(National Sentinel) Non-Issue: In recent weeks, you may have begun to hear Democratic attack ads aimed at bashing Republicans over their stances on “healthcare.” Whether the ad claims GOP candidates want to “take away coverage for preexisting conditions” or “make health care more expensive,” Democrats cannot escape the fact that they, not Republicans, own the disaster that is the current state of U.S. healthcare delivery and financing.
A piece in The Hill is typical:
A new lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act has a new starring role in Democratic advertisements across the country, as candidates warn their Republican opponents would seek to end the law’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel (R), claims the Affordable Care Act was rendered unconstitutional after Congress included a provision in last year’s tax-reform package to eliminate the individual mandate to buy health care. Initial arguments took place last month in a federal courtroom in Fort Worth.
After years of defending President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement as it became a political albatross, Democrats see an opportunity to go on the offensive with voters.
“The Republican mantra at first was, ‘this is just too expensive and premiums are going to go up and this is a bad law.’ And listen, once the law was implemented, I think people saw that was a red herring,” said Sean Shaw, a Florida state representative and the Democratic nominee for attorney general. “Unfortunately for [Republicans], Americans and Floridians have started to feel the good part of the law.”
First of all, the suit has merit, not that Democrats give a whit about the Constitution. By gutting the individual mandate, a core provision of Obamacare, then where is the legal justification for keeping the rest of the law?
Furthermore, we’re not sure what Shaw is smoking (well, we have an idea), but the suggestion that Obamacare didn’t dramatically increase premiums and health care services is asinine on its face.
Everyone in the workforce who’s been there since Obamacare became the law of the land knows full well that’s when premiums really began to skyrocket. While monthly premiums were rising before the law, price increases were put on steroids after the law was fully implemented.
And Obamacare is bad law. It’s chock-full of rules, regulations, and compliance costs, each of which has driven the price of care up further and further year-over-year. Even Americans getting reduced premiums via Obamacare exchanges know they have crappy coverage or virtually no coverage at all given the astronomical deductibles that now come with most plans — also a result of Obamacare.
For Democrats to run on “health care” as an issue should be a no-brainer for Republicans to refute. When they and they alone voted to pass the “Affordable” Care Act, they owned health care as an issue and whatever else happened to the industry.
But beyond that, remember what Obama and the rest of his Democratic cabal were telling the country back in the day when they were stumping for the ACA’s passage? That the law would be the end-all, cure-all for whatever problems existed within the industry (rising costs, rising deductibles, rising premiums, less care, etc.).
None of those things has been fixed by Obamacare.
All of those things have been made worse by it.
And the Democrats are responsible for Every. Single. Bit. Of. It.
Republicans should be very clear about this over the next three weeks as they campaign around the country: Whatever problems still remain in the healthcare industry, the Democrats own them. What’s more, when the GOP attempted to fix the problems last year, they got zero help from Democrats.
As for the ‘preexisting conditions’ issue, pre-Obamacare states had what they called ‘high-risk pools’ for those with preexisting conditions. They could buy coverage that was much more affordable because the pool was a cost-sharing device. It’s yet another of the many free-market solutions that the GOP ought to be pushing.
Bottom line: Democrats owned health care as an issue after Obamacare. They still own it. And what Republicans should say on the campaign trail is that every effort they’ve made to fix what’s driving up everyone’s premiums and deductibles — including the current lawsuit — has been opposed by the party of the Donkey.
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