Obamacare (ACA) is among the strangest of GOP targets.
First, it was their plan.
Second, it reflects their alleged values.
Third, insurance companies are trying hard to make it work.
Lest we forget, the model for the ACA/Obamacare was created by the Heritage Foundation in answer to HillaryCare, and then it was piloted by a future GOP President, Mitt Romney in Massachussets. Republicans used to believe in personal responsibility, they supported and required the concept of an individual mandate before Obama had the audacity to agree with them on that.
For many Democrats a single payer plan or, minimally, the public option, seemed the way to go but the Obama administration recognized that there were too many Blue Dog Democrats linking arms with Republicans in The Senate against both of those plans. Obama chose instead to support the Heritage-Romney-Massachusetts Option, figuring that doing so would attract Republicans to come on board and a bipartisan passage of a universal health care bill would finally occur after Presidents had tried and failed over six decades.
The GOP should have loved it. It was their plan. The ACA is all about GOP favorites, private insurance, private medical care and an emphasis on required personal responsibility/accountability.
So….why is this plan, their plan, a horrible, socialist government takeover of healthcare?
Because…..it was proposed by the black, Democratic President Barack Obama who represents everything that the GOP faithful think is wrong with America. The GOP’s right wing, an increasingly bigger and bigger wing, hates Obama and anything he says or does in a pathological and maniacal way.
But it is the Law of the Land now and despite all of the GOP efforts it is likely to remain so.
What is absurd, in the face of the GOP’s demonizing of the ACA is that insurance companies also believe in it and support it. They were consulted on it, had input and will benefit from the entire nation being required to become their clients. The insurance companies have also accepted a simple reality, if they do not make the ACA work….single payer is the next step…and if that happens they are out of business. The GOP has no alternative to offer so where else are they to go?
In fact, the only GOP plan is to keep 30 million Americans from getting health care. Ironically, they have become the very death panel they fabricated to scare people into opposing the ACA. A major political party in America actually wants more Americans to die of illnesses they can’t afford to treat and force others into losing all they have and bankruptcy due to medical bills (the number one cause of bankruptcy…until the ACA is fully implemented, that is). “More death and bankruptcies instead of less!”, what a winning health care policy for the GOP.
In my home state of Missouri, a very poorly insured state, there are 9 companies working to pick up the uninsured here despite the fact that my state legislature has turned down expanded Medicaid, blocked its state employees and state supported social welfare agencies from providing info about the ACA and is making it hard for others to do so.
But the insurance companies seem to know that the GOP is on the wrong side of history. I spoke with a friend who is an adjuster last week and she said that the word they have is that the under-insured and uninsured are a huge pool of potential clients and service to them and it is essential to them to convince the public of the need for and integrity of private insurance.
A great quote from her: “What are the bosses worried about? If people ever figure out that all we are is a middle man that get paid to push papers from one desk to another, and that we just add cost to health care because we have our profit to make, they will embrace single payer- medicare for all.”
Over the weekend I took part in a webinar in which a senior officer in a Health Insurance Company said this: “The first resistance from the insurance industry was the result of what we saw as a series of new rules that cut the legs out from under the narrow margins that we operate under generally and gave us nothing to replace the losses…but what has become clear is that with more and more being insured we can provide more care, better care and still do well. Now our challenge is this, first, we have to help to sell our insurance to those who often go without especially young people, the under 35 crowd. Second, we have to show our customers and the federal government that we offer a good service and do it economically, as well as the government could do. And third, we need to make the case that maybe we could expand the limited role that we now have in Medicare through the Advantage programs to a point where we manage all of Medicare.”
As ambitious as the insurance companies may be with regards to the ACA, it would seem that such visions of greater corporate participation in health care would run contrary to what nearly all Americans want when it comes to Medicare, that is, to leave it as it is. As even Tea Partiers declared in 2011 during the battle over passing the ACA, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”