House Republicans are planning a vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act ("PPCA") aka, "Obamacare."
They have nothing to replace it. That is hardly surprising since the PPCA is their bill, hatched in the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and brought to fruition by Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts.
The upcoming vote should be labeled, "The $1000 Mandate on Insured Families, Freedom to Freeload Act."
In order to make Republicans truly ecstatic with what they are doing, one might add, "and Precipitate a Medicare Crisis Act."
Thanks a lot, boys and girls, but no thanks.
Until the PPCA's mandate to pay a penalty (or tax, who cares?) if one does not purchase health insurance kicks in, the millions of American families with health insurance will continue to pay a $1000 (or about $375/person) insurance company mandated penalty in their premiums to cover the costs of the uninsured who often receive expensive emergency room treatment for conditions that could have been treated earlier, better, and with lower costs had they had coverage to see a private physician. (Did I just say that Obamacare enables people to see "private" physicians! Wash my mouth with soap, slap my wrists!!)
Starting in 2014, those of us who are insured will not have that mandate they have been forced to bear for decades. As is already the case in Massachusetts, that burden will be transferred to those who can afford insurance, but have decided to freeload on the system.
House Republicans, however, would champion freeloaders at the expense of the insured. They would slap that $1000 mandate back on the insured families.
They are going to vote to do it tomorrow.
In the process they will increase our deficit by $300 billion in the next 10 years. As in the wars they lied us into, and the prescription drug benefit they enacted, and the tax cuts for the wealthy they enacted, it will be done without paying for it, increasing our debt.
And, they will move the date closer that Medicare stops paying for itself by 10 years. That is because the PPCA increased Medicare's solvency by 12 years, of which two have gone by.
This may be a clever ploy. It might enable them to panic the country to abandon Medicare and replace it with VoucherCare, the Ryan plan Mitt Romney considers "bold and exciting." One can only hope it is not too exciting, as the Medicare patients who have angina and can no longer afford their medications may not be able to tolerate all that "excitement."
The $1000 mandate is not the only injury the already-insured will suffer if the Republicans' plan to repeal their own proposal succeeds. In addition, insured parents will have to throw their own children between the ages of 18 and 26 off their coverage. One can only imagine those conversations, and their wonderful impact on family cohesion.
Then, of course, is the reinstatement of lifetime caps, guaranteed to throw families into bankruptcy when they hit those limits. At least there will be riveting stories for afternoon soaps.
Nor should we ignore throwing the insured off of coverage when they get ill because they forgot to reveal they had acne 20 years earlier. That will bold.
Did our Creator endow us with an inalienable right to freeload on the system?
Or, do we thank the Republicans?