Affordable Care Act OPEN for business! US Government partially SHUTDOWN!
There was REALLY GOOD NEWS YESTERDAY as the protections for WE THE PEOPLE of the US continued to be implemented through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with the launching of the MARKETPLACES! I am among the citizens of the US very grateful for this long awaited milestone. Consider how many times WE THE PEOPLE of the US have tried to get reasonable healthcare coverage. The bad news is that each time a small minority of selfish citizens opposed this healthy provision for ALL the citizens of the USA.
The controversy over the ACA is like the controversy when Social Security was introduced. This controversy is like the controversy when Medicare and Medicaid were made law. I think it is astounding that there was not this kind of dysfunctional controversy when George W. Bush prevailed with the prescription drug coverage under Medicare – Part D. I suspect part of this is due to the fact that the President agreed to PREVENT the US Government through Medicare to NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES. This meant that the pharmaceutical corporations were ENTHUSIASTIC for the Part D provisions. WHY NOT? Review the SOARING PRICES of prescription drugs since Part D went into effect. Put this in context with the reports of lower prices negotiated by the Veteran's Administration and other agencies. WHY is Medicare locked in a strait-jacket? This is a major reform I think should be passed into law vis-à-vis Medicare Part D.
I share the perspective articulated by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's editorial, “Obamacare: A major step toward fairness.”
I agree with the two (2) facts cited by the editorial:
“Republicans continue to resist Obamacare — some cartoonishly (see "Ted Cruz" and "filibuster"). A wide philosophical divide remains in Congress and will not be closed anytime soon. But it's worth recalling two facts:
“The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, and the president won re-election after his opponent made repealing the law a major plank in his platform.
“Threats to shut down the government or — worse — to fail to extend the debt ceiling and flirt with default over this law are sheer folly and reveal an opposition more concerned with its own interests than the broader interests of the American people.
“Obamacare is here to stay. Improve it. Make it work.”
Where is the practical American attitude to “IMPROVE” and “MAKE IT WORK”?! I agree with the assertion that the ACA needs to be IMPROVED! This is the start… look at improvements which have been made through the years to SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE and MEDICAID and most laws passed by the US Congress. It is an INCREMENTAL PROCESS! One-step-at-a-time evolution to make better and better. Isn't this “THE AMERICAN WAY”?
The Editorial offers opportunity to LEARN MORE as it concludes – I cited those opportunities for your easy access.
For more information about the opening of Wisconsin's health care insurance marketplace, use these resources:
Official US Government website for ACA: Visit healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596
Wisconsin Department of Health Service's “Wisconsin Health Care Options in 2014”: dhs.wisconsin.gov/health-care
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a very valuable special section interactive section on Obamacare, which has been compiled by the news department with practical information: jsonline.com/obamacare
Here we go…
John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Whitewater and an advocate for Project Citizen, a model curriculum for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.