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Replace before repeal, distrust before trust

Illustration by: Flor Barajas | Staff Illustrator

The United States was founded on the idea of unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, denying people easy access to universal health care robs them of their rights.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” was implemented in order to try to meet a threshold of universal health care. Although the plan has its flaws, there is no question it has provided health care to 20 million people who once did not have access to medical services. It also established certain guidelines for insurers and clinics that gave power to health care recipients.

Now, with the presidential baton passed to Donald Trump, efforts end the “Obamacare” program have already begun. If Trump’s administration and the Republicans in Congress continue to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act without providing an alternative, disaster is sure to ensue. Trump cannot be trusted when he promises to replace the health care law post-repeal, especially when considering his contradictions and faltering integrity.

In his short political career, President Trump has flip-flopped on several issues: immigration, gun laws, abortion and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict––to name a few on the never-ending list of fabrications. Politicians often change their views, but Trump takes it to a whole new level.

Many of his advocates and followers support him because he is not the typical politician. He has stated several times that his office will drastically differ from how Washington was previously run.

“It is time to drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, DC,” Trump said for a rally in Colorado Springs.

The very foundation of his campaign was built on this “drain the swamp mentality.” However, his cabinet choices favor the very people he vowed to displace. Lobbyist Rex Tillerson, corporate banking board member Elaine Chao, billionaire Betsy DeVos are the type of people he vowed to rid in federal government.

If Trump has turned his back on the foundations of his campaign, how can anyone trust him or the Republican party when they vow to “repeal and replace” the health care law? Even members of his own party are unaware of such replacements plans.

The simple answer to the question is that Americans cannot entrust their own health to a non-transparent system. The repeal and replacement of a major healthcare program so drastically and quickly will produce skepticism among already skeptical Americans.

The decision to end “Obamacare” will affect tens of millions of lives, and has the capacity to kill Americans if the current system is not swiftly and effectively replaced.  Instead of completely taking away the health care law, representatives on Capitol Hill should consider taking the logical option­­––actually having a replacement before they repeal.

-John Lee is a marketing freshman