Exactly what is wrong about Obamacare? Republicans will tell us that they don’t want socialism in America. If this is true, why aren’t Republicans calling for repeal of Medicare and Social Security? These programs, especially Social Security, are far more socialist than Obamacare, which is a market-based health care system, albeit government regulated, where corporations provide health insurance. Social Security on the other hand, is run exclusively by the government.
Another objection is that Republicans don’t want the government issuing regulations that interfere with the doctor/patient relationship; yet they don’t seem to mind the dehumanizing interference of insurance companies who hire armies of people for the express purpose of denying coverage in order to create tens of millions of dollars in profits that is paid each year to their top executives.
Exactly what are these regulations that are so onerous? The only answer I have seen in response to this questions involves the lies and misrepresentations offered by right wing talk radio hosts who claim Obamacare relies on bureaucrats to decide who gets treatment and who is denied. This claim is ridiculous on its face. It is a distortion of the real practice of Obamacare, which will rely on statistical analysis of medical treatments to determine which treatment works bests. This information allows doctors to make better decisions when developing their own treatment protocols. I don’t know about you, but I want my doctor to have this kind of information and use it wisely. Those who are more committed to their political ideology than science will have a different opinion.
Another reason to repeal Obamacare is that it will increase the cost of health insurance. The strange part of this argument is that it ignores the reason Obamacare was created in the first place: costs were skyrocketing out of control while quality of care was embarrassing compared to other countries in the industrialized world. Before Obamacare, affordability of coverage was such a critical issue that over 30,000 people died each year simply because they could not afford health insurance. Only time will tell if Obamacare turns out to have a rising cost trajectory similar to the pre-Obamacare days. There is credible evidence on both sides of this argument. My preference is to try something new in the face of a system that was failing in terms of both cost and quality of care. Those who mindlessly and selectively rail against big government will do what they always do: nostalgically yearn for their idealized past that never existed and cannot be created.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, what Republicans have labeled as Obamacare, was approved by the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. It was signed into law by the President. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is constitutional. The mandate of the President to implement Obamacare was confirmed in the 2012 Presidential election when voters returned Obama to office to carry out his campaign promises. Throughout our history our elected representatives have respected the fact that a law is a law and moved on, at least until now.
Major reform legislation designed to significantly change our health care system will require constant adjustment as we move from a conceptual vision to real world implementation. Instead of trying to make it work, House Republicans have taken a different approach. They have voted to repeal the law 40 times! Each time an adjustment is needed to move from concept to implementation, Republicans claim Obamacare is fatally flawed. They are not interested in reform. They will sacrifice the welfare of the American people to make sure Obamacare fails. There singular focus is to oppose anything that does not comport with their ideology, no matter how much suffering it may cause.
The most recent polls, even those conducted by Republicans, indicate that the American people want Obamacare to be implemented; and if Republicans insist on shutting down government if Obamacare is not repealed, Republicans will be blamed.
Sometimes things just have to get worse before they can get better.