Recently, Republicans have accused Obama of telling the biggest lie in American politics– they have not forgotten about the run-up to the Iraq war, they just want you to forget it. The lie that Obama supposedly told was that if you liked your insurance you could keep it. It is true that some people are being dropped by their insurance companies– but as I said last week, many of these were ‘junk’ policies that don’t meet current standards. Most people either don’t read, or don’t understand “the fine print”.
Are the Republicans telling you the truth when it comes to the Affordable Care Act? It should be clear to all of us by now that they are out to overturn it by any means necessary. But would they resort to over lies? This is what they have to say about Obamacare:
1). It is a socialist program– a government ‘takeover’ of health care. Actually it is the epitome of private enterprise, insurance companies competing for your business in an open marketplace. Yet, given the deception which has taken place in the past, not just with insurance companies, but with banks and mortgage companies, the Obama administration wants to hold them to certain standards. This is why ‘junk’ policies are no longer legal– they can’t hide things from you and deny you care, just when you most need it.
Obamacare is not government run– but it is regulated. It is still profit driven private enterprise.
2). We should delay it for one year. This is the standard Republican tactic for making something permanent. Remember the Bush tax cuts for the rich? They were supposed to be temporary, but if McCain had been elected they would be permanent. Every time they were about to expire the Republicans said, that we can’t “raise taxes” in a recession. If the ‘temporary’ remains long enough it will become permanent.
They don’t simply want to delay implementation for one year, they want to repeal the whole law. They have voted to do so over 40 times. They believe that if they can delay it long enough they might be able to find some way to actually kill it. They were shocked that the Supreme Court upheld the law (they weren’t supposed to) and they will mount even more challenges to health care reform.
3). They have something better to replace it with. This is what they said beginning in 2009 when the Democrats began working on health care reform. Keep in mind that the Republicans held both chambers of the legislature and the White House for six years and did not say one word about health care reform.
If they have something to replace it with, what is it? I am a news ‘addict’ and I haven’t been able to find it. Please if anyone knows what the Republican replacement plan is, let me know, I’d like to see it.
Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, keeps saying that Republicans have to come up with new ideas, they have to quit being the party of dumb and start being the smart party. But even he doesn’t come up with new ideas. If he had any he would just bring them up instead of merely asking others to.
4). The United States had the best heath care system in the world. Actually this is a half-truth. We do have the best health care in the world, but only for those who can afford it. We are actually ranked 37th in terms of overall outcomes and this is because we have one of the most unfair heath care systems in the world. When it comes to treating the poor we are more like a ‘third world’ country.
We do have the best health care right here in the United States, but the system is what gets health care to people who need it. Here is what is holding us back. Obamacare would actually take the best health care– and make it a better system by getting it to more people who need it.
5). Obamacare will destroy America. Keep in mind that this is what they said about Social Security, and this is what they said about Medicare. If the Republicans had their way we would have never had Social Security or Medicare. This should make you think twice before you ‘vote’ on Obamacare. Many people realize that both Social Security and Medicare can be improved, we also know that Obamacare can be improved. The truth is that Republican politicians don’t want to improve these three programs, they want to do away with them. But they are going about it in a dishonest manner.
During the Bush administration the plan was to ‘privatize’ Social Security– which amounts to doing away with it. Paul Ryan still has a Republican plan to replace Medicare with ‘vouchers’ – which is the first step in doing away with it. And they talk about delaying Obamacare for one year, which is the first step in doing away with it.
The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, it can be improved. But if it is killed we will never have meaningful health care reform in this country. Democrats have been trying for over 60 years to make the system more fair and accessible, this is as far as we have got. If we turn back now – the other side will continue their push to undo Medicare and Social Security. If we push on we will be able to improve Obamacare– rather than kill it.
Tomorrow: Why Young People Should Buy Health Insurance.