It has been a good 8 years for the GOP. They’ve had a boogey man in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and have gotten lots of miles out of demonizing. They won elections claiming that the Affordable Care Act was evil incarnate.
Now they’ve got all the marbles and are realizing their calls of repeal are a lot harder than they wish that it was.
Frankly it is time for every GOP elected official to come clean and admit that they’ve been lying and miss-characterizing the Affordable Care Act, and instead of being obstructionists admit that they’ve found religion and repent for their sins.
The Affordable Care Act was never about death panels, or eliminating the sacred bond between you and your doctor, or any of the billions of other lies they’ve fed us over the years.
The primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to tell the millions of uninsured people in this country that we, the insurance holding portion of the population, were sick and tired of paying for emergency room care.
See in this country we have a number of laws that say that if you are sick, and show up to a hospital, they have to take care of you no matter what. And in pre-ACA America this is exactly how it worked.
The problem with this scenario is that those of us who have insurance policies were paying for this coverage through higher premiums and tax dollars used to reimburse hospitals for uncovered care. It is the exact same principle as the portion of your auto-insurance that goes to cover uninsured drivers.
Emergency room care is the most expensive care out there. The cost of a single emergency room visit dwarfs the cost of dozens of regular office visits. Instead of treating a possibly life threatening disease, an early preventive visit with inexpensive treatment keeps all of our costs lower.
The ACA drew a line in the sand and said no more. Quit using the emergency room as your primary care physician. We are sick and tired of paying for the most expensive care out there. Go buy an insurance policy and see a regular doctor once in awhile. And we’re going to take all the money that we are already spending and subsidize those policies so that you can afford them. And look if you are super duper poor we’re going to expand Medicaid so that everyone has a chance to go to a doctor.
But the GOP had other plans. They’ve been lying to us. Instead they obstructed Medicaid expansion to create a gap of people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too poor to get the subsidies. This was done to continue the false narrative that “government doesn’t work see others are getting help and you aren’t.”
Now they are in a bind. For a majority of Americans things are actually better. For a small segment of America, things suck badly. Things in the health insurance space are screwed up. We have varying degrees of coverage and gaps in availability. But (repeat after me) “THIS IS ALL THE GOP’S FAULT“. The Affordable Care marketplaces suck because nobody in the GOP was willing to have an honest discussion on how to the make improvements.
For the better part of six years the GOP introduced bill after bill trying to simply gut the law rather than coming up with proposals that would address the coverage gaps.
And now things are bad. They have a mess on their hands, that they’ve made. If they repeal, we’re back to where we were in 2007 when for many Americans the emergency room was their only option.
I’ve been trolling my congressman John Moolenaar over the past few weeks specifically over these issues. While he hasn’t replied directly to me he did write an op-ed calling for civil discussion. I have never once threatened him, but I have called into question his honesty.
So John, here’s my attempt at civil discourse. I am making the claim that you have been dishonest about the Affordable Care Act and by voting for a repeal before a single piece of legislation discussing the replacement you are endangering the health and lives of the 20,000 people in our district that use the market places. I am also making the claim that by voting for a repeal without a single piece of replacement legislation is available your are threatening to increase the premiums that I pay by rolling us back to an insurance market that mirrors the early 2000’s. Prior to the ACA my employer sponsored plan was increasing every year by huge amounts. Since 2010 though, these premiums have been fairly flat.
So John I look forward to your response. Explain to me how voting for a repeal without a replacement is a good thing. Explain to me and the tens of thousands of other residence you represent how things are going to get better.
I am civilly making the claim that you can’t.