With the nation at their mercy Republicans are about to blow the mission they staked their reputation to the instant Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act. We’ve heard the buzzwords: repeal, replace, dismantle. We might as well add destroy. The press isn’t great, but how could it be? Republicans will be lucky to make this sale to themselves not because their ideas are bad, but because their campaign to make this overhaul palatable is all wrong.
Should health care be an issue of personal choice or government responsibility? Does the answer still matter? The Affordable Care Act is a done deal. Republicans failed to get rid of it. Despite raising issues ranging from the legality of the individual mandate to whether we should make exceptions for employers’ religious beliefs, the core provision of Obamacare remains unchanged. Americans better carry health insurance, or else.
The recent Supreme Court decision on contraception requirements in the ACA argue in favor of an employer’s choice over government mandates. On the individual level, how can the government justify assuming the responsibility for our health care under threat of punishment when it is fundamentally incapable of administering a program of this scale? Medicare and Medicaid are rife with fraud and wasteful spending and we already have federal inspector general reports questioning the reliability of the eligibility data for those who signed up for Obamacare exchanges. Given the disastrous rollout and our government’s proven inability to make technology work, will anyone but the residents of the White House try to explain these problems as anything but another failure of big government?
Despite talk about socialized medicine, the Affordable Care Act did not give us a European-style health care system. Far from it. Instead of a public option we expanded Medicaid for low income Americans, a copout from Democrats who couldn’t make the public option fly. The result was a two-tiered health care system, private insurance overregulated by the government for people with money and poor people’s health care paid for by taxpayers. Is this the enlightened 21st century system we were promised?
For all their votes to get rid of Obamacare, Republicans still bear guilt for doing nothing to improve American health care when they had the chance. Nothing was done during the majority years under George W. Bush. Conservative lawmakers were content to ignore problems that should have been solved, like preexisting condition exclusions, until it was too late and Democrats seized their advantage. Now we have a behemoth we don’t want that is not going to do what we were promised but will cost us lots of money. That is the state of America’s health care system and the focus of this category.
UPDATE March 26, 2017: seven years of promises and votes to repeal the ACA and Republicans still don’t have a replacement they can agree on. The House spent two days last week showing the nation just how divided they can be when it comes to making our lives better. Democrats will step in to fill the vacuum as the GOP continues its quest to anger the nation and hand the left a victory in the 2018 midterms.
Go ahead. Sit back, count your money, and watch Republicans dispose of Obamacare. They promised to do it. It’s what we wanted. The party has been waiting for the chance for years. The new White House will claim a massive victory for the people when it’s done. Will it make a difference? Whatever the ACA gets replaced with, there will be no solution to the single worst health care problem in America: people getting sick and dying early because they don’t take care of themselves.
If someone close to you has died from cancer or if you have been diagnosed, you know all too well that curing cancer is important. Cancer changes lives in ways that can never be repaired. Keeping this in mind, were you amused or offended by the newest grab from our lame duck president for more space in the history books?
My father died last Wednesday. He was a World War II veteran and a good man with an infallible moral compass. He had been sick for a long time. For those of you who have not had the experience of watching a loved one leave this world despite the best efforts of medical science, know that dying can be difficult.