I have been listening to too many Republican candidates for the presidency claim that the first thing they would do in office would be to “Repeal Obamacare!” They follow that up with vague promises of a better plan, or even state outright that they would vote for the plan Paul Ryan created that privatizes peoples retirements, no matter what the circumstances. So I checked on what was happening with the Health Care Plan and what exactly we would lose if we repeal that law. The results will not only surprise you, it needs to scare you a bit. In essence, the Republicans are planning on throwing anyone with a health crisis and modest income “right under the bus“. I will show you what I mean.
Within days of the bill becoming law, small businesses got tax credits for offering insurance to their employees. This increased the number of employed people having insurance. Medicaid block grants were modified to allow states to add people to the rolls, increasing the number of unemployed people and financially strapped families who need it recieve medical care. The “donut hole” of medication reimbursement that Medicare recipients were falling into was closed. All of this within the first 90 days of the bill becoming law.
The law didn’t stop there, however. Following on the heels of the first changes, in September, 2010 access to insurance for individuals with pre-existing conditions became available, along with expanding coverage for early retirees. A crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid fraud was instituted, and medical information was made available online to all who wanted to consult it. Coverage for young adults attending college was expanded until their graduation dates, and preventive care was promoted as a free service to those with any insurance. Continuing on that fall, the bill prevented insurance companies from rescinding coverage of people simply because they needed to use it. Elimination of lifetime limits of coverage also went into place, and the ability to appeal insurance decisions became available. Insurance companies had to justify rate hikes to avoid pointless increases that injure the consumer.
In 2011 more changes have gone into effect. Prescription drug discounts have been made available across the board to all ages and insurance. Free preventive care for seniors is included in their Medicare now. Bringing down health care premiums is being addressed by the administration along with monitoring huge overpayments to big insurance companies, and the strengthening of Medicare Advantage. A guide to improving health care to seniors after leaving the hospital is being developed and more changes are going to occur shortly.
In essence, the only people that honestly benefit from repealing the Health Care law will be the insurance companies and drug companies. Children with pre-existing conditions would go back to unaffordable coverage or no coverage at all. One illness could take a person with modest means and reduce them to paupers. Small businesses would pay more for insurance for their employees, or have a sicker work force. Young people in college would pray to not get sick because they can’t afford the bills. Insurance companies would go back to dropping anyone who utilizes their services for any expensive illness. It’s simply taking a step backwards in a country that would rather move forward.
There are more changes to come in this bill, and I will be covering that soon. Losing the progress that’s already been made is unthinkable. So when you hear a politician tell you they don’t approve of the health care law, find out what they do think will cover as many people for as little money. Watch out for rhetoric and look for specifics. Let me know what you hear!