Editorial: Health care proposal cruel and indefensible | News – California News

Editorial: Health care proposal cruel and indefensible | News – California News

The Republican Congress and the White House have certainly gotten themselves into a bind. For years congressional Republicans have fiercely criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is one of President Obama’s key legacies. And on the campaign trail, Donald Trump and Republican congressional candidates vowed to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” zeroing in on the program’s shortcomings while ignoring its many virtues, including the fact that it enabled millions of previously uninsured Americans to have access to affordable health care.

Recent polls show that significantly more people favor the ACA over Republican bills introduced in both houses of Congress this year to replace the current health care law. But now, despite the public’s growing opposition to the Republican plans — which would leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance and many more struggling with higher medical costs — Republicans are trying to figure out a way to make good on their campaign promises without backlash from their constituents.

But the situation is far more than a vexing dilemma for Washington politicos. It represents, for many Americans, a matter of life or death. The secretly crafted Senate plan recently revealed to the public and fellow members of Congress would, among other things, gut the Medicaid program serving the neediest Americans by slashing $772 billion from its budget, and allow states to determine whether people could be excluded from insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The proposed bill would severely impact the young and the old, although working Americans and others in the middle of those age groups are likely see higher costs in…

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