The Buck Starts Here

Today, once again, House Republicans will vote to deny Americans healthcare coverage.

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The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was passed by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court.

But still the Tea Party zealots in Congress are obsessed with stripping people of their right and access to affordable care.

We are still recovering from the Second Bush Recession. But rather than focusing on legislation that will help the economy, this is what they are focused on.

In a moment of shocking honesty and insensitivity last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that 30 million uninsured Americans “is not the issue.”

Rather than opening the insurance market to every American, here is what the Republican Party wants to do:

Republicans are trying to impose lifetime limits on your health care benefits. The law forbids healthcare companies from limiting your care if you get sick.

Republicans will allow healthcare companies to drop you when you get sick. The law forbids heath insurance companies from this predatory practice. Healthcare bills are the leading cause of bankruptcies in America – in large part because insurance companies dump expensive policies.

Republicans that vote for repeal are voting to allow gender discrimination against you or your mother, your wife, your daughter, your niece, and your female friends. Currently, gender based health care is legal in almost every state.

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Republicans are voting to eliminate transparency for consumers. By eliminating the healthcare exchange, consumers will no longer be able to find out what percent of claims a health insurance company denies. This is but one example of information that consumers have no access to. It is hard to shop for the best insurance deal if the deck is stacked and insurance companies have information on your health history, but you have no knowledge of their insurance record.

Republicans are voting to allow healthcare companies to pay their executives exorbitant salaries rather than spending your insurance premiums on health care. Under the law, a company that spends less than eighty percent of the premiums it charges on care will have to give consumers a rebate. Before the Affordable Care Act was passed insurance companies routinely spent 60 percent of premiums on health care delivery.

Republicans also want to kick children under the age of 26 off of their parents’ policies. That is coverage for 3.1 million Americans. Under the law, young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until their 26th birthday. This age group is suffering from high unemployment numbers in the Second Bush Recession and gives them an opportunity for affordable coverage.

The list goes on.

Heath care reform, by necessity, is complicated. But efforts to strip these very popular core elements to the Affordable Care Act will not play so well for Republicans in the fall.

Despite all the derogatory rhetoric from the Tea Party, parents – women especially – are very much in favor of key elements of the new law that Republicans want to take away.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.

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