Sunday, August 16, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidates Continue to Disparage Obamacare, But They Are Wrong

By D. DiFrancesco

Republicans have been relentless in their attempts over the past couple of years to repeal the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare.

A countless number of votes in Congress along with numerous court challenges to have Obamacare repealed have essentially been fruitless resulting in the act becoming the law of the land.  Those most vocal about the law are those who are least affected by it.  If you have an employer sponsored health plan or Medicare you very unlikely to be affected at all, but if you listen to Fox News you would think that nearly every American is paying more or in many of their reported cases, an exorbitantly higher amount for insurance than they were before.  This in fact is blatantly false.  Yes, you may be paying more for insurance if you chose not to have insurance in the first place or if your plan was sub-par though those that fall into this category are in the minority.

I for one have been in favor of the Affordable Care Act from its inception.  I have a decent health insurance plan that is sponsored by my employer and that I still contribute toward on a monthly basis to the tune of approximately $700 per month yet I still benefit from portions of the act.  I am able to provide insurance for my under 26 year old children at a much lower rate than what they would pay on their own and I appreciate the fact that preexisting conditions can not be held against you should you change jobs or insurance plans.  I can’t imagine that anyone would not like these benefits of the ACA.

Those that preferred the pre-ACA healthcare environment don’t seem to realize that requiring insurance of every American can only help.  Individuals that didn’t have insurance or only had sub-par insurance were generally obligated to go to their local emergency rooms for care in the case of illness.  Typically these individuals left the hospitals stuck with a bill that they could not and would not pay.  These costs are then passed on to...guess and me through higher insurance premiums and higher costs for medical services.

Ultimately I would have preferred that we took this to the point of providing universal healthcare for all.  We already have it for seniors through the Medicare system.  We simply would need to eliminate the age restrictions on this plan and expand it to everyone.  

I recently was confronted with the typical argument that “we don’t want a plan like they have in Canada, you know the Canadians don’t like it”, but in fact that is nothing but a Republican talking point.  Of all developed countries there are only two that don’t have universal healthcare provided to their citizens and guess who those two are, they are the United States and tiny Belarus.  I also looked at life expectancy around the world and the United States comes in at a dismal #42 on the list while Canada, with the plan that Republicans tell us no one likes is #14.

I suppose that as usual the United States is right while every other developed nation in the world is wrong.

I don’t think so.