Let’s tell the truth about health care in the U.S.

affordable-care-act-logo

“If I say it often enough everyone will believe it.”

It’s a strategy often used by children. Until they reach a certain stage of intellectual and moral maturity, they think they can get away with making up their own reality. In their minds, everyone else will just follow along, if they’re insistent enough.

It’s become the GOP’s strategy over the last years, as well. Certain members of the party are better at it than others. But as a whole, the GOP wins the gold medal for making up an alternate reality and shouting it until people who don’t know better believe it.

The most damaging example  (honestly, there’s so much of it, how can we rank the vile-ness of their lies?) One example is the horrendous untruths they’ve told about the Affordable Care Act. How many times have we heard a Republican demagogue tell the nation that the ACA is a “disaster?” That people are suffering more now than ever due to Obama Care?

Allow me to share some verifiable, objectives truths about health care and the ACA:

  1. According to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 25 1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, fewer Americans than ever in our nation’s history go without medical insurance.

3. No one may be denied health care due to pre-existing conditions – literally a life-saver for people with serious, long-term health issues.

4. Young people may now retain coverage under their parents’ health care policies until age 26 – vital in a day and age when students come out of college with crippling loan debt.

5. Though some individuals’ premiums have risen since the passage of the ACA, here are the truths associated with that fact: A) Many people received subsidies to ameliorate the rising cost. B) Health care costs are rising more slowly since the passage of the ACA than previously. C) Insurance companies are not our friends. Theses companies are more responsible for rising costs than is the ACA. D) A significant portion of rising costs is due to the millions who remain uninsured because individual states chose to reject increased federal Medicaid and Medicare funding, disingenuously claiming to abhor the thought of raising the national debt by helping their citizens remain healthy.

And now allow me to share my own, subjective truth about health care.

I’ve been in a place in my adult life where I had to accept public assistance in order to ensure health care coverage for my family. The prospect of being uninsured is a terrifying specter in this nation. Even with insurance, we were driven into bankruptcy due to medical bills. The American health care system is a travesty. The ACA is not perfect, but it’s the best improvement we’ve had since the Children’s Health Insurance Program (thank you, Hillary Clinton). Repealing will mean severe illness and even death for many citizens.

The GOP rally cry of “Repeal and Replace!” is nothing more than chest-beating, anti-humanity rhetoric.

People need health care, even if the system isn’t quite perfect, it costs more, or creates some problems for the larger group – we call that the social contract.

No matter how many times or how loudly the members of the majority party of Congress – as if they were young children –  shout to us about the “failure” of the ACA, it will always be a lie.

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