By Jason Taylor
For all its flaws, the ACA addressed a genuine need. The unique American “free-market” medical-industrial complex had a serious inherent failing: The imperative of insurers to serve shareholders required the exclusion of so many people from coverage that even insurance executives found the situation untenable. The ACA fixed that failing, even as it avoided the real reform our seriously broken system really needed. Reform would have given the United States the sort of true health care system enjoyed by citizens of every other “advanced” country, at the expense of interests that derive tremendous wealth from our medical-industrial complex.
The bills proffered by Republicans address no genuine needs. They solely advance Republican ideology, spitefulness, and bigotry, and serve the greed of their donors, at the expense of millions of people. They are “necessary” only because Republicans made obstructing Obama their sole agenda in 2009. When Democrats passed the ACA, the Republicans began a campaign of lies about the law and Obama and made its repeal the cornerstone of their inflammatory campaigns. Now they must deliver on what they’ve been promising their base and donors for 7 years.
One of the key propositions the GOP leadership is super glued to is the idea of allowing insurers to decide what tests/procedures/drugs/devices to cover in their plans. (States that care and can act might affect this, but not many if any).
The ACA, as we know, had a list of items that must be covered in order to be considered an ACA-worthy plan. It also had a list of free preventative tests and procedures that were required. It made the mandate make sense, as the policies pre-ACA weren’t worthy of lining a bird cage. The biggest failing was that for 7 years, the GOP obstructed any effort to close ACA loopholes and regulate the price gouging that was occurring at the hands of insurers, health care providers, and pharmaceutical companies.
If we don’t have minimum coverage requirements, and we don’t have mandates, we open the door to Uncle Fred selling $30 per month worthless policies out of his garage (provided he’s licensed, of course). Smart Americans will get worthless policies that cost almost nothing to keep them out of the 6-month penalty for a 63-day delay in coverage. Then, if they actually do need serious medical attention, they’ll switch policies and get a pseudo reputable plan from one of the big insurance sharks.
Conservatives should cease thinking entirely, inasmuch as forging successful policies is clearly not their strength, and instead simply apply what other advanced industrial nations have done to save money on healthcare. Stop imagining yourselves policy wonks, start copying elements of systems that already work well, and save taxpayers’ money — TREMENDOUS AMOUNTS OF MONEY.
Copy the Swiss, the Germans, the Brits, the Japanese, the Canadians, the French, etc., all of whom cover everyone at a fraction of what we spend. Our leaders were once exceptional but today — especially on the Republican side of the political divide — they’re mostly ordinary, if not embarrassing (as in the instance of our Tweeter-in-Chief).
If the truth is told, healthcare policy is way beyond the conservative political establishment’s pay grade. If the ACA doesn’t work — then blame the Heritage Foundation for originally envisioning this Rube Goldberg contraption, and hang up the phone next time they call Americans’ with an idea. Only ideology-obsessed conservatives would attempt to reinvent the wheel, in the process guaranteeing that everyone but the Koch Brothers and their high-net-worth brethren, end up in a ditch.
If Republicans were compassionate, concerned about health care for all of our citizens and actually worked for the best interests of people rather than their personal portfolios, they’d be Democrats. Not that the Democrats are perfect. They’re just not so blatantly motivated by greed in the service of cruelty to the old, the poor and the sick. They’re the ones raising the alarm against the closed-door machinations of Republicans, who are being whipped by the president to do something, anything to uphold the appearance of Republican legitimacy.
But legitimacy has left the building. Their only goal is to replace Obama’s legacy in effigy by replacing Obamacare. It’s all the G.O.P. Obamacare’s about.
The Affordable Care Act was a novel idea, and even its proponents knew that it would require mid-course corrections along the way. But the idea of tweaking Obama’s legacy would only make it look better in retrospect, and done so by the hands of Republicans. There could never be too many deaths or untreated illnesses among the hoi-polloi to justify that.
The problem with an insurance model for health care is that people don’t want to pay exorbitant insurance fees. Why should they? It’s medical assistance they want. Not an insurance broker. That’s why a Universal model works very well. Just like water and sewage, garbage collection or mail service. Public transportation. Or your local school. Ok, so taxes would support the healthcare system. But everybody can use it! Without worries about getting sick — except the sickness or injury itself.
I sincerely doubt that the ACA fulfilled Obama’s dream, he even tried to include a single payer option but it was blocked by Lieberman (please readers, never forgive that man for this betrayal).
Democrats need to exploit this current Republican humiliation and stand up for Medicare for Americans of all ages unequivocally.