Republicans in Congress and state officeholders, plus conservative commentaries and pundits all across the nation, all talk about the Affordable Care Act as though it’s about Socialism. But, hasn’t the system that this nation for the last half century been a real case for Socialism? I say this because it is us taxpayers who pay for the uninsured. This is because when someone doesn’t have insurance, though it’s because they can’t afford it or simply doesn’t want to pay for it – when they end up in a health care crisis and end up at an emergency room, it’s we the taxpayers who end up paying for it. If that’s not Socialism; I don’t know what is.
The health care mandate that’s included in the Affordable Care Act is what is most objectionable to most people, but without the mandate that requires everyone to have health insurance, then we’re back to the same Socialism that we had before; taxpayers paying for the health care of the uninsured.
The health insurance mandate that’s included in ObamaCare; as it’s called, is the trade-off Congress and the president made with the health insurance industry so that they in turn would be mandated to provide insurance to everyone, no matter of preexisting conditions, age or any other factor. Without it, we cannot mandate the health industry to provide that same kind of coverage as they could not afford to and remain profitable businesses.
The main word here is “profitable”; why should health care be a profitable business? The whole ethics of a profit-making system is where this nation stands on the wrong side of morality. A much better system would be a single-payer system. Problem is; a single-payer system has been given a bad name which is “Socialism”. But as I’ve already pointed out, that’s exactly what we have with the old system; Socialism.
So in reality, the Affordable Care Act is actually a step away from Socialism and instead, makes everyone responsible for their own health care so that it doesn’t fall on the taxpayer. This reality has been distorted by voices from the right since this bill first began to take shape in Congress. What those voices from the right have actually been advocating is a continuance of Socialism, not the beginning.
The reality is that for decades, taxpayers have been paying for the health care of those who not only can’t afford it, but also those who just don’t want to buy health insurance.
There has been a sort of self-denial going on with the conservative frame of mind. We could actually relate it to what someone does when they have a certain medical condition but don’t want to believe it until it’s too late and they need much more serious health care than they would have needed. By denying that there was a problem – in this case, taxpayers paying for health care and at its most expensive – by emergency room and without health care insurance, the cost of health care has continued to go up, uninterrupted by common sense. That common sense is that there is a less expensive way to provide health care and provide better health care through preventive medicine, instead of by emergency room, which is when the health condition has worsened to the point of death or at least the inability to ignore it any longer. This is a quote from healthcare.gov concerning the cost of the health care plan passed by Congress and signed by President Obama:
The independent, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office – Congress’s official authority on the budget – estimates that provisions in the law will reduce the deficit by $143 billion over its first 10 years and by $1 trillion over the next two decades.
And the Medicare trustees recently reported that the Affordable Care Act has added eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.
So like a health condition that has been ignored way too long, it’s time for some common sense. Conservatives and the rest of the nation must come to grips that we can either have this health care bill in its present form, or better – change it so that it becomes a single-payer system and we all pay for it as taxpayers, even those who wouldn’t pay for their own care otherwise. Or go back to the old system where those who pay taxes and pay for their own health care on top of it, continue to pay for the health care of others; all this though they can afford it or not, and at the highest rate. Hopefully in the end, common sense will win.
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