A coalition of conservative groups is calling on President Donald Trump to make health care reform the focus of his legislative agenda this year.
"Many Americans watched along with us in 2017 as Congress attempted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and that attempt of course was not successful," says Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy at the Independent Women's Forum (IWF). "We want to be sure that this issue does not go unaddressed, that it's one that the president puts as his top priority in the coming year."
Manning personally gathered a who's who list of signatures for a letter to President Trump asking him to build on the momentum of his successful tax reform effort and return to another central campaign promise: delivering health reform so that Americans have the options they need and want.
"We encourage you to move quickly to fulfill your and Congress’s promises to the American people," the letter states in part. "Health reform must be the focus of the 2019 budget reconciliation instructions."
"I talked with a lot of people at a lot of different organizations and we got a lot of good feedback from many organizations that represent millions of Americans and supporters," she says. "They were enthusiastic that we were doing this letter and they wanted to be a part of it."
Signers of the coalition letter include Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America; Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List; and Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government, among many more.
Speaking of tax reform, the bill President Trump signed just before Christmas does include a repeal of the individual mandate in Obamacare. This means the government no longer requires people have some form of government-approved healthcare coverage or pay a penalty.
Manning says elimination of the individual mandate penalty is a good starting point for health reform but it is not the finish line.
"It doesn't address the root cause of the main problems that most Americans are dealing with," Manning says, reflecting the letter's statement that people are facing insurance policies and deductibles so high "they might as well be uninsured."
"Of course, there will be several million people who no longer have to pay a tax penalty for going without government approved health insurance," she tells OneNewsNow. "But for many people, the biggest problems they face because of the Affordable Care Act are the lack of affordable health coverage operations, so eliminating the tax penalty for the individual mandate doesn't really get to solving that problem."