by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News
LAS VEGAS, NV — During the 2008 recession, the soaring unemployment rate left many Nevadans without health insurance, or other means to pay for medical care.
But all that changed because of the Affordable Care Act, implemented by President Barack Obama in 2010.
Nevada’s Medicaid recipients doubled from 300,000 to 600,000, with the implementation of ACA — the insurance marketplace for a majority of Americans.
But some viewed it favorably, and some viewed ACA unfavorably.
“With the Obamacare, one of the disadvantages… the wealthy will have to pay for the poor to subsidize,” said Joan Gaeney, a Republican in Nevada. “Second, there is 73 billion to implement Obamacare which is our tax dollars.”
“They call it the Affordable Care Act… but affordable for whom? It already costs 73 million dollars and counting, and it’s still going up,” said Republican Alden Gaeney.
Dr. Noel Fajardo, a Fil-Am gastroenterologist, says that the ACA brought historic increase in coverage for low-wage workers, and others who have been left out of the health care system.
“With the Obamacare being able to fund indigent patients; in other words, there’s a source funding for their healthcare,” said Dr. Fajardo. “That’s the value of Obamacare — providing services to patients who could not afford it on their own. Unfortunately, the cost on this is on the government… and that was the main issue, how are we going to pay for it?”
“And thats what they’re saying with the Trumpcare. They want to repeal Obamacare because its costing too much, but that’s reality. We have to pay for healthcare.”
Rallying support for the American Health Care Act — or as some call, Trumpcare — has been a challenge, even within Republican ranks.
Wary GOP lawmakers say that the bill either doesn’t do enough to repeal Obamacare, or it leaves too many vulnerable Americans without health coverage.
“They’re saying that many people will lose their coverage, because they will just be cut off. The question there is, what do we do with those patients… and this is what we don’t know,” said Fajardo.
Fajardo says that healthcare issue should not be used as a political tool, because healthcare is about the lives of the American people.
Meanwhile, this Republican nurse says that she is optimistic with the new American Health Care Act.
“I think the new [AHCA] encompasses everybody and i think its probably a better plan,” said nurse Cynthia Haul. “If the premium is lower and its spread out to everybody having a health plan based on their needs, I thought in that aspect it might work. I thought it was gonna be passed yesterday.”
Should the American Heath Care Act make it through the House, it still faces a challenge in the Senate, as many Republican senators have expressed grave concerns about the legislation sparking a political civil war within the party.