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Jun 25

The Truth about the Health Care fight – the ACA and the AHCA

A commentary by Sheree DiCicco

The Republican States FOUGHT to stay out of the ACA. That’s WHY their constituents have high deductibles and that is WHY other states ended up having problems. So they’ve been complaining about the very problem THEY created!!!! The history of the facts (and myths) of the ACA: From David H.: “Dave’s not-so-brief history of the ACA When it was a bill, the Republicans were so against it, they made stuff up like death panels for grandparents and told their constituents how it would enslave them to the government. One presidential candidate, now a member of the Trump cabinet, called it the worst thing since slavery. Anyway, the representatives and senators had time to go to their districts and spread these myths because there was plenty of time to discuss the bill on the floor of the House and Senate, which is normal for a big piece of legislation like this. Then it passed, and they tried (and sometimes succeeded) in undermining it. States controlled by Republicans refused to go along with parts of the bill even though it meant a loss of funds and worse health-outcomes for their citizens. The Republicans sued over the bill several times, even as they pointed to tort reform as the way to reduce health costs. The party that usually loves subsidies to big companies stripped out the temporary payments that gave insurance companies some measure of stability in this new marketplace. And so on. The vilification of the bill, even though it was built on lies, helped the Republicans win the House, and immediately, they started voting to repeal the bill, starting in January 2011. They passed some version of repeal some 54 times. Notice that the repeal of the ACA never once included a “replace” part. “Repeal and replace” only came into existence as Obama’s term wound down and the race to replace him heated up. “Replace with what?” Candidate Trump told us only that would be something great, it would cover everything, allow you keep your doctor, lower costs, and be less expensive. Had someone written this wonder bill? No, but some people trusted the flim-flam artist for some reason. Without a bill, he was not able to fulfill his promise to have Congress repeal (and now “replace”) the ACA on the first day of his administration. Instead, he asked the House leadership to do it, but even after 6 years of trying to repeal the ACA, they still had no replacement bill. So they wrote one in haste, and it failed to pass. Trump didn’t read it, but had an opinion. They tried again, making it worse in order to placate the conservative wing of the House, and voting before they got a Congressional Budget Office score. It passed by one vote. The House leadership and the President held a victory party, then a month went by and Trump called it “mean.” Everyone said the Senate would fix the bill, even some House members who voted for it. The Senate decided to do their version in secret with a small group of people and no expert testimony, but somehow ended up with essentially the same thing the House had, and here we are. We all know the bill will cover fewer people, take money out of Medicare, end up causing hospitals (the health care option of last resort) bankruptcies, and so on. But it does have a nifty, and large tax cut, which particularly benefits the very very very wealthy. And that’s why we are here – it’s about taxes. There is some red meat involving Planned Parenthood and contraception, and some “let the states decide” for the libertarians. It’s not about people’s health care, because the health outcomes of this bill will be horrendous for many. It’s certainly not about improving the ACA. It’s not about insuring the fiscal health of the country. It’s not about allowing you to keep your doctor, keeping health care costs down, having less paperwork at the doctor’s office, making sure your insurance covers normal stuff like pregnancy and (shudder) birth control, and so on. The issue is that the Republicans MUST repeal the ACA, even while trying to keep some major popular elements of it, because that’s what everyone’s been campaigning on for 8 years. When you falsely vilify something to the extent the ACA was vilified, that’s the corner you paint yourself into. They don’t have another option because even their voters don’t want to go back to pre-ACA days. The only thing they agree has to go are those taxes. And if you’ve read this far, I give you the moral to the story: There are consequences to crying “wolf” just so you can get elected, but sadly most of them will be suffered by the voters. Call and write your Senators!”

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