Who Are These People?

On New Year’s eve, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer granted a stay to the Sisters of the Poor allowing them to escape certain benefits contained in the Affordable Care Act.  The Sisters argued that even though they would not physically have to pay for these women’s health provisions, just having to assign the right to someone else violated their religious beliefs.  In the good Sisters’ collective minds, it was ok for their employees to receive substandard health care (compared to everyone else) just because the Catholic Church does not teach sensible family planning.  This matter will be decided eventually in the Courts but I am not sure how these otherwise holy people can sleep at night.

The Sisters are not the only ones who take exception to the ACA.  The talk shows are constantly declaring that Americans are overwhelmingly against the ACA.  Who are these people and why?

Let’s begin with those over 65.  They are part of Medicare and covered even with pre-existing conditions.  They have no basis to be against ACA.

Next, lets look at those employed by major employers both private and public.  These Americans continue receiving the same benefits as before, and although costs are rising, there is no indication that ACA is driving up costs yet.

How about those who could afford insurance and are under 26?  Why, they are included now on their parents plans if they are still dependents.

How about those with pre-existing conditions?  Guess what, they can now purchase insurance at rates far lower than before.  Its not them.

Well, what about those living in reach of the poverty level?  Here it does get murky.  In States that have expanded Medicaid, the path is clear.  Adding in Government subsidies, these poorer Americans can get insurance at very low rates.  Those living in States which refused to be part of the Medicaid expansion, the story is not so pretty.  These Americans, however, are far short of any majority.  Hmmm.

Arguably ACA is far from perfect.  A straight forward, single payer, universal health care delivery system would have been far superior.  It would also have been a nightmare to implement given the irrational stand many take when the single payer system is suggested.

If we assume the news media has not made up the numbers and that a majority of Americans are indeed against ACA, we must ask why?  Is it they feel they personally have no responsibility for those with pre-existing conditions, or are too poor to purchase health insurance?  Do these Americans subscribe to the notion that all Americans are entitle to as much health insurance as they can afford?

Undoubtably, this is the position of some Americans.  Even the Sisters of the Poor are for everyone being insured.  The Sisters just have this one aspect they do not want anyone to obtain, but otherwise they want health care for those who cannot afford it.  So does this give us insight on “who those people are”?

I think so.  Those opposing ACA are people who cannot see beyond their own personal circumstances.  If they already have insurance and have the ability to purchase the full range of women’s health care procedures, then ACA brings nothing special.  It is those who lie at the margins who might not be able to get preventive care that needs and wants the full ACA package.

Strangely, many of those groups opposing ACA also oppose women’s rights (abortion).  ACA offers one path to minimizing abortion while dignifying a women’s right to choose.  Avoiding unwanted pregnancies is the most straight forward way to satisfy both sides of the abortion debate.  I wonder whether the Sisters in their heart of hearts support the position?

 

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