Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Re-shaping Obamacare

I saw an article on Facebook this morning that gave two stories about the impact of Obamacare on DC area small business, one positive and one negative.  I posted it, and this comment:

"See, this is the thing. A "thriving insurance market for small businesses and individuals" is not the same thing as "Obamacare". We didn't need Obamacare to get the kind of coverage that the Whitfield's now enjoy. Except that no one--and I am talking to my Republican friends too--seemed terribly interested in making such a market happen through changes to existing regulation, etc. And so, in this monster that is Obamacare, there are people who are very, very happy with what the law has brought them, and they should be. Just the other day, the CEO of Uber talked about how the law has been a boon to his business, as the law's provisions for the purchase of insurance for individuals has helped create a ready market of drivers who are essentially, private contractors. While we Republicans are busy with our 2 yard-line dance (not quite in the end-zone) over Jonathan Gruber's revelations of the Obama team's legislative playbook, we need to realize that there is a not insignificant group of people who have benefited from this law. They need to be considered as we look to reform the healthcare system in positive ways. And we need to take responsibility for the fact that prior to January 2009, we simply did not care enough about this issue to get something done."

Now, I know that this may raise Mudge's hackles, but after Republicans go through the theater ONE TIME of "repealing" Obamacare--which will not be successful, they need to begin to make improvements to it that are in alignment with our values and that retain the parts of the law that are popular with a broad spectrum of Americans.  Here's how one comment on my Facebook post put it:

"As a Navy reserve officer, I've had access to insurance independent from my "main" employer for years. The freedom to switch jobs, go on orders, start a business or take time to take care of family while keeping the same insurance, rates, doctors and network is huge. The alternative is staying in a job you hate, paying huge COBRA fees (for a limited time) to maintain insurability if you have a pre-existing condition, and finding new doctors (if you can) for your new network."

We cannot forget that the 2008 Republican Presidential candidate DID in fact run on a platform that broke the connection between one's employment and insurance coverage.  This relic of WWII does not serve our increasingly labor-mobile economy at all.  Obamacare has provided just such a system, but the bad things about the bill kept Republicans from voting for any of the good things.  So let's move forward and begin changing the things that ought to be changed while we recognize the real hunger out there in our society for people to feel safely insured irrespective of their employment situation.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mmmmm.....Mudge hackles.

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