Since the June 28 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s opponents have pulled out all stops in an effort to gain political traction around the notion that the health care law is bad for America.
Without a doubt, we have not heard so much hysterical screaming since Chicken Little went around warning that the sky is falling.
Leaders of the Republican Party, from Rush Limbaugh on down, are pretty much unanimous that “ObamaCare,” as they call it, needs to be repealed for the good of the country — or at least for the good of their electoral fortunes this November. Of course, they are the same folks who kept assuring us the Supreme Court would find the act unconstitutional.
They were wrong before and are wrong now. The Supreme Court decision actually ensures that many hard-working middle class families will get the security they deserve and protects every American from the worst abuses of the insurance industry. Nearly 2 million Georgians will now receive coverage. In addition, when the Affordable Care Act is implemented:
• insurance companies no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage or charge women more than men.
• no American will ever again be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition, like cancer or even asthma.
• preventive care will still be covered free by insurance companies — including mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.
• by August, millions of Americans will receive a rebate because their insurance company spent too much of their premium on administrative costs or CEO bonuses.
• many seniors will continue to save $600 a year on their prescription drugs.
• efforts to strengthen and protect Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse will remain in place.
• millions of young adults will still be able to stay on their family’s plan until they are 26 years old.
At the state level, the opposition to the act sounds eerily similar to the outcry against the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, when George Wallace led the Southern governors in revolt and 10 states’ medical societies vowed to boycott both programs.
From day one of the Obama Administration, the Republican Party has sought to undermine the president’s efforts to save the automobile industry, reduce the federal budget deficit, rebuild the economy and, mostly, fix the healthcare system. While there are always disagreements in philosophy, they have not moved an inch toward compromise for the good of the country because, more than anything else, they want President Obama to fail.
The Supreme Court decision, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, made two things clear: the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, and the sky is not falling.
Williams, D-Midway, represents the 168th District in the Georgia House of Representatives.