© 2013 jbjd
In a cravenly political attempt to obfuscate the palpable contempt many of us have unleashed at having been lied to by our elected officials with respect to elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), lies which many of us charge were an integral part of the fraudulent campaign to sustain President Obama’s otherwise uncertain bid for re-election; several of those lying officials and their press enablers have touted this benefit of the doomed law, scheduled to take effect in 2014: “insurers will no longer be able to deny anyone on the basis of their medical history.” (Note: I took this cite from WebMD, LLC, since my tax dollars are now supporting that private enterprise to promote the ACA. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/webmd_received_almost_5_million_bucks_for_feds_to_promote_obamacare.html)
Then, adding insult to injury, these dissemblers cite this specific provision of the ACA as evidence that Republican inhumanity informs their general opposition to the law. For example, TDB writer Michael Tomasky points to a pre-ACA Republican proposal for general improvements to health care which omitted mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions. “Oh, and get this: Under their plan, insurance companies could still have denied coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Ending that is the main point of reform, and ending that is why reform is so hard.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/16/blame-obama-for-passing-a-partisan-health-care-bill-what-nonsense.html
But since when did banning healthcare insurers operating in any state from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions; require federal legislation? Before the ACA, several states including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont already prohibited such discrimination. http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/pre-existing-conditions.pdf
And since when were Republicans against such legislation?
The voters in blue Massachusetts, through the overwhelmingly Democratic General Court, endorsed legislation mandating the coverage of pre-existing conditions in 1996. And it was signed into law by Governor William Weld, Republican. This was a full 10 years before Republican Governor Mitt Romney signed “An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care” (also known as Romneycare) in 2006, and 18 years before the same mandate for coverage of pre-existing conditions is triggered in the ACA. Even though, these same blue voters overwhelmingly rejected passage of the ACA, choosing Republican Scott Brown to fill Senator Kennedy’s seat in a special election, on the basis, he promised to oppose the federal law, notwithstanding as a state senator, he had voted for the state’s reform plan! Democrats flee from ObamaCare disaster but voters will find them in 2014
(For a good comparison/contrast between Obamacare and Romneycare, read If ObamaCare Is So Bad, How Does RomneyCare Survive? )
Indeed, in “Why Obamacare can’t replicate Mass.,” liberal American journalist Robert Kuttner (Swarthmore, Oberlin, UC Berkeley) points out that Romneycare succeeded where Obamacare has thus far failed due in no small part to the fact that, in 1996, the state passed a law that banned insurers from refusing coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or “guaranteed issue.” Yes, with guaranteed issue, healthy people can wait to buy insurance until they get sick, becoming free riders while others dutifully pay inevitably higher premiums all along. But with the 2006 legislation, where everyone was required to buy insurance, including those who would otherwise be free riders; rates “dropped sharply.” On the other hand; Mr. Kuttner insists the failure of Obamacare ultimately rests with Republicans.
So who should get the blame for the greater confusion in Obamacare?
A ban on pre-existing conditions might have been national policy sooner, but the insurance industry and the Republicans in Congress were dead set against it.
Obama might have funded the affordable insurance policies with direct subsidies rather than tax credits, but that was also anathema to Republicans — not to mention the even simpler course of Medicare for all.
He might have had government write the software for HealthCare.gov rather than hiring dozens of contractors. But ever since Ronald Reagan, government’s core competence has been hollowed out.
In short, Republicans create conditions that make it impossible for insurance reform to be carried out efficiently — and then laugh at the political damage to Democrats. The mischief is not only in demonizing the program and trying to defund it after the fact, but encumbering it with clunky preconditions even before it comes to a vote. Id.
The moral here is that even when Democrats praise Republicans for the acknowledged good things they do, they appear pre-conditioned to contemporaneously pile on the blame.