Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) it would be nice if we could move forward to full implementation in 2014 and give it a chance to work. That’s certainly what President Obama and Democrats would like to be able to do and in a perfect or even a fair world we’d do just that. Let me know when you see those flying pigs.
Republicans clearly have not given up the fight to deprive Americans of the last best chance to enjoy a somewhat coherent and comprehensive system of healthcare insurance that covers, if not all, then at least most of the population. You know like just about every other country in the developed world; like even Rwanda.
The last thing the GOP/Tea Party element of the country wants is another example of government regulation that works. Bad enough we’ve got Medicare and the Veterans Administration system. To see Obamacare implemented is simply unthinkable to these ideologically blinkered scions of the right. No, they will not give up the struggle to head off the ACA before it can demonstrate to Americans that it isn’t simply a huge, amorphous legislative whale that will speed the country into bankruptcy but, rather, a rationale, cost effective plan to bring the United States into the 21st century in terms of providing healthcare security for most of its people.
This time Obama and the Democrats must not shrink from fighting back. They cannot, as they did in 2010, allow the right to set the terms of the debate to distort, misinform and lie about the ACA unchallenged. They are not without weapons. Most Americans like individual elements of the plan and Democrats must hammer home the fact that if the ACA is repealed, those bits will be no more. No matter how hard Romney tries to fudge the question of what he will replace the ACA with once he acts to repeal it, Americans need to understand that the popular parts such as barring insurance companies from excluding individuals with pre-existing conditions will be gone. And they won’t come back.
If anyone was in any doubt about that they only had to watch Minority Leader Mitch McConnell squirm, obfuscate and evade when he was pressed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday to explain the GOP’s plans for healthcare insurance reform following the demise of the ACA. As for the 30 million uninsured Americans that will be newly covered under the ACA, McConnell opined that they were not the issue. Precisely.