Part II – A brief update on ACA.
The ACA has now been up and running for over a year, and I still stand by what I wrote over 2 years ago in Part I. I left that essay with a… we’ll see how it all plays out.
So let’s take a brief look at how it is playing out.
Democrats are pointing out that costs are coming down for the first time in a long time. They are also pointing out that millions and millions of people now have coverage for the first time. It is a fact that the ACA is helping millions and millions of people. I can attest to this because it is helping me. And I can imagine that anybody who was formerly denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition is incredibly happy today.
However, the part that the Democrats seem to ignore is that there are people who have been negatively affected. There are reports of small business owners and middle-class folks who have seen large increases in their monthly premiums. I have a few friends who are furious how much more they are now paying for their monthly premiums. One of them may have to opt to go without insurance and pay the IRS fine, leaving his family worse off than before. To make matters worse, the Democrats don’t seem to be addressing their voices, rather when this issue is brought up the Democrats deflect to all the stories of those it is helping. It would behoove the Democrats to honestly address these voices because not all of the unhappy people are solidly Republican voters.
As for the Republicans, they don’t seem to want to admit that the ACA has, in fact, helped millions of people. They have been continuously trying to undermine the ACA through congressional acts, and also through challenges to it through the judicial system, with zero regard for the people it has helped. But, as is obvious, they do not have any solutions to replace it with something better. Why? Because their typical “market will solve everything” mentality does not work for the health care industry (for reasons already stated in Part I.) But their opposition to the ACA is allowing them to win over the dissatisfied people to their side.
Thus we can see that the Republicans and Democrats are still clinging to their ideology, or respective partisan loyalty positions, rather than seeking objective solutions for the health care issues in America. So who will have the courage to say what is necessary: 1) the private insurance industry offers ZERO value to our society. In fact, their business model creates a negative value to society by sucking money out of actual health care spending. 2) A medicare-for-all Part D plan is the solution. We would save hundreds of billions of dollars per year and ensure that every single person has a basic Part D coverage. And if you are doing well in life, then buy a private supplemental insurance plan. A medicare-for-all system would not kill the private insurance companies, but it would certainly cut them down to size.
But who cares! We need a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt to bust up these “too big to fail” corporations down to size anyway. And if you think Washington DC’s Revolving door, and the billions of dollars insurance companies have spent to rig the political system in their favor is a good thing… well, as the saying goes: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”