I realize that it is very fashionable to be trashing the ACA website and heaven knows it has a lot of problems, but I think we have forgotten that there really is a purpose to all this.
The idea of getting health care to people who have not been able to get it or afford it is still a critical goal for our nation’s health care. No other industrialized nation has so much trouble giving people access to the health care system.
It’s easy to focus on a website issue, but the ultimate goal is still valid and necessary. For decades we have been saddled with skyrocketing inflationary increases in this system. The clamor to do something has been repeated year after year. And finally, when we get a President who takes on this task full throttle, finds a method to fix it, and we find him vilified for his efforts.
The real story here is that the Republicans have never offered a viable alternative to this mess. They blocked the Clinton attempt and have been dead weight when it comes to working on this version. This is a hard enough problem to deal with even if we would have a unified effort. Instead we have the opposition party throwing obstruction and criticism at every single step.
The GOP has complained about how complicated the law is — yet when the law filtered its way through Congress, the GOP kept insisting on changes that made those complications. They demanded that it meet certain budget goals which ended up forcing a very slow rollout of the plan. They challenged taxes at every turn. The medical device tax was cut in half and now they want it eliminated — leaving a huge budget hole in how the system will be paid for. They complain about the individual mandate — even though it was part of their own policy agenda a decade ago. They complain about business mandates — yet insisted that a public option be eliminated which would have given small businesses an easier alternative than being forced to commit to buying their own.
Without Obamacare, we would still be complaining about a health care system that costs too much with too few options and too many people that can’t afford access. Obamacare compromised and utilized much of the insurance system that was already in place — the system that Republicans think we should go back to because they have forgotten how expensive that system had gotten to be.
Think about how much brighter the future of health care could be if Republicans were working to fix the problems rather than gleefully pointing out ever flaw. I mean, really, think about it.
Has introducing and passing a repeal of Obamacare 40 plus times over the last couple years by the House Republicans done anything to improve national health care? Have they ever proposed a comprehensive system that could act as an alternative? Do they seriously want us to go back to blocking coverage because of pre-existing conditions, dumping young people off their parents plans, lifetime caps, or no longer covering young children? Can we really go back now?
Republicans could still complain about the “glitches” in the website all they want. They could score some political points by offering improvements or fixes that we could all appreciate. But they have decided to simply obstruct and complain. And they can hope for the whole plan to fail.
Trouble is we would still have to find a way to fix health care.
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