Editorial: This change will be healthy for us
Urged on by the tea party faithful shouting “Obamacare is coming! Obamacare is coming!” congressional Republicans continue to try to rally Americans to their cause.
Paul Revere, they’re not.
When the next phase of the Affordable Care Act comes into play Tuesday with the open enrollment period, Americans are going to see that all of this bleating has been a false alarm, sounded by self-proclaimed patriots with narrow ideological goals.
Cooler heads will see that those screaming vehemently against Obamacare have made a couple of critical miscalculations in their battle plan.
Consider this: Roughly some 48 million Americans were without health insurance in 2012, according to Census Bureau data. That’s about to change as 30 million people will be able to obtain health insurance, 62.5 percent of those uninsured in 2012. That’s a huge step forward, as is allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26.
Also, there is the fact that under the act, insurance companies will not be able to deny a person coverage because they’re already sick. That is a long-overdue provision.
What Americans are also seeing already, since parts of the act have already been implemented, is a slowing down of the rise in costs associated with health care. The Kaiser Family Foundation has accumulated data that health insurance premiums are growing at a slower rate than in the past decade or so.
Is the act a cure-all for what ails the nation when it comes to health care coverage?
No. But the legislation was never meant to be “one and done.”
Instead, one would expect a rational Congress to see what works and what doesn’t, and then determine ways to improve it.
That’s where the American public sees the biggest hole when it comes to foes of the act. They are offering nothing as an alternative. Instead, while trumpeting worst-case examples, they advocate a return to the days where so many Americans were uninsured or couldn’t get coverage because of a pre-existing condition and where annual double-digit jumps in costs and premiums were a foregone conclusion.
Back in Revere’s day, there were plenty of Americans who were reluctant to part with their British cousins and strike off on their own. They advised hanging on to the status quo.
That was bad advice, and so is that of today’s radical right.
This change, like that one, is for the better.