How a repeal of affordable health care will affect Alaskans

An approval by the House of Representatives has set up a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Debate surrounding “Obamacare” has been of issue since it was passed in 2010. With President Donald Trump in office and a majority Republican congress, a healthcare replacement is expected to take effect.

In an interview with ABC news, Vice President Mike Pence reassured Americans that if they wish to keep their plan with the Affordable Care Act, they can.

Pence stated, “Any American who has insurance today, through an Obamacare exchange, or through the Obama plan itself, should have no anxiety about losing their insurance. We’re committed to an orderly transition to a new and better health insurance set of reforms that are going to work for every American just like the President-elect said.”

Whether Trump and Pence will repeal and replace or follow through with their word is to be determined.

Judy Eledge, president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club supports a repeal and replacement of the health care law. Eledge thinks that decisions like national health care should not be decided by politicians in D.C.

“Alaskans are in serious trouble. There is only one insurer in the state because of the Affordable Care Act. We expanded Medicaid and the state can’t even pay doctors…nothing Trump does in a repeal would be worse,” Eledge said. “My hope is that Donald Trump as a businessman will know how to tackle this in a much better way than most politicians.”

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the uninsured rate in Alaska has fallen 25 percent since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, while 36,000 Alaskans gained coverage.

Portia Watson Noble, vice chair of the ARWC and graduate of UAA believes that the relationship between doctors and their patients should not involve politicians and government regulators.

“Transparent and realistic policy is the only way Americans will reach their full potential. I am in full support of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act or what I describe as Obamacare. I do agree with a sustainable replacement as long as budgets are met, taxes are not increased and regulations are not expanded,” Noble said. “Any replacement that regains the trust between patients and doctors, lowers premiums, decreases the state’s budget and helps all Alaskans to become more self sufficient will be good for Alaskans.”

If a repeal of the Affordable Care Act passes, lawmakers must initiate a legislation to replace the bill, leaving some time before any major changes for healthcare in America.