In shutting down the federal government, GOP congressional leaders said they wanted to save us from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (aka “Obamacare”). In other words, they want to save Americans from an idea that they, themselves, proposed in 1996 and successfully implemented in Massachusetts as an alternative to universal health care.
So what great evils are they trying to keep at bay on our behalf?
They are trying to block our access to online marketplaces that will allow hundreds of thousands of Americans to choose more affordable options for health insurance. (Yes, HealthCare.gov will soon be fixed and, if the experience of Massachusetts is any indication, customers will wait until the last few weeks to sign up.) They are trying to overturn a new government rule that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. They are trying to overturn a new rule that prevents insurance companies from terminating policies rather than pay the costs of medical treatments. They are trying to save us from the tax credits we’ll receive for purchasing health insurance.
The GOP and their wealthy contributors are trying to save up to 50 million Americans from being able to afford private health insurance for the first time. They are trying to keep parents from adding adult children up to age 26 to their own insurance policies. They are trying to save us from subsidized preventative care that will help identify medical conditions before they become more serious (and expensive) diseases.
They are trying to make sure that those who already have health insurance will continue to bear the costs of the uninsured who use the Emergency Room for routine health care visits. They are trying to preserve Washington’s largest group of lobbyists. Teapublicans are trying to ensure that the cost of health care benefits continue to encourage large corporations to ship middle class jobs overseas. Finally, they are trying to ensure that increases in health care costs continue to outpace inflation and that the cost of prescriptions will continue to skyrocket.
It’s obvious we need someone to rescue us for these self-proclaimed rescuers!