MY WORD: Problems with Affordable Care Act

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By Euguene Maynard

In answer to Linda Humphress’ question regarding why Sen. Mitch McConnell would be opposed to the Affordable Care Act (“Health care reform, Letters to the editor, Sept. 25):

He is well aware of the harmful effects of the act and wishes to protect his constituents. We all know our health care as it stands now needs some improvements. The ACA misses the mark by a wide margin, and Senator McConnell expressed that opinion.

It seems Ms. Humphress is pleased with the ACA, while 60 percent of the polled public is dreading to see the implementation date of Jan. 1. I sincerely hope that she continues to be pleased after the implementation. I, for one, hope it to be a time where I will find it to affect me and my wife in a pleasing and affordable manner. Our president keeps changing the program from time to time without legislation through Congress, as he should.

Many would like to see this ACA repealed in its entirety and an effort made to pass a more reasonable piece of legislation that would be more pleasing to all who are affected by its elements. They would also like the new bill to be passed in the light of day, kept out of closed-door boardrooms, where those of an opposing political party are consulted and asked to debate the details. Others would like to pull the present bill apart and repair the portions that are punitive or without merit. Personally, I think it too large and unwieldy for that type of improvement.

Not one Republican in either house voted in favor of this bill. It was not because they did not like Mr. Obama or the opposing party – it was because some elements of the bill were unfavorable, incomplete and the Democrats would not bring it to the floor for open debate prior to voting.

This 10,000-page bill, with its thousands of pages of resolutions, bureaucratic rules and controls, which have been added is so burdensome many have no idea how it affects them personally or as a family group.

We do know, as it stands now, the young people who are healthy and just starting out in the workforce will be hit the hardest by insurance companies, depending on what state they are residing, because it varies from state to state. These same young people while paying the most will be getting the least benefit for their money.

The most recent glitch in this act is a significant one: The administration’s decision to delay the caps on out-of-pocket expenses is a large part of what is supposed to make the ACA affordable. No caps on out-of-pocket expenses means insurance customers will have to pay more for co-payments as well as deductibles, and insurance companies will pay less.

This set-back to “Obamacare” is merely the latest in what has become a long list of failures or impending failures – including the most important promises affecting cost and coverage. Some of the most striking problems are:

  • No guarantee Americans will keep their doctors.
  • Americans may lose their health plans.
  • Worsening health care.
  • Higher premiums.
  • Higher taxes.
  • Budget deficit increase.
  • Hiring freezes, slashed worker hours and killing existing jobs.
  • Higher Medicare costs.
  • Seniors could lose Medicare.
  • Most Americans don’t want the ACA.

Our president just issued a “special rule” for Congress, and its congressional staff for a special subsidy to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange, which is unavailable to every other American at similar income levels. That subsidy is worth approximately $11,000 per family.

Senators Rand Paul and David Vitter (R-La.) are trying to address this exemption through amendments to outlaw any special exemptions for government employees and require all federal employees to purchase health insurance on the new federal exchanges.

Paul stated: “My amendment says basically that everybody including Justice Roberts – who seems to be such a fan of Obamacare – gets it, too. Right now, Justice Roberts is still continuing to have federal employee health insurance subsidized by the taxpayer. If he likes Obamacare so much [Roberts declared it “constitutional”], I’m going to give him an amendment that gives Obamacare to Justice Roberts.”

Senator Paul would want not just congress or Justice Roberts to have to enroll in Obamacare, but all government employees, the same as everyone else who is non-government since civilians are required. He declares by “including all government employees, it would save billions of dollars.”

My personal observation on Obamacare and its exemptions is this: Our Founders came to this nation to avoid the European caste systems, where they wanted all citizens to be free and on equal footing. The Affordable Health Care Act starts to stratify our culture back into a caste system. Those who serve in federal positions, like nobles of Europe, others who can afford great health insurance as yeomen or middleclass, and those who can’t are, I suppose, peasants. Can the reader see the similarity?


Eugene Maynard lives in Simpsonville.