Republicans think they’re messing with Obama, and “Obamacare”. I think they’ll find that they’re messing with people’s health care. And that most people won’t take too kindly to that.
Mike Capuano wrote recently in the Globe how the Republicans are so afraid that
Obamacare The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act might work, that they’re dedicating themselves to making sure it doesn’t:
Republicans have denied funding for essential preparations and made it plain they will resist confirmation of presidential nominees needed to administer it. Moreover, the Republican-led House has voted to defund the law and targeted specific aspects of it. They have voted to withhold salaries for employees who will set up health care exchanges, the marketplace where consumers will go to choose a plan. They have voted to repeal funding for school-based health care centers and voted numerous times to eliminate the Prevention Trust Fund. You don’t have to be a doctor to recognize that preventing illness is cheaper than treating it. Eliminating funding for programs like this will result in higher health care costs.
And then you’ve got Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation trying to throw a monkey wrench into the works, with endless public FUD:
While opposition to the health-care program is nothing new, the tactics are changing. Rather than focusing on repealing the law in Congress and the courts, two avenues that have failed so far, the groups are aiming to prevent the cornerstone of the legislation, the insurance exchanges, from succeeding. Their goal is to limit enrollments, drive up costs, and make it easier to roll back all or part of the law later.
“If you’re committed to making sure Obamacare doesn’t go into effect, you have to focus on the expansion and on the exchanges,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action. “Once you have people under a program, it’s really hard to change that system no matter how badly it needs change.”
Aha. “The law won’t work. So we need to prevent it from working.” That makes a hell of a lot of sense.
The law is, in fact, working. This is not news to us in Massachusetts since we have a quite similar system already; which is functional, does what it’s supposed to do, enjoys wide support, and is non-controversial. Go us. This will likely be a similar experience in those states, like California and Oregon, that are putting in a good-faith, vigorous effort to create the exchanges, negotiate with plans, and make the pricing system transparent.
And young people have been benefiting from the law in precisely the way it was intended: Less exposure to crippling medical bills. (My goodness, did Congress actually do right by young adults for once??)
In the New England Journal of Medicine, the RAND analysis found that the new law resulted in $147 million in hospital bills charged to private insurance companies in 2011.
“Some of those costs would have been born by individuals,” said Mulcahy. “Some of those costs would have been ultimately been born by hospitals as uncompensated care.”
The population that gets benefits from the Affordable Care Act will continue to grow. And people are going to remember those 37 repeal votes and the endless mischief and toying with people’s lives, as embodying the Republican brand.
Good luck with that, fellas.