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From Repeal to Repair, What is Going on with Obamacare?

With the fast acting orders of Trump and the subsequent rapid action by the Republican led House of Representatives to “repeal” Obamacare, confusion and worry has reigned.  As has been mentioned in previous articles, healthcare is a big and unwieldy beast, that doesn’t lend itself to “quick” and at the same time, effective solutions.

Nerves amongst the general population (that where most likely to be hit by full, or partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act,) were set on edge.  It turns out that pulling the rug from under people by taking away their access to good quality healthcare angers them, regardless of which side of the political spectrum they stand).  Eventually, the level of complaints being registered with Representatives of Congress, Senators and lobbying organizations must have hit a pitch that even the normally imperious Republican leadership had to sit up and listen.  The old “Repeal and Replace” slogan is being updated to now mention the word “Repair”.   According to Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, who sat on the healthcare subcommittee hearing this past Thursday morning, the new motto is “repair the ACA”.   He went on to say, “There’s just a miscommunication or misinterpretation of what we’re trying to say. Our job is to repair the American health care system and rescue it from the collapse that it’s in,” Ryan said, “And the best way to repair our health care system is to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s not an either-or. “

On the same committee that the same day, Sen. Rob Portman, downplayed the significance of the word ‘repair’ to insist that the main goal remains exactly  the same.  “I use ‘fix,’ I use ‘repair,’ I use ‘replace.’ I think they all mean the same thing to me,” Portman said.  But, went on to contradict himself by saying, “There are aspects of the Affordable Care Act that some of us have all along said are necessary.”

The rhetoric remains confusing.  The reality is nobody in their right mind wants total anarchy, hence the softer tones now entering the debate.  This should allow more time to resolve the enormous issues currently festering in the healthcare system and health insurance industry.  Developing a well thought out plan has not been the forte of the incumbent President, but as more level heads enter the arena, the likelihood increases that the transition will result in a manner that is both timely, and will arrive with a much higher probability of success.   Only time will tell.

Michael Williams is the CEO at Global Healthcare IT, Inc.  A healthcare IT consulting firm providing access to the best healthcare IT talent.

Michael can be reached at