Monday, December 30, 2013

Ex-GOP Activist: Stop Bashing The Affordable Care Act

Clint Murphy, former Republican Party activist and cancer survivor, writes in the Savannah Morning News that Republicans should stop spreading falsehoods about the Affordable Care Act:

It seems almost daily that you have a Republican candidate or elected official is [sic] making inaccurate statements or using various stories to fit their narrative of what’s wrong with the law.

...At the core of the act is the individual mandate that all able-bodied individuals purchase health insurance. This is consistent with individuals taking personal responsibility for their lives and actions. This idea originated with the conservative Heritage Foundation in 1994 and was adopted by the Republican Party as its position on health insurance reform, up until it was made a part of the reforms of the ACA in 2009. Republicans abandoned this position simply because it was adopted by Democrats as part of the ACA.

Georgia is one of only 16 states that does not have a high-risk insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions. This means people who have a chronic illness or have survived a life threatening disease, such as cancer, have not been able to purchase insurance on the individual market at all.

Thanks to the ACA, that discrimination comes to an end.

...The Affordable Care Act is not a perfect law and was never meant to be a panacea to the woes of our health care system. Republicans argue that this is an expansion of government. I find that a false notion as we are already paying for the care, be it through higher taxes or higher premiums, and the care provided is at the most expensive and inconvenient point of care — the emergency room. Those costs are hidden within our health care system.

When people have health insurance and have access to primary care doctors, health outcomes improve, worker productivity heightens and costs begin to stabilize. It’s because of the start of these reforms that the rate of inflation for health care costs is at its lowest level in 50 years.

There is still work to be done. But for that to occur, Republicans must come to the table with constructive and realistic ideas and solutions beyond a full repeal of the bill.

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