Barack Obama Would Like To Have A Word With You About Healthcare
Could you use your time machine and go fix this?
Now that Senate Republicans have pulled up the curtain on the hideous Obamacare repeal plan they pieced together out of dead GOP talking points in a secret lab in the bowels of the Capitol, Barack Obama has written a Facebook post warning them to rethink their "Better Care" bill before loosing it on the populace to wreak havoc. It's good! Go read the whole thing! But let's examine a few highlights from a president who knows how to write a complete sentence in proper English. Remember when we had one of those?
Barry starts by acknowledging that "repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party." An article of faith, for that matter, particularly the faith that as long as they can just eliminate Obamacare, Republicans will be loved forever. But maybe it would be a good idea, Obama says, for them to consider why they're doing this, beyond simply the reflex to kick apart anything Democrats made.
How about a quick review of what's already been achieved by the ACA, gains the Rs will flush down the national toilet for the sake of being able to say they killed Obamacare:
For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.
We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.
Sure, the ACA isn't perfect. Like any major program, it needs some fixes in order to cover more people and keep costs down. And, Obama reminds Republicans, if they came up with a genuinely better approach to healthcare, one that would cover as many people at a lower cost, then great, he'd love to see that, and could even support it enthusiastically. But that's not what the Senate dumped on America this morning.
But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.
It's not even really a health care bill, says Obama. Rather,
It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Damn, Barry. You act as if class warfare were a bad thing. Just in case Republicans haven't given any thought to those they claim to represent and care about, Obama lists a few examples of people who are going to have it a lot worse off if this creature is allowed to stalk Americas' homes, hospitals, and doctors' offices: people struggling with addiction; pregnant moms; kids with disabilities, and "poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid," for starters. And then there are all the people who'll technically have "access" to health insurance, but will be priced out of getting care because of preexisting conditions. What about parents whose kid's cancer treatment eats up their life savings? Health crises don't have party preferences, they really don't:
To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.
Maybe instead of scoring political points by sticking it to the poor and middle class for the sake of the wealthy, Republicans might want to consider joining Democrats in repairing the ACA instead of blowing it up? Oh, Barry, you silly optimist. Republicans can't wait to refuse to notice people suffering, as long as it means a big tax cut for their real constituency, the wealthy and corporations. Besides, they're betting they won't even face an electoral backlash. They've already got gerrymandered districts and vote suppression to help them hold on to power.
And if the people who voted for them are angry their insurance hasn't gotten any cheaper, but now covers less than it did, Republicans are also betting that won't be a problem. A lot of those people will believe them when they blame Barack Obama again.
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[Barack Obama on Facebook]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.