Why Repealing the Affordable Care Act is a Terrible Idea Even By Republican Standards

Welcome to ‘the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act and the Health Care (ACA) and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 for Dummies, both signed into law in March of 2010.  Let us proceed.

You’d think virtually everybody would embrace this essentially creative and sensible approach to health care. Not so! The right-wingers hate ACA; don’t need anything in the plan, but here is what their idiocy will cost you people who don’t live 2,000 year old lives.

Insurance companies have historically set annual and lifetime limits on coverage. ACA doesn’t allow that. Pre-existing conditions must be covered. Repeal Obamacare and that is not longer the case. That’s what Romney and the right want to do. Repeal Obamacare because they don’t care whether your pre-existing condition is covered or not.

For Medicare recipients, ACA will eventually close your donut hole. That’s the money center for a health care industry that already tops all others in profits. As it now stands, you get a 50% discount on donut hole drugs. The pharmaceuticals have to fund it. Discounts will increase to 75% including generics until the donut hole is closed in 2020. If ACA is repealed, everything reverts to pre-ACA levels. When you seniors reach the $2,850 threshold in drug costs, you get to pay 100% for the gap between $2,850 and $6,350. That’s $3,500 out of pocket dollars. Since the average SS recipient receives $14,760 per annum, that’s a pretty hefty ‘tax’. Vote for Romney, that $3,500 loss is automatic. But it’s a great favor to Romney’s pals and the right doesn’t give a shit about seniors so all those folks want to repeal ACA. That’s what they keep telling us.

While we’re on the subject of seniors and their health concerns here’s a neat provision of ACA. There’s nothing better or healthier than not being sick in the first place, right? To that end Obamacare provides for an annual wellness visit to head potentially serious diseases off at the pass. Cost to seniors? Zippo! Uncle Sam through Medicare picks up the entire tab for those visits. You have no co-pay or deductibles. You and your doc can even put together a personalized prevention plan so you’ll not only live to see your grandkids grow up, but your great-grandkids as well. But if Romney and the right have their way, all that will be REPEALED!

The program also provides for School-Based Health Clinics and even a campaign to educate the kids about oral care. You’d be surprised how injurious to your health a head-full of nasty choppers can be up to and including serious heart problems. But Romney and the right would rather see kid’s teeth painfully rot since they’re gung ho to repeal Obamacare.

There are even Health and Human Services grants through ACA. Those go to eligible grantees for the purpose of chronic disease prevention and to encourage and publicize community health initiatives. There’s another grant program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for pilot programs that evaluate risk factors in the 55-64 demographic where chronic diseases are a serious problem. Of course Romney and the right insist on repealing that highly worthwhile program. They’d rather see people get sick, feel miserable and die while eating up billions of health dollars in treatments that could have been avoided.

Cancer! Now there’s a scary word. Almost as scary as Romney. In their own way, both can be deadly. Think there were any suicides through Bain Capital-initiated job losses? Think repealing ACA might result in numerous deaths?  About 1.6 million cases of CA were diagnosed last year. There were almost 600,000 deaths. More males than females, but not by much. A friend recently died of breast cancer. A male friend.  He worked in a succession of factories. Another buddy beat prostate cancer, well short of the age where such an attack would be expected.

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act addresses the terrible specter of seeing a loved one gradually physically disappear before your very eyes like Robin Gibb, one of the brother members of the Bee Gees who reached the peak of their popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s. Gibb was diagnosed with colorectal cancer that eventually spread to his liver. He died Sunday, May 20th and appeared not to weigh more than 100 pounds toward the end. ACA seeks to make cancer treatments more affordable. It was often cancer sufferers who fell victim not only to cancer but were victimized a second time by insurance companies that would not provide coverage after the annual or lifetime limits ran out.

ACA not only eliminates those caps, but also seeks to make treatment more affordable and easier to access. Pre-existing conditions can also come into play with cancer. Prevention services also play a major role in the Obamacare health care coverage. Of course, none of that registers with Romney and the right.

In terms of affordability, Health Insurance Exchanges should help. Designed to create more competitive pricing by insurance companies for those not insured from other sources, the exchanges have become battlegrounds for goofy federalists who reject all that is DC-centered no matter the quality of the program. For those states who do not live in biblical times, the exchanges can be highly beneficial and represent considerable cost-savings for people who do not have car elevators in their homes.

Transparency is another plus with Obamacare. ACA requires that those who manufacture pharmaceuticals and medical devices have to reveal the goodies they use as ‘persuaders’ for docs and hospitals. In other words, “where are you sending me this year if I sign on?” That certainly doesn’t sit well with the Romney 1 percenters.

