He and the rest of the Republicans are using exaggerations and lies to undermine the health plan. The first exaggerations is their claim the plan will cost taxpayers too much money. But the plan is projected to pay for itself after 10 years at no long-term cost to taxpayers. The holier-than-thou Republicans outright lie when they say a person who chooses not to be insured will pay a tax penalty that will be deducted from any IRS withholding or refund. The Supreme Court ruled the tax would be unconstitutional. Yet, they keep trying to convince the American people the Affordable Care act is a tax plan when it’s not.
Among other things, the new health care plan closes the Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole.” It would bar insurers from charging higher premiums based on a person’s gender and medical history or deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. And that should benefit senior citizens.
Starting in 2014, seniors who have supplementary insurance to Medicare can change providers without being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions or other health problems. Currently there are three types of premium pricing for Medigap (supplementary) policies: community-rated, which means you pay the same monthly premium as everyone else who has a supplemental policy, regardless of your age; issue-age-rated premiums, based on your age when you first purchased the insurance; and the attained-age rated, the real money-maker for insurance salesmen. It bases a person’s annual premium on their current age, so every year on their birthday the premium automatically increases. It’s almost impossible to opt out of and sign up for a community-rated policy, which is less expensive, because they won’t accept you if you have any pre-existing conditions. So you’re stuck with a lifetime of high premiums.
Women and children will benefit the most. Thanks to President Obama, low-income, uninsured pregnant women will no longer have to stand in emergency room lines waiting to deliver their gift to mankind because they do not have their own doctor or insurance coverage. Instead, they will have their own family physician providing them with prenatal and hospital care like every other woman. All women will be covered for cancer screening exams and preventative health options that could save their lives and keep the family intact.
Children in need of urgent and lifesaving health care cannot be denied insurance coverage because of an insurer’s cap on coverage; and families will no longer have to lose their homes or file for bankruptcy because their insurance was canceled or they lost their job. Why would anyone in their “right” mind be opposed to insurance that provides health needs and fiscal stability for all Americans in their time of need?
This is the second time in history that Romney’s state of Massachusetts led the push for mandated insurance coverage. Republican Gov. Alvan Tufts Fuller, who became one of the wealthiest men in America with “the world’s most successful auto dealership,” also led the way for mandatory auto insurance. In 1925, Connecticut passed a financial responsibility law requiring any vehicle owner involved in an accident with damages over $100 to prove “financial responsibility to satisfy any claim for damages, by reason of personal injury, or death of at least $10,000.” Massachusetts followed this logic and passed a “compulsory” law that required automotive liability insurance as a prerequisite to vehicle registration. Massachusetts was also the first state to enact no-fault auto insurance in 1971. After serious debate in Congress, mandated auto insurance was left to the states not federal government.
Romney maintains that health care is a state issue not a federal issue similar to auto insurance. He is half right and all wrong. Under the Patient Protection Act, all states have to start their own insurance exchange program to assist people to find coverage; if they don‘t the federal government will do it for them. Just think how many of your new family health insurance options would be lost if Romney gets elected in November.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.