GOP Will Stop at Nothing to Deny Obama His Due on Healthcare Reform
“All of this would be funny if it weren’t so crazy.”
That was President Obama commenting the other day about some of the irresponsible, outlandish and just plain idiotic things critics have been saying about the Affordable Care Act.
We’ve now reached an important milestone: Pre-enrollment begins Tuesday for people to sign up for insurance through the online exchanges created by the healthcare reform law. Actual coverage will begin Jan. 1.
This is crunch time. Republicans know that once people get a taste of the benefits they’ll receive under the Affordable Care Act, there will be no turning back. So the GOP is working overtime to misinform, frighten and dupe people into keeping their distance.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said the Affordable Care Act must be repealed “before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.”
Literally. Kills. Children.
In reality, the law extends health coverage to 95% of kids and, among other things, blocks insurers from placing limits on coverage and prohibits them from taking insurance away if a child gets sick.
“Extremists are allowed to say whatever they want,” said Glenn Melnick, a healthcare economist at USC. “So you’re going to get people saying extreme things, whether or not they’re true.”
He noted that the Affordable Care Act “is actually not that big a deal,” reform-wise. It doesn’t do much to address fast-rising medical costs. It doesn’t lay the groundwork for the long-term sustainability of the Medicare program.
“If you want people to have coverage, it makes progress on that,” Melnick said. “But prices are still going up. Premiums are still going up. This will keep happening despite the Affordable Care Act.”