Attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
One of Trump’s major campaign promises was the repeal of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, and its replacement with a superior system of medical insurance.
In this context, it is important to note that the US does not have a free healthcare system in the way that many European countries do. Obama’s ACA was an attempt to push the country in a more European direction, by creating an enforced system of medical insurance that would extend healthcare coverage to a much greater number of people. However, the system was strongly criticised by Republicans, who claimed that it was both unjust and inefficient.
Shortly after taking office, Trump made the first step for the repeal and replacement of ACA by signing an executive order and choosing Tom Price, a long-time opponent of ACA, as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
In February 2017, Congressional Republicans proposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to replace ACA. However, the act was quickly rejected by both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans were dissatisfied because they claimed that AHCA resembled ACA too much, and that the federal government was still responsible for providing healthcare. Democrats, in turn, estimated that millions of Americans, especially the poor and the older population, would lose their medical insurance under AHCA. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that more than 20 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026 under AHCA.
In March 2017, Republicans pulled the bill when they realized it would not get enough votes to pass. Three months later, even President Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with the bill, since it did not fit his promise that he would provide affordable coverage to all Americans. In the following months, several updated bills were proposed but did not gain enough support from Republicans. Simultaneously, other bills were proposed for the repeal of ACA, or for changes in how ACA was implemented.
In 2018, Trump and his administration implemented some new rules concerning healthcare– according to health experts, some increased overall costs of insurance, while others provided easier access to health care by giving access to more limited, and thus cheaper, health plans.
Overall, the Trump administration has not succeeded in its promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare, and chose to change it step by step. This was the first maj...