Opinion

Why should Americans support Obamacare? | Island Forum

Obamacare is undergoing relentless attacks. There have been 40 attempts to repeal it. The national debate over it has fueled the political Tea Party faction. It caused the loss for the Democratic majority in the house and now fuels most political battles. Yet it is still standing and millions are benefiting from it.

Few fully understand Obamacare. Many have dedicated themselves to spreading lies about it in hopes of bringing it down, but support for it has remained unchanged.

The law has eliminated insurance discrimination based on age, sex and health status. Such practices are now illegal. Does one dare point out that the law’s namesake trounced the other guy a few months ago, and the law is at least twice as popular as Congress?

The coming reality will be different. As the law helps more people, the support from them will be louder than screams from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers and the insurance industry.

Nearly half of all Americans have some connection to Medicaid. They or family members have used Medicaid benefits. Word will get around.

Political mudslinging has left a mark on the law. One-on-one conversations among those who benefit from it will clean up the mud. These conversations will have a greater effect on public opinion than TV advertising and will cause people to know they have an interest in protecting the law.

When the political ideology is wrung out, when the stupid talk about “death panels” no longer dominates the conversation and the benefits become evident, people will know they have a common interest in supporting the law.

Health care is more important than politics. Health care is essential. It is the biggest concern of day-to-day living. It is personal. It is an issue of life and death. Obamacare will help make our lives less difficult. It will also address the $765 billion in waste that the Institute of Medicine reports due to waste because of missed prevention measures, fraud, unnecessary services and excess administrative costs.

Our health care system is grossly inefficient. The biggest reason is because the drug manufacturers and medical device makers have succeeded in bribing Congress, through campaign contributions, to pass legislation preventing the government from applying cost-effectiveness measures of different treatments in deciding how to spend health care dollars.

Every citizen must understand the political reality. It is imperative that Obamacare be as successful as Social Security and Medicare. That will happen only if the right people are in Congress and the White House. Americans must vote in 2014 and 2016 with the preservation of Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare in mind.

Meanwhile, as many people as possible must enroll in the new insurance marketplace. That will require a big effort by labor unions, health care providers, small business, corporations, insurers and the citizenry.

Employees of large corporations need to know that their insurance probably will not change. They will not need to change doctors, and their existing coverage will improve.

Obamacare will make life less difficult for each of us. We will not be overwhelmed by medical bills. We will have the freedom to change jobs and not lose insurance coverage. None will be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Obamacare will allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance to age 26.

Obamacare means insurance companies cannot drop you when you get sick.

Obamacare will provide the most important of family values — family security.

Cy Baumgartner is the owner of Baumgartner Insurance. He served as president, Washington Medical Savings Account Project, and co-authored “Medical Savings Accounts: Building Blocks to Healthcare Reform.”

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 10 edition online now. Browse the archives.