By Alberto Pupo
Four years old and the war still continues. Obamacare, the root of all evil. Obamacare, that which leaves millions of Americans restless at night with promise of health insurance. The ever present mandate is coming for us all (not just yet for Big Business). Meanwhile House Republicans have attempted a whopping 50 times to Repeal the law! Now they have even put together a plan to try and replace the health care law with. What is it about this law that makes it so scary? Why is the Right so entrenched on making this an election year issue (every single time)? What is it that scares them? Is this a fear of a slippery slope towards a true Single Payer plan? Is it all the taxes on medical devices and tanning beds? Or is it the idea of change itself?
The Affordable Health Care Act has been law since 2010. In the Republican world view it has been a suggestion since 2010. Through the use of Corporate Media, Super PAC money, and publicity stunts, the Republican sound machine has managed to convince the casual American that the Healthcare law is still under debate. The reason for this public misconception has to do with the way the law itself has been implemented. In order to placate Right-Wingers and ease them into things, The Obama Administration has rolled out this law in phases. Some of these phases have faced delay for example the Business mandate has been extended once again (boy they love to gripe). Because these parts of the law are rolling in at different points, Conservatives are harping on this to fool the American people into thinking that the ACA is not a law, but a Bill that is still open for discussion. Naturally the average American who is too enthralled in the latest exploits of the Bachelor (or Bachelorette), will be persuaded by the expensive political attack ads and thirty second sound bites which are the main source of their political news.
Naturally the ACA is far from a perfect piece of Progressive Legislation. The sad truth is the ACA is a healthcare compromise. It is a way to expand coverage in America while still making the private sector happy. American politicians are deathly afraid of Corporate America. Corporate America wields ghastly influence in the career outlook of all politicians (cash money baby!). Because of this politicians of all stripes tend to walk around on egg shells. Pharma is a powerful lobby. Insurance Companies have incredible amounts of cash (that they only give to good little boys and girls). Because of this the creation of a true Universal Single Payer Healthcare system was not put on the table. That is why the notion of a “Public Option” was eradicated, or even a Medicare for all idea as proposed by Congressman Alan Grayson. Fear of losing money made most politicians leery and still gave the Insurance industry a lot of power in the crafting of the Healthcare law.
Conservatives are still not happy with the ACA. Even with all its support of many of their pet industries Republicans want to continue to make it easier for their pet industries to fleece the American people. Secretly, insurance companies are pissed they can no longer wantonly discriminate against whoever they choose. They are upset that they can no longer raise insurance premiums without just cause or justification. They share these secret gripes and pass it along to their favorite Conservative Worm, who later does the dance of fools in Congress to please their Corporate Master. The ideal situation for Conservatives is a fully Privatized Insurance industry. Where people can be bankrupted or simply die off if they cannot pay. Doctors and Hospitals can discriminate, mistreat and wantonly kill their patients. They want all the accountability to the shoulders of the consumer while the Industry can get away with anything and everything. Conservative ideology is often about putting those with wealth and power above the law at the expense of the poor and middle class, this is what gives a conservatives an orgasm of joy so to speak. They love to indulge in the misery of others as long as it fattens the bottom line.