If there’s one thing the administration of President Donald J. Trump needs, it’s more oversight. The Republicans, who have controlled both houses of Congress since he took office, have so far provided little.
Therefore, 3rd District U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro is to be encouraged in using her new clout to tackle something she considers an outrage — the Trump Administration’s attacks on the Affordable Care Act.
The Democratic takeover of the House has promoted DeLauro to the chairmanship of a subcommittee with some jurisdiction over the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services, and DeLauro has already held a hearing on the administration’s impact on so-called “Obamacare.”
Trump’s impact on the ACA “has exceeded expectations,” DeLauro told The Connecticut Mirror. The ACA “has slowed the rising cost of health care and 20 million have gained coverage,” she said. Then the Trump administration “went to work,” DeLauro said, “increasing premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”
Trump and his Republican allies counter that allowing states to offer cheaper, less comprehensive short-term plans is one way they are trying to help those who purchase individual policies but don’t receive ACA subsidies.
Republicans on the subcommittee argue that by expanding Medicaid and requiring insurers to offer coverage to all, including the sickest Americans, the ACA has increased the price of coverage and has made state marketplaces like Access Health CT unappealing to insurers. They say that this has driven large insurers such as Aetna and Cigna out of the ACA marketplaces.
Those arguments bear hearing out. But this is not just about Obamacare. Regardless of what effect DeLauro’s hearings may or may not have on this administration’s policies, it is clear that the Republican-controlled Congress has served largely as a rubber stamp for Trump’s policies — whether on health care or environmental protection or border protection or other issues — during his first two years.
DeLauro and her fellow Democrats seem determined to change that situation, now that they control the House.
Good. Single-party control of all three power centers in Washington (all four, if you include the right-leaning Supreme Court) is not likely to be a beneficial thing for our republic.
With only two parties that are truly major players, surely we can use more bipartisanship — and thus more oversight — than we’ve had in some time.
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