We already pay for each other’s health care in the dumbest possible way
Republicans are debating right now about which scheme the should use to try to destroy Obamacare before the most compelling benefits of the law and taxes on the rich and corporations kick in on January 1, 2014.
Defund or delay.
The “defund” people think that Republicans should refuse to fund the government — and possibly even default on our debt, crashing the global economy — until the president agrees to defund his signature legislative accomplishment. This would stop Medicaid expansion for millions of working Americans and erase tax breaks to help an estimated 26 million more Americans buy insurance. And — defunders rarely mention this — it would not collect the taxes on the rich and the corporations that will pay for it. People will blame the president, they say, and Obamacare will disappear like the guy who did Gangnam Style.
The “delay” people think Republicans should negotiate a one-year moratorium on Obamacare’s new benefits and taxes to “fix” the issues with the law that have prompted the White House to delay for a year some aspects of the law, including the employer mandate, verification of income in the health care exchanges and a consumer protection to ensure all middle class Americans don’t pay more than 10% of their income on health insurance. This is giant ruse, of course, because Republicans have more interest in sabotaging the law than fixing it, which is a big reason why there are problems with the implementation. Delay would lead to defund, which is how the proponents of this strategy are selling it. The only difference is the delay people want to negotiate for a delay — and don’t seem particularly interested in shutting down the government.
Both strategies have the same effect: Perpetuating a broken health care system.
America pays more for health care per capita than any other industrialized country in the world yet we have the most uninsured. An estimated 26,000–45,000 die every year for a lack of health insurance and millions more go bankrupt.
And the worst part is we already pay for each other’s health care in the dumbest way possible. Since 1986, America has had a busted version of single-payer that ensures all Americans will eventually get some care if the get poor, old or sick enough, when it will cost the most for the least benefit.
Defunding or delaying keeps this broken system in place.
Implementing and improving an imperfect version of Obamacare is the first serious attempt to do something about this by getting millions uninsured. It does ask young people who are doing well to pay about as they pay for auto insurance in health insurance. It does tax the rich and the corporations to help millions of working people who earn too much for Medicaid to get care for their families.
If we delay or defund, we’ll still be paying those costs — and they’ll be higher. Meanwhile millions of Americans will suffer and perish because the GOP is trying to sustain a cruel, broken system. Because by now it’s obvious what their greatest fear it: It will work.