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Expert Voices

Obamacare is dead. Long live the Affordable Care Act.

From our Expert Voices conversation on plans for health care reform after Trump's executive order:

"Finished," "gone," "virtually dead," declared President Donald Trump last week, adding, "There's no such thing as Obamacare anymore."

It's about time. Let's see if we can keep secret from the President that the Affordable Care Act is alive and well.

No one ever called Medicare "LBJ Care" or Social Security "FDR Security." The strategic portrayal of the ACA as "Obamacare" was an effective attempt to make Americans judge the ACA by their feelings about President Barack Obama — a coded message that if you don't like Obama, you won't like the ACA. So good riddance, Obamacare. Thanks, Donald!

On the other hand, the ACA's Medicaid and private health insurance expansions have provided affordable and quality health insurance for more than 20 million Americans. The ACA taxes that were raised to pay for it stand, including highly progressive taxes on earned and unearned incomes on affluent Americans. The ACA's reforms of medical care continue to move the nation away from a wasteful fee-for-service system and toward value-based payment.

What's next: The American people could benefit greatly by strengthening and improving the ACA. Maybe now that Obamacare is dead, we can move forward with that challenge.

Other voices in the conversation:

  • James Capretta, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former associate director for health programs at the OMB: Alexander-Murray deal a flawed first attempt at bipartisanship
  • Jeanne Lambrew, senior fellow at the Century Foundation and deputy assistant to the president for health policy in the Obama White House: Health care fix today could be undone tomorrow
  • Tevi Troy, CEO of the American Health Policy Institute and former deputy secretary of HHS: Expanding HRAs would bolster individual market
  • Christopher Condeluci, principal at CC Law and Policy and former tax and benefits counsel to the Senate Finance Committee: Clearing the air on AHPs