Democratic Leadership Failing to Point Out ACA Positives
Chuck Schumer was on CNN New Day this morning and was asked, “Why won’t Democrats work with Republicans on a replacement?”
Schumer replied, “They haven’t given us anything to work with.”
What!? Chuck, No! That is the totally wrong answer!
He should have replied with, “Democrats are not going to work to dismantle a program that is helping to insure millions of Americans. We can agree that the ACA needs to be fixed, but the Republicans are starting from the point of Repeal and possibly Replace. That’s not something we’re going to do. And I think that Republicans, who by the way have had 6+ years to come up with a replacement or help us fix the ACA, are starting to hear from constituents that they don’t want the health insurance they have through the ACA to be taken away.”
Republicans are driving a narrative that the ACA is in some kind of death spiral with premiums going through the roof everywhere and insurers are pulling out left and right. They love to point to Arizona’s premium spike as the model for the entire nation. When in reality some locations are actually seeing a decrease in their premiums (granted not many), and others are only seeing smaller increases than would have been without the ACA.
Democrats should be on every single show stating the false premise by which Republicans are starting. The ACA is not failing. It has succeeded in securing health insurance for 16-17 MILLION Americans, many of them getting this coverage for the first time. Ripping that away from these people is not only cruel, it will result in the deaths of people. The real reason the Republican party hates the ACA is that it taxes those who can afford to pay more and provide tax credits to those who can’t afford insurance. Trump wants to do away with that in favor of Health Savings Accounts, which most Americans can’t afford to place money in, even with a tax credit. His other plan is to ‘dissolve’ state borders and allow insurance carriers to sell and be bought across state lines with no capping of rates and no required health screenings.
These new plans will not be any better. They sure might be cheaper, mostly because they are junk insurance plans that will cover little to absolutely nothing. The irony of ‘dissolving’ state borders so insurers can sell across state lines is that Republicans are essentially ceding the idea of “local control”. Each insurance company has to submit plans to a state they wish to operate in. This costs the insurance companies time and money because the states want to make sure their people are getting real coverage. Republicans would have to do away with this in order to allow for cross-border selling. So now, a Connecticut-based company can sell in Georgia without the local regulating authority overseeing the plans and making sure they are actually providing coverage and not "coverage."
The only real way to keep the individual markets a feasible option is keeping the individual mandate. This was a Heritage Foundation idea, and Republicans are wanting to drop that like 3rd period French. Getting rid of the mandate will destroy the individual market with the net effect being that those who might try to keep some kind of insurance will, in fact, be paying a much higher premium. All for a plan that isn’t going to be locally regulated and won’t cover much of anything.
Quite simply, as many here have been saying, Republicans want to repeal and then do nothing. None of the ideas that have come out for replacement have even gotten support of the various factions of the Republican party. All they can agree on is repeal, and even that is starting to look shaky. Democrats and the Democratic leadership need to start getting out on the networks and defend the hell out of the ACA with actual facts. Not what I saw from Schumer.