The minute that Donald Trump and the Republicans set their sights on repealing the ACA, the Democratic fearmongering machine jumped into operation. This morning, the NY Daily News published this op-ed written by ACA architect Jonathan Gruber.
The opening paragraph of Dr. Gruber’s op-ed says “The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has provided security for millions of Americans who used to live in fear of being unable to cover their medical expenses. Twenty million Americans have gained insurance coverage, and millions more would be covered if recalcitrant states had fully embraced the law rather than resisting out of pure partisan politics.”
It’s time to explode that myth.
Here in Minnesota, families are considering the option of not buying health insurance because their premiums plus deductibles would exceed $50,000 this year. They’re considering this option because their premiums alone will be $40,000 in 2017. The myth that Dr. Gruber is propagating is that the Affordable Care Act is affordable. It isn’t affordable. It’s anything but affordable. It’s a rip-off.
Betsy McCaughey’s article explains why the 20,000,000 figure is the crown jewel of the left’s fearmongering. In her op-ed, she wrote “Will 20 million lose coverage? Not even close. Sixteen million of those who gained coverage are enrolled in Medicaid, the public program for low-income residents. Obamacare allowed states to expand who could sign up for Medicaid, with the federal government covering the tab. Repeal could result in less federal funding. But no one is pushing to abolish the nation’s health safety net. And states that just expanded Medicaid are unlikely to do a 180 and shrink it. The 16 million are likely safe.”
Now that that myth has been exploded, it’s time to understand that replacing the ACA gives people the opportunity to replace it with something better. Minnesota’s high risk pool helped people with pre-existing conditions get affordable health care. There’s no reason for states not to implement high risk pools.
Then Dr. Gruber’s demagoguery shined through:
To do so, the ACA set up a “three legged stool”: banning discrimination by insurance companies; creating an individual mandate to bring the healthy into the insurance pool; and providing subsidies to make health insurance affordable.
The problem Republicans face is that the first leg is highly popular, the second leg is unpopular, and the third leg involves federal spending which the Republicans would rather direct to tax cuts for the wealthy.
High risk pools essentially end insurance companies denying people with pre-existing conditions coverage, thus eliminating that part of Dr. Gruber’s argument. The individual mandate hasn’t worked. Young people are paying the penalty rather than buying insurance policies they can’t afford. As for the part about “Republicans would rather direct to tax cuts for the wealthy”, that isn’t worth responding to other than saying that it’s a contemptible statement that isn’t based in anything other than fearmongering.
There’s more myth-busting to come in Part II. Check back for that later today. Think of it as McCaughey vs. Gruber, Round 2:
Authored By Let Freedom Ring Blog