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This week I again called my U.S. House representative, urging him to vote against the GOP’s Wealthcare Act. Alas, he voted for it and issued this statement:
With the House passage of the American Health Care Act, we are moving forward with a health care system that lowers costs and increases choices. Like many Americans, I live with a pre-existing condition, as do many of my family members and loved ones. I would not have voted for the bill if I thought protections for those with pre-existing conditions were in jeopardy, as I promised my constituents during three town hall meetings. Today’s vote is the beginning of health care reform, not the be-all-end-all, and we cannot allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I look forward to continuing work to ensure health care is affordable and accessible for all.
Let’s parse the many lies….
- “a health care system that lowers costs and increases choices” – It’s true that the Wealthcare Act reduces the federal government’s health care costs, but it does that by increasing costs for hardworking Americans. Net premiums may fall slightly for young, healthy adults, but the CBO and other analysts projected that premiums will rise for older and sicker Americans, and out-of-pocket expenses will increase for everyone who gets care. It’s also true that the Wealthcare Act “increases choices,” by enabling foolish choices: inviting customers to guess what injuries or illnesses they’ll get, exclude the rest to save a few dollars on premiums … and hope they guessed right.
- “I live with a pre-existing condition” – He also lives with a job and an income that all but guarantee he’ll never have a gap in health insurance coverage, so stripping preexisting condition guarantees will never affect him. Just sayin’.
- “I would not have voted for the bill if I thought protections for those with pre-existing conditions were in jeopardy” – Republicans have drunk enough of their own Kool-Aid to believe their own bullshit about high-risk pools, never mind that such pools have never actually worked.
- “Today’s vote is the beginning of health care reform, not the be-all-end-all” – Yet more “the check is in the mail” hooey. Republicans have had seven years to work out an alternative to Obamacare, yet they threw this half-assed bill together in seven weeks … without any public hearings where insurers and providers could explain its flaws, and without even a CBO score for the bill’s final version.
- “We cannot allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good” – This would make sense if the Wealthcare Act were better for more people than Obamacare. But it isn’t. It’s making an imperfect system worse, claiming that’s “good,” and telling people not to hold out for “perfect.”
And yes, I emailed this critique to him. He won’t reply, but at least someone on his staff knows that some of his constituents can smell bullshit.
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