There’s a lot to celebrate with the Affordable Care Act. If you lose your job, you can still get health coverage for you and your family at an affordable price. An insurer can’t turn you down due to a pre-existing condition. You’ll still have a choice of policies and similar access to doctors.
But the ACA represents everything that’s wrong with our political leadership.
The Obama administration had good reason to try fixing our tattered, expensive and bizarrely inefficient health care system. A panel of doctors, epidemiologists, demographers and other researchers brought together by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine released a report in January concluding that U.S. health care ranks last in effectiveness among the world’s 17 developed nations. Meanwhile, it’s the second most expensive, even though, unlike other countries, it has huge gaps in coverage.
The legislation is the president’s hallmark achievement, and so Republicans want to make it fail far more than they want to save people’s lives. One of the worst offenders is Gov. Scott Walker, who hopes to ascend to the White House by preventing as many people as possible from gaining the benefits of health care reform.
But Obama and the Democratic Party gave critics fodder by creating an overly complex law designed to please the monied interests and win over right-wing critics rather than a law to provide citizens with the most affordable and expansive coverage possible. Fearing the demagoguery of critics slinging terms like “socialized medicine,” Barack Obama shackled us with a half-assed law so weighted down by bureaucracy and exceptions that it’s impossible to explain – and difficult to defend.
Other industrialized nations have some form of a single-payer plan. In those countries, rich people can still get whatever care they want, and poor and middle-class citizens get better coverage for a far lower cost than we do under the ACA.
One reason for that lower cost is cutting out the middle man: the insurance companies. For instance, United HealthGroup CEO Stephen Hemsley was paid nearly $13 million in 2012 – to do what? There are rich CEOs like Hemsley at scores of health insurance companies, and they have deputies under them who also receive extravagant salaries and bonuses without directly helping a single patient. Under Obamacare, insurance companies are mandated to spend a reasonable portion of premiums they collect on providing actual health care.
The bottom line is that Obamacare is both a failure and a vast improvement. Ultimately it might lead to the single-payer plan that it should have been from the get-go.
Ignore all the lies about Obamacare coming from the tea party. Jump in and learn all you can about it for yourself by going to government Internet sources. Make the most of it and it will improve your life.
And then dream what could have been if we didn’t live in such a corrupt, ignorant and politically cutthroat society.
For more, go to obamacarefacts.com.