The recent op-ed piece by Paul Hollis and John Kay was one big lie from start to finish. President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats did not “ram” Obamacare through. Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans began as soon as Obama took office in January of 2009. The ACA was not signed until March 23, 2010 — after much debate and many votes. The Republicans were pretty clear that they could not possibly care less about the plight of uninsured Americans. They still don’t. The ACA was outright sabotaged from Day One by the Republicans in Congress and their stooges in the red states. Did some folks lose their existing policies after the ACA was passed? Yes, but this was almost entirely due to the fact that old-style catastrophic coverage plans are no longer considered as real insurance. Those plans provided slim coverage with high deductibles and still weren’t cheap. They have been replaced with actual insurance that provides real, reliable coverage at a reasonable price. There were generous subsidies offered to those who couldn’t afford to pay. Did some people end up worse off? Again — yes — but if you balance the few hundred thousand individuals who are paying more now against the 20 million who couldn’t get insurance before, there is no comparison. Premiums are currently on the rise. However, so are the subsidies. According to the Kaiser Foundation, in all but two states, a 40-year-old non-smoker earning $40,000 a year will see NO increase in his net out-of-pocket because as his premiums go up, so do the subsidies. In Massachusetts, where Obamacare was invented by a Republican, over 97 percent of the people have health insurance. The mandate that forces you to buy insurance is solely the product of the conservative Heritage Foundation. It wanted to prevent what it referred to as “freeloaders” on our healthcare system. Until this GOP plan was adopted by a Democratic president, conservatives thought that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. When President Obama agreed, they dropped it like a hot rock. This was part one of the million-part-plan by the GOP to make Obama a single-term president. Big picture: the ACA has achieved its primary goal of reducing by nearly half the number of uninsured in the United States. In Louisiana alone, we went from 22 percent of our citizens with no health insurance to 12.5 percent. There is still work to do. Trump and the Republicans are not willing to do it. All they want is to take us back to where we were eight years ago when, according to the Harvard Medical School, 45,000 Americans died every year just because they didn’t have insurance. Unacceptable.
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