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Reed: The Trump administration needs to improve, not replace, the Affordable Care Act

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) sought to cover the 50 million Americans who lacked healthcare coverage at the time it was signed into law in 2010 under the Obama administration. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), a new health care plan recently brought forth by the GOP, aims rather at reducing the taxes associated with the ACA.


Overall, this makes sense; delivering healthcare to the most amount of people at the lowest expense. However, many people who obtained health coverage through the ACA would have lost their healthcare benefits if the AHCA had passed. Therefore, the GOP should be fighting to improve upon what the ACA accomplished instead of fighting to repeal it.

Senators from Colorado recently voted 4 to 3 saying no to the Obamacare repeal. In Greeley, representative Ken Buck voted yes, in favor of the new GOP plan. Senators like Buck are making the wrong decision by supporting a new GOP healthcare bill.

Since the beginning of the ACA in 2010, the percent of uninsured Americans has plunged from over 18% to just over 10% in 2016. According to Rachel Garfield, associate director for the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Programs on Medicaid and the Uninsured, “there has never been a decline this large and over such a short period of time.”

Much of this improvement can be linked to the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA allows children to remain under their parent’s healthcare plan until age 26, which has made a notable impact on the number of uninsured citizens. Not only that, but the ACA allows subsidies to be given to low-income Americans, so citizens can then purchase insurance on their own terms. Furthermore, this health reform law gives individuals a greater chance at receiving Medicaid in situations where they would not otherwise have access. Overall, the ACA has improved the conditions for low-income citizens to receive healthcare, which is helpful considering that most uninsured Americans receive a pretty low-income.

The ACA has allowed millions of Americans to attain health insurance, however there are some setbacks attached to the health reform law.

Many people are paying higher premiums. Insurance companies are covering a broader amount of benefits, which has caused premiums to rise for those who had health insurance in the first place. New taxes were also imposed to help pay for the ACA, which included specific taxes on those with higher incomes.

While millions of Americans are receiving healthcare benefits because of the ACA, others are paying a cost.

The American Health Care Act sought to remove some of these costs by blocking ACA subsidies, and by removing federal support for Medicaid entirely by 2020. Specifically, the GOP’s new plan would have blocked $800 billion of Medicaid funding over the next decade. By doing so, the health coverage given to millions of Americans through the ACA would have been in jeopardy.


Risking healthcare for the millions American’s who obtained coverage through the ACA was a large reason why the AHCA recently got shot down by Congress. Another reason being that the AHCA was rather rushed, which made many in Congress question the legitimacy of the GOP’s plan.

Ed Perlmutter, Congress Representative from Lakewood, was one Colorado Rep. that voted down the AHCA. “It’s bad for the 24 million Americans who would lose coverage,” he tweeted, “It’s bad on rural America. Not sure who this bill is good for…”

Obamacare has made it easier for people in rural areas like Fort Collins obtain health insurance. Replacing the ACA would hinder Healthcare across the U.S., and here at home.

The Affordable Care Act has improved upon what was once a healthcare crisis in America. The Trump Administration and the GOP should act to improve upon the ACA, not replace it.

Spencer Reed can be reached at

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