Republicans have pushed the mute button. On Friday evening, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA) invalid (which it’s always been despite the 2012 Supreme Court ruling) but many Republicans are quiet as mice. According to The Hill:
“Many congressional Republicans remain silent after a federal judge on Friday struck down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. And those who have spoken out largely steered clear of embracing the decision.”
Here are three possible reasons:
NOT OPPOSED TO ACA — Republicans may support the ACA, especially its requirements for guaranteed issue and community rating (pre-existing condition coverage mandate), managed care monopolies (health plans for all), and the law’s payment reform (value-based payments). After all, they never voted to fully repeal the ACA. Together, these policies empower health plans to impose rationing—while giving Congress political cover.
NO ARGUMENTS AGAINST SOCIALISM — Many Republicans have not developed arguments against (or don’t oppose) the centerpiece of the ACA: the mandate that health plans cover people with uninsurable pre-existing conditions at no additional cost to those individuals. Guaranteed issue (GI; mandate to sell to all comers) and community rating(CR; higher premiums prohibited for people with uninsurable conditions) are the core of all socialized medicine programs, including Obamacare and Medicare.
AFRAID TO SPEAK UP — Either Republicans don’t realize the dangers imposed by the “pre-existing condition” mandate (GI and CR) or don’t want to talk about it. It’s easy to say yes to the Left’s “protect people with pre-existing conditions” mantra, but the truth is, ACA’s GI and CR regulations:
- limit patient access to care
- limit medical choices
- control their doctors
- subject enrollees to narrow health plan networks
- delay access to care
- reduce quality of care
- increase premiums and taxes
That’s not protection. The ACA also trapped people with a ‘pre-existing condition’ label when it ended their coverage. As one person tweeted to me and President Trump:
Republicans must speak up. Once people learn pre-existing condition requirements will reduce their quality of care and access to medical tests and treatment, public support drops from 65% to 44%. Instead of imposing socialism, States and Congress should solve the pre-ex problem:
- Resurrect State-Based High-Risk Pools — People with uninsurable conditions will pay more but will receive financial assistance for expected medical expenses.
- End Tax Deduction for Employers — Tax equity will release employers from making insurance decisions for employees, allow workers to receive their full wages, and encourage American to buy long-term, portable, individual insurance policies.
- Discourage Family and Employer Policies — Most people get stuck with ‘pre-existing conditions’ when they age out of family policies or lose employer coverage.
- Encourage Pre-Birth Individual Insurance — Parents could buy a policy for their child, like opening a 529 education account pre-birth, and hand it off to them at maturity.
- Reinstate Major Medical Indemnity Policies — States can reinstate the catastrophic policies prohibited by the ACA, like Iowa and Idaho did.
The liberal fire against the new ruling is just beginning. On Friday evening, I announced the ruling on Twitter: “GREAT NEWS!!! Judge rules the Affordable Care Act (AKA #Obamacare) UNCONSTITUTIONAL.” Here’s one of the milder responses:
Take action now. Ignore the harsh rebukes. American lives and freedom are at stake. Socialism is easy, but it’s costly to the pocketbook and can be deadly to patients. Encourage every elected Republican to speak up now, tell the truth about the socialized pre-existing condition requirements, and support Judge O’Connor’s ruling that declares the ACA to be “UNCONSTITUTIONAL”!
Twila Brase is Founder and President of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom
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