It is obvious that the Republicans are going to continue to argue against the Affordable Care Act no matter what! The Federal Website is now capable of handling 50,000 people at a time and up to 800,000 people daily, according to the White House. Yes, there are still problems with the site overall, but the user side seems to be working better.
As usual, the Republican Base the so-called “angry white male” voters, are still arguing with the Republicans about the ACA being “socialist”. Some are even throwing out bogus numbers like “91 percent of everyone who signed up has chosen Medicaid”. That is utter nonsense. But, even if it were true, let’s look at some real facts that the Republicans don’t want you to know and they refuse to answer any questions about.
The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Moffit wrote that the ACA’s individual mandate is “an Unconstitutional Violation of Personal Liberty” that “Strikes at the Heart of American Federalism. It is an assertion of federal power that is inherently at odds with the original vision of the Framers.” Yet, in 1989 it was the Heritage Foundation itself that argued the Federal Government should mandate that all households have adequate health insurance in a paper by Stuart M. Butler. He states:
“Many states now require passengers to wear seatbelts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious injury or illness.” He went on to say “Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.” If you still have any doubt about whose plan contains this individual mandate proposal, the section of the document containing these words is titled “The Heritage Plan.”
Furthermore, Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare uses the exact type of exchanges that the Republicans are now saying doesn’t work. The description for this privatization of Medicare is still up on his website:
“Beginning in 2024, for those workers born in 1959 or later, Medicare would offer them a choice of private plans competing alongside traditional fee-for-service option (sic) on a newly created Medicare Exchange … The Medicare Exchange would provide all seniors with a competitive marketplace where they could choose a plan the same way members of Congress do.” Sound familiar?
Here is something that you have never heard from the Republicans. Since 25 states who either have a Republican Governor or Republican controlled state legislature have refused to expand Medicaid in their states, several rural hospitals, rural hospitals will be the hardest hit, are going to be closing their doors in these states. Why would not expanding Medicaid force hospitals to close their doors? It is simple. Part of the plan, which again came from the Heritage Foundation, states that since everyone would have health care, the government would stop financing the treatment of uninsured people at hospitals, which by law they are required to treat.
Currently, the uninsured being treat by hospitals costs the Federal Government nearly $40 billion per year! Republicans wanted state control over the ACA, now they are forcing several of their hospitals, especially in rural areas, to close their doors because they refuse to expand Medicaid. But, not to be thwarted, the Governor of Georgia claims that since he won’t expand Medicaid, he wants the Government to subsidize his hospitals anyway. The really sad thing about this whole process is that expanding Medicaid won’t cost the states a single dime for the first three years. After that, the Federal Government will fund a full 90% of the yearly costs for the expansion. There is no financial reason for states NOT to expand Medicaid.
Consider this for one minute, even if you have health insurance but you live in a rural area where the hospital closes, you won’t be able to get your health care in your local area. That will cost jobs, economic growth, and force you to drive several miles, or possibly several hundred miles, to get treatment. In critical or urgent care cases, what will that mean?
The Republicans are also arguing that mandating birth control as a menu item in health care laws violates a business owner’s right to religious freedom. They argue that if a business owner does not want to include birth control pills in their health insurance because of religious beliefs, they have that right. They don’t tell you that these same business owners only offer health coverage because they get huge tax relief for doing so. Nor to they tell you that by refusing to cover anything mandated, it is violating the worker’s right to spend their personal money the way they choose. Yes, I said personal money. Health Insurance is part of compensation packages. The owner gets tax breaks and the employee pays into the health care plan as well, with tax breaks. By denying any coverage from a health plan, the owner is telling the employees they can’t spend their money they way they choose.
Besides all of that, if this is agreed to by SCOTUS, which has agreed to hear the case, what Pandora’s box will be opened? If I own a business and I am Muslim, will this mean I can force my employees to participate in prayer sessions at the given times of day? My religious belief would dictate that is the proper thing to do. Does that give me the right to force my employees to join in? I know, several would say this analogy is ridiculous. But, if an individual can skirt one law under the name of religious freedom, than he can skirt others.
The ACA is based on the premise that exchanges will help foster competition and help drive down the costs of health care. The Republicans argue that it will drive up the cost of health care. Yet, they are willing to apparently “drive up the costs” of Medicare and Social Security! Because creating such exchanges for Medicare and similar “investment” exchanges for Social Security is their plan for the future! If the ACA is the government meddling in the private lives of Americans, isn’t their plan for Medicare and Social Security the same? What do you think so-called “angry white male voters”?
We all know that the ACA is not perfect. We all know about the roll-out problems, which by the way were created by a “private contractor” not government employees. When Congress passed the ACA, it knew it would have to be tweaked. It knew that changes were going to be inevitable. They planned on fixing problems as the crept up.
The ACA is an insurance company run plan, not a government-run plan. Look at some differences. Medicare works well for our seniors. VA Hospitals work well for our veterans. If we truly want hassle free easy access to health care we should expand Medicare for all!!! But, since the Republicans want to end Medicare as it is, that will probably never happen to the chagrin of us all!