With the Supreme Court deciding that the Affordable Care Act was Constitution (mostly), one would think the raging political argument would be over. The law won, let’s get on with life. Wrong.
In speeches by both President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney, exaggeration, if not outright miss truths filled their comments. The President gave the ACA more credit than it has actually earned, and Romney criticized the law for reasons that don’t stand the test of “so what if it is true”? Fact Check has an analysis.
Both Romney and Obama are using their party’s sound bites. The President is trying to convince the 80% of insured Americans everything is ok (while asking the other 20% to vote for him), while Romney is trying to tell the same 80% that life as you know it is about to end (so vote for him). No one is telling the 80% why helping the 20% uninsured is actually in their best interest.
The American health care delivery system rests upon employers, using tax incentives, to provide health care insurance to their employees. Most of the 80%, think this is great and many see no need for change. But what if?
What if employers decided it was better for them to not offer insurance? Where would the newly uninsured workers go to find coverage? What prices would they need to pay?
If ACA is repealed, the uninsured would be at the mercy of insurers. Pre-existing condition? Oh, you pay this large amount or in some cases, there is no insurance at all.
So let’s consider the rest of the GOP statement, “replace”. Replace with what?
The GOP is all over ACA for the inclusion of about $500 billion in new taxes and fees. Why? The fees help to pay for the new services. Does the GOP know how to increase health care coverage and sharply reduce its costs? If so, this would be break through information.
Of course countries like Germany and France already offer health care with better outcomes than the US and at costs per capita about one half of the US. Is that what Romney is thinking?
I remember his (and anyone else following the conservative talking points) say that Europe uses “socialized” medicine. They say that is not good for us. Hmmm. Everyone insured, better outcomes, half the cost. Hmmm.
Well if the GOP does not mean a European style health care system, what do they mean?
The “repeal” part I understand. The “replace” part seems still vague. Does it include all Americans? Does it lower health care per capita costs? Will Medicare remain the same without the $500 billion the ACA says will be saved over the next 10 years?
I will have to be patient, I guess.
What I suspect, in any case, is that the GOP and all the conservatives backing them, will aim to keep the 80% happy and simply forget about the 20%. There is no way their math works if they attack the 20%. In the future, maybe the 20% will grow to 40% or more. If so, then it will be time to change the spin and adopt an ACA-like plan, maybe one more like Romney instituted in Massachusetts when he was Governor.