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Get on board at healthcare.gov

Joel Olinghouse and Jerry Haslip got the memo. They were wonderfully perfect in giving the textbook Republican opposition response to Obamacare. Their arguments were enthusiastic and entertaining, but predictably lacking in truth, compassion, and financial soundness. We must all thank Joel and Jerry (J&J) for shining the spotlight on present-day Republican family values and morals, providing us readers with conservatives’ true motives when it comes to their healthcare priorities.
Let’s start with some basic facts on coverage and cost that J&J failed to disclose in their “unbiased” investigation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.
The gold standard for unbiased, nonpartisan research on the effects of laws, including Obamacare, is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Per the CBO: The net effect of Obamacare on the number of uninsured, nonelderly Americans in 2014 is 13 million fewer uninsured; in 2015, 20 million fewer; and 2016, 25 million fewer uninsured. Obamacare gets many millions of uninsured folks, insured. This body slams Joel’s deliberately false claims into submission.
J&J claim Obamacare’s unaffordable, yet over the next 20 years it’ll reduce US deficits by $1.34 trillion. It’ll add 9 critical years to Medicare’s solvency, and is reducing the healthcare inflation rate to the smallest now in 50 years. J&J want us to return to massive deficits and crippling debt; Obamacare takes it head-on by addressing the biggest cause of our debt: healthcare costs.
Also, yearly insurance premiums on ACA exchanges are $hundreds less than employer-provided plans with similar benefits. Joel hates the ACA tax credits/subsidies for low income folks; but he knows employees get huge subsidies under employer-sponsored plans. Jerry abhors “liberal moochers on the dole,” yet he greedily consumes government programs like Medicare and SS. Jerry wants to sink Medicare and SS for future generations, just not his.
Joel is a longtime health insurance salesman. He’s the middleman between you and the insurer—presumably making decent commissions. My wife and I have been privately insured on the open market for 20 years. For the first time ever we signed up for private insurance, through healthcare.gov, without a salesman. This cuts healthcare costs and saves us all money. The application process was super easy. Costly middleman insurance salespeople may soon become extinct.
J&J are devoted protectors of the very rich, medical device makers, and ridiculously profitable Medicare HMOs. Funding for Obamacare mostly comes from small tax hikes on the rich and device makers; also from trimming government subsidies to private Medicare “Advantage Plans.” This is a small price to insure many millions of Americans.
J&J and Congressional Republicans, like Montana’s Shutdown Daines, badly want to repeal Obamacare. They’re willing to shut down our government, kill jobs, default on our nation’s bills, and sabotage our economy. Cowardly, they’ve yet to offer an alternative. So what are Republicans “for”? Well, they support the old status quo, pre-Obamacare. This clarifies Republicans’ values and priorities like nothing else. By repealing Obamacare, here’s what they want to reinstate:
1) Joel wants to deny coverage to unlucky folks with pre-existing conditions.
2) Daines wants hardworking Montana families to go bankrupt from medical bills.
3) Republicans want millions of seniors to pay an extra $700/year on their meds; forcing them to sacrifice groceries or home heating.
4) Jerry wants wasteful, duplicate tests and procedures to run up costs, insurance premiums, and our deficit/debt.
5) Joel wants insurers to drop coverage for children with asthma or heart conditions.
6) Daines wants no cost-free annual exams to catch problems before they become expensive, deadly diseases.
7) J&J want insurers to spend unlimited amounts on CEO pay and “overhead,” less on actual patient care.
8) Republicans want no cost-free preventive mammograms or colonoscopies to catch early cancer and save lives.
9) Jerry wants the uninsured to stay that way—force them to use ERs for routine care at great cost to all.
10) Daines wants no incentives for students to become doctors or nurses, especially in rural states like Montana.
11) Republicans want healthcare fraud and abuse to go unchecked.
12) Joel wants substandard insurance plans that are costly and cover little.
13) Daines wants to drop 7 million young adults from their parents’ insurance.
14) Jerry wants rampant healthcare inflation, helping to bankrupt families and country.
15) Republicans want women to pay more for insurance because they’re women.
16) J&J, Daines, and Republicans want tens of millions of Americans to stay uninsured.
The above is the scary, uncaring, wasteful healthcare world J&J and Republicans want America to return to, pre-Obamacare. Obamacare makes healthcare and health insurance more affordable and more available. It puts us on a more fiscally sound flight path.
Republicans like J&J and Tea Partier Shutdown Daines are on the wrong side of history, economics, and family values. Obamacare’s a train that’s left the station. We’re not going back, so get on board at healthcare.gov.
Van P. Keele
Hamilton

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