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Monday, August 26, 2013

Republicans Can't Keep Railing Against Obamacare- They Need to Provide an Alternative

It's wonderful to see Ed Shultz back on TV weeknights, at 5 PM on MSNBC.  His "take no prisoners" progressive broadcast style sure knows how to get liberals emotionally fired up, on the left side of important issues.  

"The Ed Show" is back, just in time to educate Americans about the reason Republicans are obsessed with opposing Health Care Reform, aka, the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare". 

"Republicans...spent their summer running around the country at town halls lying about Obamacare," said Shultz, "(but), I'm not going to let them off the hook."

Shultz says the reason Republicans, like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Congresswoman Michele Bachman are obsessed about eliminating Obamacare, even supporting 40 separate votes in the Congress to repeal the law, is because they're afraid to run a campaign, in 2016, against the success of this important health care reform.  Therefore, they're determined to try to destroy the law, rather than risk seeing it successfully implemented, beginning in October 2013.  

Ahhhhh, now I get it!  Republicans aren't opposed to Obamacare because they hold a fundamentally philosophical disagreement against everybody having health care coverage. Rather, they're opposed to Obamacare because it might be successful!  Maybe, Obamacare will really provide millions of Americans with access to healthcare insurance coverage and Republicans don't want to deal with campaigning in a year when the health care reform law will be touted as successful.

Are we shocked-shocked(!)? Indeed, Republicans don't really care about people having access to health care insurance, at all.  Instead, they want to claim a hallow power victory, by infecting their right wing followers with a zeal to defeat health care reform.  

Thank you Ed Shultz for de-mystifying the Republican anti-Obamacare obsession.

Nevertheless,  I'm cautious about whether or not Obamacare will be as successful as Ed Shultz would like us to believe.  Ideally, at the outset, Obamacare had the potential to be enormously successful- until the US Supreme Court supported states having the right to "opt-out" of the Medicaid expansion. This optional exclusion to the law has effectively blocked coverage for millions of Americans who, otherwise, are unable to afford the insurance coverage provided through "exchanges", as authorized by Obamacare.  

Some states, like Maine, for example, have already (unfortunately) opted out of the Medicaid expansion.  As a result, on January, 2014, an astounding 70,000 Maine people will have no health care coverage because Governor Paul LePage vetoed the bi-partisan law, passed by the state legislature, that would have expanded Medicaid coverage, under Obamacare.  So, those people left uncovered on January 2014, will certainly not see Obamacare as being successful.

Yet, the success of Obamacare is already experienced by certain elements of the law already in effect:

1. Illegal to discriminate against beneficiaries who have pre-existing conditions - like diabetes or cancer.
2.  Eliminating caps on coverage for care.
3.  Allowing children to remain on their parents health insurance plans until they are 26 years old.
4.  Providing insurance coverage for dependent children without regard for pre-existing conditions.
5.  Providing wellness care coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.

A repeal of Obamacare will eliminate the partial list of benefits as described above.

To sustain any appearance of credibility regarding health care reform, the Republicans obsessed with eliminating Obamacare must find a suitable replacement for the law. Rather than run around the nation, wasting tax payer money to destroy health care reform aka Obamacare, they should be selling Americans an alternative plan.  But, the truth is, they simply don't have one.

Therefore, although I don't necessarily share the enthusiasm Ed Shultz professes in support of Obamacare. I fully realize how our nation simply can't go backwards on health care reform. President Obama successfully put health care coverage at the forefront of domestic public policy and Americans must rise to the challenge of fixing what might be wrong with the law, while saving its assets.

If obsessed Republicans want to continue railing against Obamacare, they must provide Americans with a viable alternative or forever hold their piece.

Meanwhile, those who intellectually realize how important health care reform is to our nation's well being must stand together in support of the Affordable Care Act until the last obsessed Republican is finally voted out of office.

Remember, Obamacare will cover mental health care; and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is coded in the Psychiatric Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), making condition reimbursable by health care insurance.  

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