The Affordable Care Act. Yeah, that.

Okay, I’m going to get political here for a minute. Don’t want to read it? Don’t worry, just skip it.

Still here? Awesome.

Lots of folks are understandably pissed at how the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) has been rolling out. It’s a hairball, and at least the web portion of the debacle has inspired raw ire from Yours Truly (don’t get me started on people promising miracles and then dumping the miracle requests in unsuspecting developers’ laps).

However…

Two things are driving me bonkers as I watch people go at each other over this law:

  1. People keep calling it “ObamaCare,” including people that support it. This simple naming SNAFU keeps the ACA politicized, which is the exact opposite of what supporters should want.
  2. People seem incapable of discussing the changes to health care coverage that go along with ACA. Nope, it’s more important to argue about increasing/decreasing premiums and whether or not the system is single-payer.

What we have here is a law that helps fix a number of serious issues with the availability and delivery of health care. Things like eliminating pre-existing condition restrictions, free preventive care, dependent coverage up to 26 years of age, better coverage of birth control, others. There’s stuff in this law that we need, things that could prevent costly health care drains in the future (things like cancer screening and unwanted pregnancies, to name a few). It’s a pay-it-forward scheme, and it works.¬†Yes, paying for insurance can be painful, and yes, the way ACA is written today there are people who will end up paying more than they used to. These and other issues must eventually be addressed. If ACA stands, I assume they will be. However, judging from the debates that I’m seeing online and in print, I am beginning to wonder if ACA may end up going down.

If ACA goes down, representatives that supported it will be taught that fighting this kind of fight is politically dangerous. Good luck going after that single-payer system or any kind of serious health care reform when nobody on Capitol Hill will champion them. The Clintons tried this in 1993 and failed, and it only took about 15 years for someone to have the guts to try again. If ACA fails, how many decades will pass before the next person gives it a shot?

As far as I’m concerned, if we let ACA die, big business wins. Go ahead, throw the baby out with the bath water because you didn’t get a law that’s 100% what you had hoped for. Complain because your ridiculously insufficient health care policy that costs you $100/month is being replaced by something that actually qualifies as a health plan, all in spite of the “fact” that you’re going to be healthy forever and never need expensive care (a laughable idea).

I don’t care if you prefer single-payer systems over pay-per-month scenarios, I really don’t. We pay one way or another, either from gross pay or from taxes. What I care about are the reforms in ACA that keep for-profit hospitals and insurance companies at bay. It’s sickening to watch people talk about killing ACA because a website doesn’t work correctly today or because 1 out of thousands? tens of thousands? will see premiums go up (while millions that had no health care coverage before finally get coverage).

And you opponents that complain that your premiums will help pay others’ health care bills, I suggest you research how insurance works. Clearly you don’t understand it. (Hint: you’re already helping to pay others’ bills. What, did you think your premiums went into a personal health care account that only you can hit on?) GRRR

Oh, and one more thing…The amendment that mandates representatives on Capitol Hill get health care from the health care marketplace? That was proposed by Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, not Obama, and the “subsidy” that these folks will get to help pay their premiums is the employer contribution that they used to get when the feds provided a group plan, no different than the “subsidy” you get if you have health insurance through your job. So, like, get it straight already and stop spreading misinformation.

Holy crap, I’ll be so happy when this is over, one way or another.

I’d pose better arguments above, but this is a rant more than anything so take what you read with a heavy dose of pink Himalayan salt. And be healthy, because your own friends and families are working against your current and future health.

This entry was posted in opinion.

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