I was searching for a word to describe the never-ending story to defeat a law that is based on your own party’s idea. The word “gobstopper” came to mind as per Willie Wonka, it changes colors and is seemingly everlasting. Or, you could use the North American name for it and call it a “jawbreaker.” Congress has voted for what seems like the one hundredth time (it is only 37) to repeal the Affordable Care Act (the ACA)
The irony is the ACA is a largely Republican idea created as an alternative to National Health Care proposed by the Clintons and rolled out in similar form in Massachusetts to much ongoing success by some guy named Romney. So, when a variation was put forth as the ACA since National Health Care once again could not be passed, it was approved and portions of the law are already in place to a good reception. So, like the gobstopper, the GOP has changed its color on this.
Rather than repeat much information, let me reference several posts I have written over the past year. I will close with some final comments:
– June 29, 2012 – “Help me understand the Ruckus against Health Care Reform”
– July 28, 2012 – “Internal Bleeding – Be Your Own Health Care Advocate”
– August 8, 2012 – “Health Care is more than a pawn, it is a problem”
– September 4, 2012 – “Doctors for America – Patients over Politics”
– November 16, 2012 – Affordable Care Act – the Path Forward”
If you only have time to read two of these, I would refer to the highlighted pieces. The first implores politicians to stop making health care of people in need a pawn in a political game. The second summarizes why 15,000 doctors believe the Affordable Care Act makes sense and the good it has already done and will do in the future. This law is not perfect, but moves the ball forward to cover many people without care. A key part of this law is expanding Medicaid to cover the more impoverished people with significant subsidy to the state to pay for the coverage.
When I see GOP led state legislatures like in my own North Carolina agree to not extend Medicaid to over 500,000 residents, without any replacement ideas to help those in need, I see a group of people who only want to defeat the other side. I see politics at its absolute worst as they would rather defeat the other person’s idea, even if it is like their own, rather than help people in need. In NC, every Monday, a group of disenfranchised citizens are picketing our NC state capitol with some getting arrested. I have shared my concern and disdain with the governor and legislature for the vote to do this. Not that this should matter, but a significant number of the 500,000 in NC who would have been helped by this are Republican voters who have no idea they have been screwed by their own party. These folks will get coverage through the exchanges that are being created, but it would have been more ideal with the Medicaid expansion.
As I mentioned earlier and in the attached posts, the law is far from perfect. Mainly, it is complex. Yet, it needs to continue and will help many in need. I have suggested the law be tweaked, not overhauled, as it helps extend coverage providing subsidy to those in need. Please write a note to your Congressional representative and encourage them to cease the endless, gobstopping votes and make this law better. And, if your state has decided not to expand Medicaid, please let the legislature know of your concern. They are harming people in need, including their own constituents.