Everyday each Republican who is on tap for any interview on any TV show tells America that Americans do not want the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). They have been quoting this exact same bogus fact for years now and have geared up the repetitions exponentially in recent days. Just saying something again and again does not make it so. Honest.
Why would Americans hate this bill? It makes no sense. Americans like so many things about this bill.
Your children can be covered by your health insurance until they are 26 years old, if necessary. (What is hateful about this?)
We won’t have to continue to pay higher fees because some people use the emergency room as their doctor. (Perhaps you don’t mind paying higher fees.)
The private for-profit health insurance providers will have some competition from the public part of the plan and from the exchanges which will lower costs and stop these companies from riding roughshod over their customers. (Are you sure that you want to be a purist about stopping all public programs?)
You will be covered even if you have a pre-existing condition. (You have to be crazy to not want that, and you will never get this concession in a totally private for-profit world.)
I will not have to go bankrupt if I get really sick. (Oh did you want to go bankrupt?)
The health insurance industry has agreed not to put a cap on expenditures over a lifetime. (They only agreed to this because so many new customers will be buying insurance.)
Why would we want to defund this law, to starve it out? It does not make sense. It makes sense that the health care insurance people and others in the health care industry might want to undo this law, but not the average citizen. This might make some sense if you are a hard line Republican who wants to defund everything, but do you want the everything that is defunded to include Social Security? Do you want to include that disability money for your disabled child or young adult? Republicans somehow think they are being asked to pay for more poor people when actually they have already been paying more for poor people’s medical care and under the ACA will pay less.
We will probably find many flaws with “Obamacare” and once we find out what they are we will be able to fix these flaws. Maybe there will be doctors who will refuse to see Medicare or Medicaid patients because the payments are set to low. We will have to see what happens to drug costs. We will have to see how the taxes on those who manufacture medical devices will affect costs. Can they pass the fees on to the consumer? Will treatment choices be too limited? Will it destroy the 40 hour work week? (We’ll see.)
This is a very complicated law, thousands of pages, but most of those pages contain technical information about how to implement the law. We probably don’t really need to understand all these instructional pages. It would be nice if someone boiled the whole thing down to just the points that affect the insured (us) but this type of summary is available on the web and I got my information from listening to presentations in the media. Forget the thousand pages, just focus on what affects you.
If we no longer are able to get good and timely health care because of the ACA I believe that we will then make a big stink and we can then try to write a new plan, perhaps the single payer plan that seems to work so well in other nations and that seems so appealing to some of us.
As for the Republican plan which now calls for subsidies paid by the government (how is this different from vouchers) and the same private for-profit insurance plans for our health care that we are trying to get away from, except they will be able to offer insurance across state lines (how much will that improve cost cuts from competition when insurance companies in the past all have colluded to offer the same choices at nearly the same prices.) While this (Republican) plan will get our employers out of our healthcare, in every other way it will represent a return to what we had, except for those subsidies (vouchers) that may or may not cover the newly skyrocketing health care costs we will probably encounter.
Why didn’t we just fix health insurance for those who didn’t have it and leave the rest of us alone? I think that the answer to this is statistical; since the insurance industry runs on calculating risks, they could not offer the advantages built into the ACA without large numbers of insured so that meant the whole system had to change. I believe they tried to change as little as possible for people who were happy with their insurance (was anyone really happy), and, once again, if the product we get is unsatisfactory I don’t think we will be silent about it. It’s the law; we’re trying it. If you are one of those people trying to defund it or delay it then please stop. Just cut it out!
This blog post is also available at www.brissioni.com