WASHINGTON, July 6, 2012 — Obamacare is now the Republicans’ biggest headache. And no amount of aspirin will help. It just gets bigger, and after the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional and Americans have looked more closely at what it means for them, they are beginning to like what they see and are interested in getting even more of the good stuff.
However, up on Capitol Hill the Republicans, true to form, are having conniptions (which everyone knows only makes headaches worse) and threatening on July 11 to repeal Obamacare.
Boom. It will be gone. Erased just like that. They promise down the road to deliver some health care goodies, but they aren’t really saying what they are. Just read what we said in 2009 they tell us. We have and it’s more about tort reform than reforming health care.
Adding to the GOP confusion is that Congressional Republicans can’t even agree among themselves what they want to do. Tweak it, maybe? Not a chance. Repeal and replace, the leadership chants and Romney echoes. But where are the details?
Of course, zapping Obamacare won’t cure the GOP headache because the real problem now lies with the American people, who are telling pollsters that they like what they see in Obamacare. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. There is some pretty nifty stuff in there, so don’t go throwing that overboard.
In fact, this past Sunday, Reuters/Ipsos released their latest poll showing a shift in support for Obamacare by voters. Among all registered voters, support for the law rose to 48% in an online survey that was conducted after the June 28th Supreme Court ruling, up from 43 percent before the High Court’s decision.
The survey even showed growing Republican support for the bill, but most importantly, independents, whose support is key to winning the election, support Obamacare by 38%, up from a previous 27%. All of this happened in only three days.
No wonder Republicans are holding their heads and applying ice packs. Obamacare is like a bad hangover and there is no hair of the dog to make it better. Why did they ever call it Obamacare? Now it really does belong to President Obama. And even he calls it Obamacare, for crying out loud.
So does repealing Obamacare make sense? Not really. But then, when has the new, improved Republican Party made sense lately?
Besides all the great health benefits Obamacare offers Americans, it deals in economic fairness as well.
1. No more Freddie the Freeloaders allowed.
The individual mandate requires that there are no more free rides on the insurance we all must pay. If you can afford Health Care insurance and don’t purchase it, then you will pay a fee, a penalty, a tax. Yep, call what it will, but you can no longer freeload off the American people. You must pay your fair share.
So if you tumble off your motorcycle and smash up your ribs but neglected to ever buy health insurance because you think are invincible or can’t be bothered, guess what? The ride is over. Literally. One way or the other you will pay.
If you are among the 85% who have health insurance, you will pay $0 in any tax penalty. If not, starting in January 2014, Freddie the Freeloader will pay 1% of his household income and the tax penalty will increase finally to 2.5% of his income by 2017.
2. Obamacare will reduce the deficit.
Everyone talks about the deficit, but lately no one seems able to make it shrink. Until now. Here’s a way: Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2011 Obamacare will reduce tour federal deficit by $210 billion over the next decade, saving about $1 trillion over its second decade. To repeal the law, as Republicans tried to do in 2011, would increase the deficit by $230 billion over the next 10 years, adds the CBO estimates.
3. Health care costs for young Americans won’t skyrocket.
Right now thanks to Obamacare, young adults have insurance. Without the law, the cost of buying an equivalent health care plan would have risen dramatically even as the younger generation struggles with the effects of the Great Recession.
4. Millions of jobs will be created.
Yep, jobs, up to 4 million of them over the coming ten years, according to a 2010 Center for American Progress report. How? Obamacare reduces the cost of health care, making it cheaper for businesses to hire. The law is expected to create between 250,000 and 400,000 jobs a year and likely will help create more than 200,000 manufacturing and 900,000 in the service sector by 2016.
5. It will be cheaper for employers to provide health care.
America’s small businesses are under tremendous pressure as health care costs soar, and these costs are usually passed on to us the consumers. Each car sold by GM contains $1,200 in health care costs for the company workers, according to David Brodwin of the American Sustainable Business Council. And that cost is part of the sticker price.
Thanks to Obamacare, small businesses are already receiving tax credits written into the law to help insure their employees, and the bill has already offered more than $4.7 billion in reinsurance payments to those companies which provide health care to retirees who aren’t yet eligible for Medicare.
See the dilemma for Republicans, who pride themselves in being the party of the pocketbook? Make that two aspirins, please.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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