A recent poll shows Americans evenly divided on the Supreme Court decision upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: 46 percent in support, 46 percent opposed. Other polls have shown Americans also support the individual parts of the legislation.
Americans overwhelmingly support the provision which allows dependent coverage until age 26. Americans support the provision preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, or dropping policyholders when they get sick.
Polls show Americans approve of the provisions requiring insurance companies to give back to policyholders if profits exceed a generous amount. We also approve of provisions closing the so-called “doughnut hole” in prescription drug coverage for seniors — a George W. Bush administration boondoggle designed to protect pharmaceutical company profits.
Yes, it is true polls asking the question “Do you support Obamacare”? routinely show the majority of people do not. But who can be surprised about that fact after a two-year propaganda campaign which included everything from “the socialist government-takeover of health care” to “government sponsored death panels”?
Neither of those paranoid fears will ever happen, but the things the radical right are afraid of which aren’t happening (and never will) is another letter altogether.
The facts are a majority of Americans support the changes in health-care delivery provided for by the Affordable Care Act. When politicians — and this includes many politicians from Louisiana — talk about repeal because that’s what most Americans want, they are either willfully deceptive or willfully ignorant.
Since the defeat of “Hillarycare” in the early years of the Bill Clinton administration Republicans have had an opportunity to address health care, including six years from 2001 to 2006 when they held the presidency, majorities in both houses, and a majority on the Supreme Court. In that nearly 20-year time span they have done nothing but oppose health-care reform — which is a pretty darn good reason not to trust them now.
I can’t say I am completely happy with the Affordable Care Act. But we had to take that first step and now we have.
Instead of talking about repeal we should be talking about how to make the law work the way we all want it to — reduce explosive health-care costs, provide for the poor and misfortunate, guarantee ethical and moral treatment by insurance companies toward policyholders and potential policyholders, among other hopes.
I reject the radical-right vision of health-care reform as evil socialism, unconstitutional, anti-American government over-reach. Instead as we celebrate our nation’s beginnings I embrace the vision of affordable health care for all citizens as a proud — and humbling — expression of who we are as a people.
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