President Obama clearly promised that anyone who was happy with their health insurance coverage would be allowed to keep it under the Affordable Care Act. Since evidence of insurance company cancellations of cheap policies which do not meet the standards outlined in the ACA is being discovered, the Republican opposition is calling the President a liar. I really don’t think we should make too big a fuss over this.
First, Republicans are experts at lying so we can accept their analysis of the situation. However, the cat, as they say, is out of the bag: the word “liar” is front and center in the political debate and the Democrats must seize the opportunity and make “liar” a part of their daily vocabulary. Each and every instance of prevarication must be clearly exposed as a lie: not something misspoken or an over-zealous remark but an out and out lie. It’s just too bad that the only segment of America with less honesty than the Republicans and less backbone than the Democrats is the world of journalism. In a free country we could have relied on the press to keep things a bit more honest.
But really, did Obama lie or just not express the full reasoning behind the ACA? Fact is, American’s are free to keep any healthcare insurance they want, no matter how worthless or crappy it is. But the ACA has minimum standards for health insurance and clearly states that if an individual does not cover themselves with this minimum standard of insurance, that individual must pay a fine so as to contribute to the pool which will keep healthcare insurance costs down for the entire country. So there actually is no lie: keep the insurance but pay the fine.
Unfortunately, it is the insurance companies that are making most of these changes, and not necessarily because of the Affordable Care Act but rather using the ACA as an excuse to clean up old policies with little return, to hide fraudulent policies before they come to light, and to make as great a profit off of the ACA as they possibly can while blaming it all on President Obama and the ACA. Also there is evidence of the insurance companies being coached on the most damning way of phrasing a cancellation notice so as to enrage the customer and further besmirch the ACA.
There is an interesting situation in Congress now: the politicians who did every thing they could to repeal or remove funding from the Affordable Care Act, who have denied adequate funding for the implementation of the ACA, who are aligned with people and organizations which heavily misrepresent the ACA and encourage the populace to work against it, who support the states controlled by their political party which have refused to assist in the implementation of the ACA, are now running around Washington showing great concern for the American public which is having a hard time getting signed-up under the ACA. It seems clear that the Republicans are more concerned with their ideologies and with being against President Obama, no matter what, than they are with the citizens of this country.
The way I see it: the Progressives are for universal healthcare (the ACA now but something more akin to Medicare expansion in the near future); the Conservatives are for a standard of healthcare once prevalent in the some mythical America of the past that supported hospitals for the rich and early graves for the poor; and the insurance companies are doubling-down on their greed for higher and higher profits. Once again, money is power and the regular citizens of this country get screwed.
Bottom line: why do Americans, unlike most of the industrialized world, continue to accept that healthcare and healthcare insurance are primarily designed to make obscene profits and secondarily design to improve the lives of the citizens? Besides, can you think of even one complaint against the ACA that actually isn’t more of a problem under the status quo? Repeal, deny, or cripple the ADA and then you will see why it was a necessary start. But to my knowledge there is no form of insurance that covers regret.