Opinion: Not addressing healthcare will be a problem for Congress come midterm elections
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The omnibus funding bill included important items that should help the American people. For example, there is funding to reform infrastructure and to fight the opioid epidemic.
However, for all that was included in this legislation, at least one necessary measure did not make the cut: a bipartisan proposal to stabilize the healthcare insurance markets.
What prevented it from being included? Abortion.
Republicans wanted to add a provision to prevent federal funds from going toward abortions. That is known as the Hyde Amendment.
Democrats objected. That resulted in an impasse.
Big picture, if Congress is unable to pass a stand-alone bill to stabilize the insurance markets you can expect a large spike in health insurance premiums during November’s open enrollment period.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 55 percent of people worry a “great deal” about the cost and availability of healthcare. Twenty-three percent say they worry a “fair amount.”
Yet even though so many people worry about healthcare in the United States, Congress decided to punt the issuerather than address it.
Here’s the bottom line: not addressing healthcare is going to be a problem for incumbents from both parties on the Hill come midterms in November. I would bet that no lawmaker wants to be seen as the reason our premiums are skyrocketing. Democrats and Republicans should use the time between now and November to make sure that the American healthcare system does not completely break down.