The best editorial of the weekend: The “chaos” that overturning the ACA would bring about

In case you missed it, the lead editorial in Saturday’s Winston-Salem Journal neatly summarized what’s at at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider the future of the Affordable Care Act later this year.

In “The loss of health care protections,” the authors put it this way:

The case before the Court is the result of a 2018 Republican state-led lawsuit that invalidated the ACA’s coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Twenty mainly Democratic states are suing to keep the law intact.

“There could be essentially total chaos,” Cynthia Cox, director for the Program on the Affordable Care Act at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said on Monday. “There’s no replacement plan that is ready to go and so essentially what would happen next is possibly over a short period of time, or possibly immediately, we would start seeing the ACA being unwound. And the immediate effect would be that literally tens of millions of people could lose coverage and also even more people could have other changes to their coverage.”

President Trump promises, while campaigning, to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but neither he nor his fellow Republicans have offered a plan for doing so.

This is the same president who proclaimed his love for the “Dreamers” — young undocumented immigrants brought here as children — while eliminating Obama-era protections for them in 2017. He’s also the same president who promised to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, yet has put forth a 2020 budget that cuts trillions from their allocations.

There’s simply no reason to believe he’ll protect Americans with pre-existing conditions — especially while his party has sued to eliminate protections.

And here’s the excellent conclusion:

“This case is a stark, life-and-death reminder how much is at stake this fall,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in a statement. He’s right.

Democratic health care plans — like those offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — are often portrayed as radical, but other advanced nations provide comprehensive health care much less expensively with greater user satisfaction with plans that are similar to theirs. It should embarrass every American that we can’t — or won’t — accomplish what others have.

Republicans have been unable to provide any viable alternatives. At least Democrats want to point us in the right direction.

We have a saying in this state: “To be, rather than to seem.” Trump and his Republican colleagues can claim they’re protecting our health care all they want — but North Carolinians should look at what they’re doing rather than what they’re claiming.

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