The Affordable Care Act lost any chance for affordable health care for the uninsured when the politically powerful insurance industry successfully redefined President Barack Obama’s original public option as a European styled single-payer plan. True, the “core goal” was simply to provide affordable health care for America’s uninsured. But that initiative was lost when the for-profit insurance industry forced its way into the picture. The public option, based on the same principle as Social Security and Workmen’s Compensation, would have been affordable because it would have been based on the need of the uninsured, rather than corporate profitability.
The original proposal for affordable health care would have been federally regulated, but self, rather than federally funded. It would have applied only to the uninsured. Those who were already insured would have been unaffected; none of their policies would have been cancelled. The Affordable Care Act premiums would have been based on the income, no matter how limited, of the policy holders. Because all do not need medical care at one time, the needs of those who did would be covered because no for-profit CEOs would not be paid exorbitant salaries and bonuses, and stockholders would not receive dividends.
The modified Affordable Care Act, now known as Obamacare, is dependent on the enrollment of young, healthy policyholders, who will pay premiums without filing claims. Why? Because premiums collected from the healthy will be used to pay the claims of the unhealthy, so that the insurance industry, now back in the picture, can collect profits. Isn’t that why the word “marketplace” is back in the dialog? As for the exchanges, would they have been necessary under the original public option proposal?
Republicans are clamoring for and preparing to campaign on the repeal of Obamacare. They have voted unsuccessfully fifty times to repeal it. How I wish our political leaders would put politics aside, and jointly in a bipartisan effort, allow all who could afford insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act proposal to go back to where they were, and then implement the public option which applied only to the uninsured. Premiums based on the incomes of the newly insured would be affordable as long as health care rather than profit was the motive. If the amount collected was insufficient, premiums could be adjusted accordingly the next year. If a surplus occurred, premiums could be lowered. But, above all, the uninsured could purchase affordable health care, while all who can afford for-profit insurance would be unaffected, if our leaders would just turn Obamacare back into the original public option proposal.
Is the deliberately contaminated Affordable Care Act, or insurance industry corporate greed chipping away at a “core goal?” Think about it, please.
Robert C. Currie Jr. lives in Laurinburg.