Proving that propaganda prevails over common sense, a concerted GOP effort to paint President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act as the worst boondoggle in U.S. history succeeded because the White House failed to respond. Whatever the public’s negative view of Obamacare, it stems from pernicious GOP propaganda that has blamed Obamacare for every evil imaginable. Blamed for ruining the U.S. health care system, fingered as socialized medicine and branded as a “jobs killer,” the GOP has had a field day demonizing the biggest single entitlement since Medicare in 1965. Opponents have trashed the concept of providing government-funded health insurance as if would destroy the American health system. Despite endorsed by the American Medical Assn. and American Assn. of Health Plans, the GOP has trashed Obama’s attempt to cover some 40-million uninsured citizens.
Instead of getting the facts, the public has been overdosed on a steady diet of disinformation, leaving the ordinary citizens totally confused. Now that Obamacare has become a reality, the GOP-controlled House has threatened to shutdown the government unless the White House agrees to a one-year delay. Any citizen without health insurance should jump for joy that the government’s going to help them buy an affordable policy. Bashed for providing socialized medicine by the GOP, Obamacare does nothing of the sort. It simply provides a policy for the uninsured to go to the doctors, clinics and hospitals of their choice, like any other private medical plan. Estimating the costs at $328 a month without government subsidies, the plan covers outpatient, inpatient and emergency services with comparable deductibles and co-payments found in typical federal insurance plans.
White House officials have done a miserable job of explaining how Obamacare would help average citizens and corporations looking to save money on employees’ health insurance costs. Touted as “socialism” by the GOP, Obamacare provides similar coverage as Medicare and Medicaid, both designed to provide coverage for the elderly, disabled and the poor. Obamacare fills in the gap for working adults between the ages of 27-65, where parents’ coverage no longer applies or where Medicare doesn’t kick in until retirement age. For citizens without insurance or with pre-existing conditions either preventing coverage entirely or pricing subscribers out of the market, Obamacare allows individuals to qualify for what’s historically known as group coverage, where medical conditions can’t be used to exclude or charge more for insurance. Obamacare prevents unfair redlining for individual subscribers.
Corporations can save money by allowing part-time employees to purchase policies for less money and better coverage than company plans. Families can apply for government subsidies up to $85,000 in total family income. Individuals or families with less income can qualify for government grants defraying partially or completely the $328 per month initial cost of Obamacare. Reports of corporations already opting for Obamacare for part-time employees show how cost-effective Obamacare is for employees and employers alike. Under Obamacare legislation, corporations must offer employer-based plans only when employees work 30-or-more hours a week. Corporations can save money by shifting part-time employees to Obamacare policies. Businesses with over 50 employees-or-more must sign employees up for group health plans or pay for Obamacare.
Most GOP Tea Party politicians, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) or Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kt.), can’t say exactly what they don’t like about Obamacare other than it’s not in the Constitution. Those same politicians also rail against Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. They don’t back any government entitlements, regardless on how many of their constituents rely heavily on the nation’s social safety net. Tea Party folks don’t want U.S. tax dollars used to pay for government entitlements. Their opposition to Obamacare stems from deep philosophical objections about balancing capitalism with a reasonable federal social safety net, including health care for all citizens, not just the elderly, disabled and poor. Average citizens stand to gain affordable, government-backed health coverage, comparable to the policies issued to federal employees.
GOP brainwashing on Obamacare has assured the public’s negativity for the foreseeable future. White House officials must confront the GOP’s pernicious propaganda with as much factual information about Obamacare as possible. If you really believed the GOP’s message, you’d think that Obamacare would wreck the American health care system. Endorsed by the conservative National Assn. of Health Plans and American Medical Assn., the medical industry sees the benefits to insuring some 40-million uninsured citizens. Insurers and physicians aren’t worried about losing money, they see clearly the largest expansion of the health care industry in the nation’s history. They don’t see Obamacare as a “jobs killer,” they see it as producing millions of new jobs in the not-too-distant future. Unlike the GOP’s Tea Party, the medical and insurance industry see Obamacare as doing the right thing.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.