Monday, June 25, 2012
What Michael Tomasky Said . . .
Specifically, what he said here. It is simply baffling to me how BHO, democrats, and advocates for health care reform generally have utterly failed to defend, or even explain, the affordable care act. The act, according to pollsters, is unpopular. The people know they're supposed to hate it, but they don't know why. They don't even know what's in it.
When you ask them about specific stuff that is in it, they generally like each of the pieces, usually by a lot. What they mostly don't like is stuff that isn't in it. It is not a government takeover of health care. It does not include death panels, or rationing. It will not put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. It will not restrict your choice of insurance plans. On the contrary, it will do exactly what Mitt Romney says he wants you to be able to do -- it will make it much easier, if you don't like your insurance company, to fire them and get a different one.
It will make it possible for people who cannot under any circumstances buy affordable insurance now get insurance and get their medical needs taken care of. It will make insurance companies take less of your premiums for profit and marketing and executive salaries and paying people to figure out how to deny you coverage or specific benefits; and put more of your money back into your health care. It will make it easier to compare insurance plans and pick the one you like. It will guarantee you a minimum standard of benefits. If you have a low or moderate income, it will give you a subsidy to make insurance affordable. And on the whole, in total, in the long run, it will create the kind of system we need to actually save money. (Alright, what I want is a single payer system that will do that for real, and now, but this is Earth One.) And so on.
Yes, apparently the majority of people don't like the individual mandate but it might help if somebody explained it to them. Right now, people who don't have insurance, if they get really sick or hit by a bus, show up at the ER and we all have to pay their medical bills. This is about personal responsibility -- the purpose is to put a stop to freeloading. That's conservative, and libertarian, and darn well right wing.
So why can't people stand up in front of a TV camera and just say all this? There is some kind of weird collective aphasia in the Democratic Party.