Lost Causes


Lost Causes
Bruce Westerman

One of our mottoes is “Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.” Apparently, whether he knows it or not, it’s one of Congressman Bruce Westerman’s too.

The Arkansas Republican, speaking last week before the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, called on Democrats and Republicans to cooperate to fix the American health care system. Westerman has a plan, what he calls the Fair Care Act. “It has two primary goals: increase the number of people that are covered and lower the per capita cost for those who are being covered,” he said. But it needs bipartisan support to get anywhere.

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His comments came the same day that the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the percentage of Americans without health insurance grew last year for the first time since the Affordable Care Act was approved in 2010. The decline, caused primarily by a drop in enrollment in public health programs like Medicaid, came despite a strong economy and a 0.5 percentage point decrease in the poverty rate.

And the numbers of those without health insurance could spike if a Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA is successful, an effort undertaken by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, among others, and supported by the Trump administration.

But never fear. This spring President Trump — who, you may remember, during his campaign promised better, cheaper health insurance for everyone — tweeted that “The Republicans are developing a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare. … Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House. It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America. Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions. The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealtCare.”

Of course, that was on April 1.