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ACA Repeal Failure: Sigh of Relief for 48,000-Plus in NH

Kids remain on their parents' coverage until age 26 and at least 48,000 residents in New Hampshire continue expanded Medicaid coverage due to the Trump administration's failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
Kids remain on their parents' coverage until age 26 and at least 48,000 residents in New Hampshire continue expanded Medicaid coverage due to the Trump administration's failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
March 27, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. — With the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act now dead on arrival, the debate over how to fix health care in the U.S. is heating up again.

MaryLou Beaver, director at Every Child Matters in New Hampshire, said the fact that the Affordable Care Act will remain the law of the land is not just good news for Granite State kids, but also for their parents.

"Healthy kids need healthy parents, and the Medicaid expansion - 48,000 or more in our state - are covered under that,” Beaver said. "Now, our state legislators can get to work on the New Hampshire Health Protection Program."

A Medicare for All Act pending in Congress would provide immediate and comprehensive coverage to all Americans by expanding Medicare, the popular single-payer program already in place for people age 65 and older.

Critics have said the move would be too costly. But independent analysis of similar legislation found that 95 percent of U.S. households would pay less than they do in the current system of insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

Glenn Pearson, former president of Physicians for a National Health Program, said the failure of the American Health Care Act presents a unique opportunity for President Trump to make good on his campaign promises for more coverage and better benefits by moving beyond for-profit models.

"America is the only wealthy country in the world that has a free market, for-profit system,” Pearson said. "It treats health care as a commodity, like buying a TV. In every other country, health care is a human right."

Beaver said she is aware that this may be only a temporary victory and that the Trump administration could again try to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"At least for the time being, our kids are covered,” she said. “Children will be able to remain on their parents' coverage until they are 26. Kids with pre-existing conditions aren't going to be impacted. "

A National Day of Action calling for universal, guaranteed health care is set for April 8, the first day of the congressional recess.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH