Hours after his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order “to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” In doing so, he instructed federal agencies “to delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden,” as well as several other directives to reduce the law’s burden on states and individuals.
This is not simply a win for our country; this is a win for everyone in my generation who values affordable healthcare and the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Obamacare premiums are set to increase by 25 percent in 2017, with states like Arizona expecting to premiums rise by a whopping 50 percent. Much of this increased cost burden falls on my generation, and if we can’t afford to buy healthcare, we’re penalized no less than $695 every year, with absolutely no added healthcare benefit.
When so many recent college graduates are barely scraping by, raising the cost of healthcare and then punishing those who don’t want to pay for it is not just illogical — it is unethical. Although it will not have an immediate impact on the cost of healthcare for millennials, President Trump’s executive action to ease the burden of Obamacare is a critical first step toward dismantling this law.
The employer mandate of Obamacare requires all businesses with 50 or more employees to cover the health care of their employees and their dependents, or face a stiff penalty that could potentially put them into bankruptcy. Many of these small business owners have no other choice but to drastically cut back their new hires, as well as reduce the hours of their existing employees. As so many in my generation are struggling to find a decent paying job after graduation, the last thing we need is another obstacle in the way.
Trump’s immediate action directed all federal agencies to reduce the “regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, [and] patients,” and has paved the way for a broader repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the months to come. As a millennial who is graduating college in only a few months, I’m grateful that President Trump took immediate action to dismantle this law.
Since the ACA was signed into law in 2010, it has put the federal government in charge of the most personal and private aspect of our lives: our health care and well-being. The government has no right to dictate whether or not someone buys healthcare, and they have no right to force millennials to stretch our budgets to pay a penalty for not complying. As a generation who claims to value individual freedom and the right to choose our own destiny, we should be appalled at this unnecessary intrusion into our personal lives.
Forget the fact that the “Affordable Care Act” has made healthcare less affordable for millennials. Forget the fact that it has also made it harder for college graduates to find gainful employment. Just the simple fact alone that it takes away our right to make our own healthcare decisions should be enough for us to want to repeal it.
President Trump’s executive action will provide immediate relief to those who Obamacare has hurt the most, and is much more than a symbolic act, as so many in the media claim. This is an incredibly impactful way to begin the process of dismantling this horrible law, and will no doubt pressure Congress to work to repeal this law. As a generation who values choice in all that we do, we deserve better.