January 16, 2017 by Chris Kite
Republicans really excel at obstructing progress. That is probably one of their strongest skill sets. They use hyperbole and outright lies to tell us how bad something is or will be. If you remember, “Obamacare” was the end of America. It would destroy the economy because healthcare is such a big part of our economy. It would create healthcare rationing. It would take away choice. It created death panels.
Of course none of those things happened. Not even close.
So what to do if you want to kill President Obama’s signature health care act? Keep telling us how horrible Obamacare is. Point out the biggest premium increases while failing to mention that in some states, premiums actually dropped. Ignore the fact that prior to Obamacare, large regular premium increases were a way of life. Tell us how unsuccessful it is, even as it enrolls even more people that prior years.
The article I’ve linked below examines the lies Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told to try to scare people into supporting the repeal of Obamacare before anyone has any idea how it will get replaced. Keep in mind that turning something off is relatively easy. Creating something new is difficult. Very difficult. If it were so easy to create a new healthcare solution, it is very unlikely President Obama would have had to struggle to get the votes to create Obamacare/ACA when he had a party majority in the House and big majority in the Senate.
Like President Obama, I’m all for improving our healthcare system. I fully support changes to Obamacare that make it better. I would fully support a replacement plan if it actually improved on Obamacare. But it must include some of the core pieces of Obamacare. It must prevent denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions. It must not cap lifetime spending. It must not have higher deductions.
I’m extraordinarily skeptical that the Republicans can come up with a program that meets these goals. The provisions in Obamacare are not some random policies that were not carefully thought out. A mandate is a difficult thing for many to swallow. But without it, how do insurance companies make money? A large percentage of people would wait to get coverage until they were sick. Because, after all, if you cannot deny someone coverage because pre-existing conditions, risk takers are going to see no problem waiting until they really need coverage. This will kill insurance industry profits. That is why Mitt Romney included a mandate in his program in Massachusetts years ago.
So stop lying about the flaws! There are flaws, that is for sure. But let’s be honest about them. The flaws are not half as horrible as the GOP would suggest. But they are problematic and they certainly could stand to be fixed.
Stopping telling us you’ll have a replacement after you repeal the existing law. Put some work into this. Earn your money. Do your jobs. Come up with a plan, present the plan, and let people provide feedback. One of the biggest criticisms of Obamacare early on was that it was pretty much rammed through Congress. There is certainly some validity to that complaint. So why now, is the very party that complained about Obamacare being rammed through congress without adequate review and feedback, trying to ram through repeal of the existing law without any details what-so-ever about how they will replace it.
High risk pools are NOT a replacement. They are a poor strategy for providing sick people with coverage. They still don’t address the bankrupting high costs of having a major medical condition. Do we want to see to it that ALL Americans are successful and able to live a good life, or just those that are healthy and able to afford “regular” insurance.
Insurance across state lines doesn’t really address many issues. Plus it takes away a state’s ability to regulate healthcare.
Stop the lies. Stop the hyperbole. Tell us your plans. Let American’s have input.