States that thus far have decided to implement their own healthcare exchanges and the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid have shown better pricing and cost savings than expected. These states have acknowledged that there is a severe healthcare problem in the United States and that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the only program since the inception of this country to attempt to provide universal healthcare insurance to the vast majority of its citizens. It is neither perfect nor the best option, but it was the only politically viable solution given the moneyed interests controlling America’s politics.
From President Theodore Roosevelt through George W Bush, presidents have attempted to materially improve and make America’s healthcare system more humane. A few had successes in making the system incrementally better, but they all failed in creating a comprehensive national program to provide universal healthcare. President Obama has been criticized by most for the compromises he made to achieve these goals. Anyone following the history of all the attempts must conclude that the success in achieving the Affordable Care Act was genius.
The genius in achieving the passage of Obamacare is immediately evident after reading the transcribed talk titled “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US” given by Karen S. Palmer MPH, MS in San Francisco at the Spring, 1999 Physicians For A National Health Program (PNHP) meeting. The talk revealed the headwinds that have blown over every President attempting to pass some form of universal healthcare. Doctor associations, insurance industry, unions, and other groups have always created opposition in some combination that guaranteed failure. She described the reason for failure as follows.
Political naiveté on the part of the reformers in failing to deal with the interest group opposition, ideology, historical experience, and the overall political context all played a key role in shaping how these groups identified and expressed their interests.
In effect, the very compromises President Obama has been knocked for are the compromises that allowed the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It was a running start that will need modification. The president is cognizant of this fact and he stated that much in the State Of The Union Speech on January 25th, 2011.
Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. (Laughter.) So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. (Applause.)
What I’m not willing to do -- what I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition. (Applause.)
I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business man from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their patients’ -- parents’ coverage. (Applause.)
So I say to this chamber tonight, instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and let’s move forward. (Applause.)
Instead of attempting to be proactive and provide constructive input or assistance in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to assist Americans, the GOP and its moneyed cohorts have decided to execute a kamikaze mission. Ezra Klein in his Washington Post article “The GOP’s kamikaze mission to stop Obamacare” says it best.
The campaign against Obamacare began as a campaign for self-interest. Obamacare, conservatives promised, would raise your taxes, take away your doctor and possibly put you in front of a death panel. The fight to keep it from passing was a fight to keep bad things from happening.
But the effort has devolved into something much weirder: A campaign of self-sacrifice. The current crop of Republican strategies ask conservative congressmen to hurt their constituents and their political prospects, conservative governors to hurt their states, and conservative activists to hurt themselves. It’s a kamikaze mission to stop Obamacare.
California, Oregon, Washington, New York, & Maryland, states that are working to ensure that Obamacare work for its citizens, are encountering pricing successes. States attempting to sabotage the Affordable Care Act are using their citizens as sacrificial lambs. They are putting their citizens’ medical health and fiscal health at risk for a failed ideological reason.
By now all the good that is effected by Obamacare should be common knowledge. It forbids insurance companies from rescinding policies that ultimately promotes personal bankruptcies. It prevents insurance companies from denying coverage even if one has a pre-existing condition. It lowers rates by creating exchanges where insurance companies compete for customers. It forces insurance companies to include disease screening with their plans at no additional cost. It allows children to be on parents’ health insurance policies till age 26. It prevents insurance companies from just pocketing ones premium, requiring them to spend at least 80% of premiums on healthcare. It subsidizes premiums based on income to ensure affordability for the rich, the middle class, and the poor.
One must not be fooled going forward by the barrage of misinformation and immoral advertising that will attempt to demonize the Affordable Care Act in the next few months leading up to the opening of the health insurance exchanges on October 1st 2013 and subsequently. Get valid and accurate information directly from http://healthcare.gov. If those that oppose Obamacare were more interested in the well-being of their citizens, would they not adopt it for the good it does today and work to modify it to correct any unforeseen ills or unintended consequences later?
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