The ACA – Forever Yours

Dear Editor:

If you think, even for a moment, that the Republicans will get rid of the Affordable Care Act if they take over the Senate in this year’s election, then you have a screw loose somewhere. The reason that they won’t, even after years of demonizing the program, is that they don’t really have an alternative to it. That’s because the ACA “is” their alternative. Yes, that’s right. The ACA, also known as “Obamacare” in order to fully associate it with our “nonwhite” president, is actually the brainchild of the Republican Party.

Back in 1993, when Republicans countered the Clinton administration’s health care proposal, what they offered instead was, well, Obamacare. That’s why they have absolutely no plan to get rid of it. Why should they. It’s their program and it’s a bonanza for their clients, the insurance and health care industries. Forty plus million new customers with guaranteed payments and no competition from the government or any other sector. They would probably change the name and take out a couple of things that Obama has added that really help people, but in the end it would still be Obamacare.

Even the dreaded term “Individual Mandate” which the Republicans have now elevated to the equivalent of screaming “Boo” on Halloween to scare the begezzus out of people, is a Republican creation. More specifically, it was coined by the Heritage Foundation, one of those Republican / conservative think (???) tanks.

Republican Mitt Romney thought he was going to become president when he enacted “Obamacare” in Massachusetts well before people even knew who Barack Obama was. What a mistake that was. Obama beat him to it for the nation as a whole. So, in order to maintain his party’s anti-everything Obama stance, Romney had to flip-flop by saying that just because it was good for Massachusetts didn’t mean it would be good for the country. Say what ! ! ! Are you kidding me?

We all know that Republicans are against anything and everything President Obama is for. In this case, they are even against their own program. They don’t have much if anything positive to offer, but being against our “nonwhite’’ president gains them valuable political traction with certain segments of the American population.

Survey after survey shows that when asked, even the Republican constituency is in favor of the ACA’s individual parts. They are even in favor of the “Affordable Care Act” as a whole. But when you call it Obamacare, this same Republican / conservative constituency is totally against it. Go figure.

So, if the ACA is actually the Republican health care plan, then why did Obama propose it? Beats me. Actually, I get it. While Republicans tar every Democrat presidential candidate as the most “liberal” Democrat ever, Democrats like Obama and former president Clinton, are not liberals by a long shot. During his stint as a Senator, Obama was a member of the DLC (Democratic Leadership Conference), a moderate, business friendly caucus of Democrats who regularly disagree with liberal / progressive Democrats on many issues.

So, it wasn’t a surprise that Obama turned the congressional negotiations for the ACA over to Senator Max Baucus. Baucus received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the healthcare industry. He, in turn, delegated the actual writing of the ACA to Liz Fowler, a former lobbyist for Wellpoint, one of the largest healthcare insurers in the country. Fowler’s expertise in health care legislation stems from her work on the Republican’s 2003 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan rip-off. Remember that program? It’s the one that made it against the law for the government to negotiate with drug companies to get lower prices and where you pay a heavy fine if you don’t sign up for the plan when you turn sixty five.

When Obama initiated the negotiations for a health care plan for the country, he didn’t allow even one advocate for a single-payer system to be on the committee. Remember single payer? That’s Medicare for all. Medicare eliminates the insurance companies, those middlemen who serve no real purpose and skim off huge amounts of money from the American people. You can forget about single payer from now on.

Obama probably thought he was going to get something in return from Republicans for caving in on health care. What did he get for it? Nothing, which is probably what he deserves for proposing it in the first place.


Greg Zafros


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