Scott Olsen/Getty/Vox.com

Trumpers to America: Drop Dead

Election choice is clear — Obamacare v. I don’t care

Jeffrey Denny

If you care about others — and who doesn’t? — let’s make the 2020 election stakes plain:

We’re deciding whether to kill or protect the healthcare of 20 million of our friends, families, neighbors and fellow citizens who depend on the Affordable Care Act.

We’re voting for Obamacare-reliant Americans among the 7.8 million with Covid-19, a preexisting condition that can cost from $20,000 to $70,000 or more for a hospital stay, FAIR Health estimates. That’s more than enough to ruin many working families, especially those who’ve lost jobs due to the Covid shutdowns.

We’re also voting for the 133 million Americans with chronic diseases — cancer, heart, lung and kidney diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and more — who before Obamacare few if any insurers would touch at anything close to affordable. The president can’t simply decree it.

And we’re voting for fellow Americans who rely on Obamacare because they don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid or enjoy employer healthcare because their jobs don’t offer it. Or they lost their jobs.

So, if you’re voting Trump, who vowed to kill Obamacare, kicked the legs from under it and jacked the cost, and now is stacking the Supreme Court to abolish it, you’re telling your fellow Americans: “I don’t give a f**k about you.” Much like refusing to wear a mask.

If you believe after five years of big promises, Trump has a “MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative” as he just declared again in nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court, bless your heart — you’re the worst kind of fool whose ignorance hurts others. Much like mask-refusers.

And if you or loved ones enjoy Medicare, Medicaid or private employer healthcare but hate Obamacare because it’s “Socialism,” you’re a) tragically misinformed, because they’re all socialized healthcare; and/or b) enjoy a swinish level of “I’ve got mine” selfishness that has its own circle of hell waiting for you. Mask-refusers have already booked their spots.

Yes, my friends, employer plans are socialized healthcare. Businesses and employees write off the expense from their federal, state and payroll taxes, costing the country $273 billion last year alone, per the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

(For context, Obamacare ran around $55 billion, the lowest of all federal subsidies for under-65 healthcare, per a 2018 Congressional Budget Office report, and today “remains likely to reduce federal budget deficits substantially in coming years, despite December’s repeal of three ACA taxes,” the nonpartisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reported in January.

(For the 65+, Medicare cost $644 billion because, contrary to wide assumption, we are not just getting back what we paid in — we take out double or more, the libertarian Cato Institute found. (A LOT more if you have a costly chronic disease or long hospital stays at $1,000/day.)

Maybe I’m the stupid one for hoping objective, verifiable facts matter to the Trump-loving Obamacare haters. From what I see in their Facebook comments, they parrot whatever Trump and his media say, however proven dubious, while enjoying other forms of socialized care.

But to be fair and balanced, let’s go to “Why Do People Hate Obamacare, Anyway?” by the nonpartisan Kaiser News Network. I quote:

· Ideology: Conservatives and libertarians strongly object to the federal government becoming ever more involved in the nation’s health care system.

· Lack of knowledge: A big part of why people don’t like the health law is that they don’t understand what it does or how it works. [Some prefer the ACA over Obamacare, unaware they’re the same.]

Separately, a 2015 NIH-published paper found, “The overwhelmingly negative TV ads against the ACA by the Republican candidates in the elections of 2012 and 2014 have had a major impact on Americans’ views of the ACA. More than 60% of Americans have stated that most of what they know about the ACA came from watching TV.”

· Confusing the health law with the rest of the health system: Once the ACA became law, basically everything bad that happened in health care was attributed to it.

· Some people actually are worse off. The ACA did create some losers. [Such as healthy people with cheap individual plans, or poorer households earning slightly too much for subsidies — which the original plan would have covered and proposed fixes will.]

Full disclosure: This is personal.

Working for myself, I depend on Obamacare. After I left my employer to start my own communications practice, and my Cobra expired, I tried to keep my same insurer, CareFirst.

I was denied. Why? My bill of health was clean, almost pristine. But I use a generic statin preventatively to control hereditary cholesterol—at $8.25 for 30 days at Costco with coupon, it’s much cheaper than $40,000 or more for a simple coronary bypass. My doctor had to write a letter.

Obamacare ended that rejection nonsense, and my rates were reasonable and stable. Then Trump and his GOP destabilized the market by repeatedly trying to kill the plan, repealed the individual mandate that spread out the risk to control the cost, and took the ACA to court. The insurance market hates instability — its job is to ensure stability — and responds by raising prices. My premium doubled to $900 a month.

Other factors such as overall surging healthcare costs boosted Obamacare premiums. But no doubt Trump helped — and now blasts the impact. It’s like the definition of hypocrite attributed to Lincoln: “The man who murdered his parents and then pleaded mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”

So, the 2020 choice is clear: Vote Trump, murder Obamacare, and tell your fellow Americans to drop dead. Or have mercy and send Trump home.

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A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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Jeffrey Denny

Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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