By Rachel Brody |
You would think that the Supreme Court's ruling—led by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee—might end the healthcare debate and allow Congress to focus on creating jobs. But Speaker John Boehner is going ahead anyway with a pointless and political House vote this week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as the ACA.
House Republicans and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney want to repeal Obamacare as part of a plan to enrich big corporations and the super-wealthy—even if doing so shrinks the middle class, widens the income gap between the 1 percent and the rest of us, and starves public services people depend on. That's one reason the GOP wants to end Medicare as we know it and dismantle Medicaid, which cares for children, people with disabilities, and seniors in nursing homes. Blowing up Medicare and Medicaid will help the Republicans pay for things like their proposed tax break for millionaires, saving each an average of $150,000 a year.
Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security helped create the American middle class. They have long been the foundation of economic security and equal opportunity in America. Now Obamacare is here to bridge the gaps in the protections those programs provide.
Calling the ACA a tax increase—a falsehood its opponents have been saying since the court ruled against them—won't change the facts. The ACA is making a difference in the lives of 100 million Americans, already saving seniors, families, and small businesses hundreds and often thousands of dollars.
The Republicans want to take away every single consumer protection and benefit in the law. That means taking away the $3.7 billion that 5.3 million seniors in the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" have already saved, ending coverage for 6.6 million people under 26 years old who are now on their parents' insurance plans, taking away health insurance tax credits for small businesses, and making it legal again for insurance companies to overcharge or deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.
The ACA will stop insurance companies from ripping us off and denying our care. It will expand coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people, hit the brakes on skyrocketing health costs, improve the quality of care, and eliminate the worst insurance company abuses.
Obamacare is a giant step forward for America. Opponents of the law should accept the Supreme Court's decision and move on. They should stop playing politics with progress.
About Ethan Rome Executive Director of Health Care for America Now
Maura Calsyn Associate Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress
Ron Pollack Founding Executive Director of Families USA
Nina Owcharenko Director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies
Mitt Romney Republican Candidate for President