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With no plan to replace Obamacare, the GOP is creating anxiety for millions of sick Americans

Photo: C.J. Richley via Flickr
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By Sarah Slobin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It is not a surprise, of course, that the Republicans have set a course to dismantle president Obama’s signature health care law. That they have no clear plan in place to replace it, leaving millions of people with no idea if they will be stripped of life-saving treatment, medicine or hospitalization, is a travesty.

Each one of us at one time or another has been laid-low with a high fever, craving nothing more than a cool hand on our forehead or someone to add more blankets when we’ve had the chills. When we’re sick, we’re vulnerable.

The first thought anyone has after being given a diagnosis of a chronic illness is, ‘What can be done next to stop the pain?’

And for those who live with the terrifying shadow of terminal illness—that the people we love are dying or that our own lives may be so short that our children will walk behind our caskets—what we pray for more than anything else is to find hope. We want a plan in place right away for the fight, to live, to survive.

This is not a partisan phenomena. When life throws uncertainty at us we tend to kick into high gear and start to plot and to strategize. Who has not had to look for a good doctor or googled treatment? When we’re desperate we’ll even chase a one-in-a-million cure. There are dozens of studies and books written about how planning ahead can alleviate stress. 

Right now, thanks to our president-elect, the more than 16 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare over the last five years can’t do that. They have no idea what may replace the plans they now depend on. The insurance that has made life possible may be disappearing at any moment. Or it may not. People are asking the Republicans to stop the repeal.

President-elect Donald Trump says Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, is a disaster.

He says that it will be repealed and replaced “most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day. Could be the same hour.”

But quickly creating a viable solution for a behemoth of a system that is terrifically complicated only happens on reality TV. By taking the first steps toward repealing Obamacare without even a skeleton of a replacement in sight, the GOP is essentially ripping the blankets off the bed for millions of vulnerable Americans.

The cycle of life doesn’t pause for politics. Everyday in the US almost 11,000 babies are born. Today more than 6,000 couples got married. They stood in front of family and friends, looked into each other’s eyes and took vows:

To have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part.

Here in America, we’re not sure what that now means. Until our government figures out a replacement for the ACA, a lot of sick people will carry an extra burden of anxiety as they think ahead.

Image by C.J. Richey licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

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