Extending coverage to 26 year olds under their parent’s policy has been popular. It disappears when Romney and the right ‘repeal’ ACA on his first day in office.

There are several sources to pay for ACA. Excise taxes on health insurers and sales by pharmaceutical manufacturers, increased Medicare payroll taxes for the wealthy, Fraud and Abuse Enforcement and other sources.

So that, in a partial nutshell, is ACA. I haven’t discussed small business tax breaks, but they’re substantial nor have I covered mandates pending the upcoming Supreme Court decision. Obamacare is a program that makes total sense. It can serve as a base for even more future health care advances, maybe even single-payer.

The rest of the industrialized world gets it. Of course, they have no active Tea Party chapters.

 

Image: The Globe and Mail

10 Replies to “Why Repealing the Affordable Care Act is a Terrible Idea Even By Republican Standards”

  1. To quote a lifelong Republican friend of mine: “I wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney if he was running against Charles Manson!”

  2. We will never catch up with the rest of the world as a society. We will be held back by those in power through wealth for their own gain.

    America was once the center of innovation. Now it lags behind countrys vastly older than us and we refuse to see the light

    Make no mistake about it, the GOP will not replace ACA with anything. Prices will go higher and people will not get the treatment they need.

  3. I might also like to express that most individuals who find themselves without having health insurance are generally students, self-employed and people who are not working. More than half on the uninsured are really under the age of Thirty five. They do not come to feel they are in need of health insurance as they are young in addition to healthy. Their income is generally spent on homes, food, as well as entertainment. Most people that do represent the working class either entire or as a hobby are not provided insurance by way of their work so they get along without due to rising expense of health insurance in the states. Thanks for the strategies you share through this blog.

  4. Repeal and replace. Replace with what? Republicans haven’t begun to discuss that. I’ve heard mention of a voucher system that doesn’t even begin to cover the costs involved for a reasonably healthy person, I’ve heard “free market” that has been tried in Europe and failed, and on and on. I was a republican for 25 years until the “impeachment” and became independent when I heard too much “Monica Lewinsky” and no “National Security”.Subsequent events have shown me the correctness of my ways. Mourn the once great GOP for it has become filled with idiots and thieves.

  5. Yeah, and send out the cops with box cutters when you start to “clutter” their view.

    (They’ve actually done that to homeless people in central Florida… on several occasions. Plus they sent in clamshell trucks to pick up all of the belongings of the homeless and put them in the dump… and thus people – American Citizens – became “undocumented”.)

  6. Rarely entertainment. Mainly just trying to put food on the table and a roof over the head. And who can complain if someone needs an escape now and then (like renting a movie or going fishing)? Life as working poor can be hell on earth.

    Health insurance is almost not affordable for the working poor, and it has been that way for decades. I won’t get into the “alternatives” that are offered, except to say that we were on one such setup for working poor, and while for the first year they were decent, the rules were tightened up (by conservative-driven government rules) “to get rid of freeloaders” and they became oppressive.

  7. What finally opened my eyes and drove me from the Republican party was the way they kept complaining about how easy it is for “lazy bums” to get on disability and get “government handouts”. They promised to make Social Security Disability there if I (we) ever became disabled through no fault of my (our) own. Then things happened, and my health got to the point where I could no long run my business (it was dying anyway, because my customers -almost all Republicans- learned that I was part Indian and stopped calling).

    I applied for disability and was in effect (from some people – to my face) told I was one of those lazy bums… and then locked out of the Disability system by a nice Republican judge. Then I learned how hard it was to get help, and came to realize that as far as the Republicans are concerned, ANYONE on disability is a lazy bum, unless they can prove otherwise – especially if it’s not something obvious like a missing limb.

    According to the law (and applied specifically in my case), I have to work a continuous 10 quarters before I can apply again. This in spite of 5 doctors and 3 witnesses, all saying that I had real medical problems that precluded the sort of work they said I could do (cashier in a grocery store or toll booth collector). My lawyer took it as far as she could, but reached the point where she could go no further.

    I finally returned to school, and that put the nails in the coffin. I learned the truth about conservatives and their failures (especially how much I’d been lied to) and will never support a Republican or conservative again. (I also learned that with a high enough degree, there is work I can do that I’m good at and which will pay more than minimum wage.)

    (Laugh) Now my world’s upside down. I’ve learned that all of the “Good” people I’d been taught – forced actually, to trust were not (and not worthy of that trust), and that all of the “terrible people”… the liberals, GLBT folks, etc. were the decent ones who really cared. I hope I don’t insult people with this (and it really as meant as a compliment), but all of the people that the churches denigrated and rejected turned out to be the most Christ-like in reality.

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