not too bad because Obamacare was often more expensive for most people to even afford and it was forced onto people so repealing it might do some good.” Once informed of the potential statistics about the impacts of an Obamacare repeal, he became unsure if he would still support it if there were additional financial burdens placed on taxpayers.

But some Lancers stay optimistic for President Trump’s healthcare. Junior Daniel Santos said, “To me, it’s a good thing because you know he’s a businessman, and he knows how to build businesses. I’ve seen him build a ton of businesses. He builds hotels, golf courses, and I feel like he is going to do a great job with healthcare, too.” On the other hand, junior Elizabeth Islas had mixed concerns about the application of Trump’s business know-how into the White House. “I honestly don’t think he is capable of doing this. He might be a businessman and might know a couple of things, but the thing about business is that this business is that of the whole United States of America and I do not agree, like when you do business you have to lay people off, I don’t want him to be that way during the presidency. You can’t lay people off from healthcare,” she said.

While President Trump has not laid out a plan to repeal and replace Medicare, Obamacare has never been more popular according to multiple early 2017 polls by NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, and the Public Policy Forum. Thus, the potential loss of their medical coverage, the erratic first weeks of the Trump administration and the massive protests against the President have Americans wary of what’s to come. Like other Americans, La Serna students are still learning more about the issue. While some are optimistic and others hesitant of President Trump, all students are hoping for stability.

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POTUS’s healthcare plans surprise some students