The GOP has fallen into a malaise that has been unheard of for nearly 50 years. The Right-Wing of the party has gained control of the House of Representatives, mainly because the establishment in the GOP are more afraid of them “primarying them” than they are of losing general elections, and have stigmatized the party brand as out-of-touch.
Problem is that the so-called establishment has gotten so caught up in this fiasco, they have totally lost sight of the fact that they are in office to “govern”. They have totally bought into this contempt for average Americans. The latest example of the GOPs contempt is the OMB report. In that report, the OMB stated that many people will either reduce their hours or actually leave the workforce because they don’t need to depend upon their employers for their health insurance. Obviously, the GOP leapt on that report as their “proof” that the ACA will cost jobs.
That isn’t what the OMB report said. It said people will cut hours or leave the workforce “voluntarily”. There are a lot of reasons this will happen. Yes, some will cut their hours to keep their premium costs down using tax subsidies. Tax subsidies paid for by the medical equipment tax the GOP also wants to delete. Others will leave work to become full-time mothers or fathers. Some will leave work to start up their own business. Some will leave work to retire.
Right now, a person can retire with Social Security at 62 years old. But, you don’t get Medicare coverage until age 65. Therefore, unless a spouse is working in a job that offers health insurance, many people are forced to work until at least age 65 so they don’t lose their health insurance. The insurance guaranty coverage under the ACA means that more people could retire at age 62. Additionally, people who were able to save substantially more, may be able to retire at an earlier age.
The GOP seems to think that no one should be able to retire early unless they are part of the 1%. As a matter of fact, one way they want to “fix” Social Security is to force people to work until age 70. Of course, most Americans don’t agree with that argument. Blue-collar workers are generally physically worn out before age 62. Blue-collar workers are often injured on the job and that results in nagging pain or injuries that last a lifetime. Even if not injured, the sheer labor needed in these positions often lead to physical pain over time. They shouldn’t have to wait until 65 to retire if they can afford to retire earlier. The ACA makes it possible for them to consider more options.
I have a friend who has severe back problems. He was involved in a couple of traffic accidents that has caused him back pain for years. When he was 60, he really wanted to retire. The daily commute to his job was full of pain. He was continually seeing doctors and on medication for his pain. He even came to the realization that his pain was affecting his ability to do his job properly. But, even though he had been able to save enough for retirement, he couldn’t retire early because it would mean he would lose his insurance. He wasn’t going to be covered in a new policy because he had “a pre-existing condition”.
If the ACA had been in effect at that time, he would have been able to retire early. But, since he was totally dependent upon his employer-provided health insurance, he was forced to continue to work. The costs of his medication prevented him from retiring early.
Some may even leave the workforce in order to “start-up” their own business. Because they will be able to get affordable health insurance, they will be freer to make a go at their dreams. I thought the GOP was all in favor of small business start-ups!
The GOP is really big on complaining about “family values” declining in America. One major reason for this decline is due to wage stagnation over the last 40 years both parents must work in order to make ends meet. Many couples believe it would be better for their children if one of them could stay at home and take care of their children.
Yet, now that more couples may have that option because they will be able to get health insurance without working, the GOP is calling them lazy for not wanting to work. They say that the ACA is a disincentive to work. Well, I have news for the GOP. The ACA isn’t going to put food on the table. It isn’t going to put a roof over their heads. It isn’t going to help them pay their bills. It merely offers those who can afford it a choice between working full-time while trying to raise a family or working part-time or not at all. It won’t hurt the economy as they claim. As a matter of fact, if more people voluntarily drop out of the workforce, more unemployed would be able to find a job because these folks are leaving and opening up a position.
This attack on the ACA over the OMB report is just another attempt by the GOP to show their utter contempt for the working-class and the working-poor. In all my years of watching and participating in politics, I have never seen such contempt for the average American as the current crop of the GOP. I have come to the conclusion that the GOP wants the working-class and working-poor to bow down on their knees and thank the 1% for “letting us serve their magnificence”! According to the GOP, we are simply their toys to use or throw away anytime they wish. Once we finally face up to that fact, the GOP will finally be happy!