Obamacare can be fixed; here’s how

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Colby Menefee

The Affordable Care Act has given millions of underprivileged Americans access to basic health services. It has pushed the national percentage of people without health insurance to less than 10% for the first time. Despite this, the plan is flawed. There will be a 25% rise in premium costs for mid level plans sold under the act next year. Premiums are rising because insurers did not charge enough for plans in the act’s beginning, and underestimated how much people would use their policies. Presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he would scrap the act entirely if elected.

Obamacare can still be saved. There is no reason to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and take away access to basic healthcare for millions of families when a series of amendments could fix the issues without starting over.

With 2017 open enrollment just around the corner, now is the perfect time for the federal government to incentivize enrollment. Of the 27.2 million people still lacking insurance, 5.3 are eligible for federal tax subsidization; these people might not be aware of their eligibility. People without insurance currently face a $700 tax penalties. Informing uninsured citizens of possible subsidization and increasing their tax penalty for not becoming insured will increase enrollment and spread the insurance risk over a larger group of people.

Another way to fix Obamacare is to market it towards young, healthy people. Congress could work with federally funded universities to encourage young adults to participate in the program. Young people are less prone to health issues and, in turn, use their insurance policies less. Balancing the overall number of health and sick people in the system will fix the funding deficit.

Congress could also offer more subsidization to middle class families. These families currently receive very little help. When these families see that the government is assisting them in paying for their insurance, they will be more inclined to join the insurance exchange.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act say that premiums are higher than they were prior to 2013. An AP report says that premiums under are, on average, lower than the plans they were switched from.

Congress should place a series of reforms and amendment on Obamacare before 2017 open enrollment begins to eliminate or reduce the premium rises.

The affordable care act is not beyond repair. Fixing the plan, rather than eliminating it, will prevent loss of healthcare services for millions of people.