What’s not to like about Obamacare?

Between the constant noise from the right and the hyper-ventilating over the government enrollment website, we’re missing the point of the Affordable Care Act: to provide superior insurance options for the vast majority of Americans. We’re just beginning the long, hard road to quality health care for all.

Republicans have tried extreme measures to repeal or strike a mortal blow to the ACA, including those ridiculous government shutdown antics we witnessed last month. OK, Republicans, show us your plan. You constantly whine about Obamacare, but fail to offer any constructive ideas for improving the law.

Killing Obamacare would take us back to a nightmare time when one in six Americans – many of them children – had no insurance. Millions more were perilously underinsured, one serious illness or accident away from financial disaster. Many others were stuck in their jobs for fear of losing coverage. They might be disqualified from future insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Improving access to comprehensive health insurance, and the peace of mind that brings, is a really good thing. More Americans with broad insurance coverage mean much better health outcomes. People with good insurance get professional care sooner. When insurance coverage is not an obstacle, fewer folks will delay seeking treatment until their ailment reaches the crisis stage. This means fewer extremely expensive ER visits – or worse! Ultimately insuring a lot more people will result in fairer premiums and will help rein in our runaway health care costs.

Now you’d think Republicans, the pro-business party, would strongly support cost-control measures. Republicans used to be really hot for an “individual mandate” alternative, like the ACA, when the Clintons tried health-care reform. Cutting waste, a healthier citizenry with more money to spend on stuff other than health care, insurance companies and health-care providers making good money – what’s not to like?

Richard C. Pratt

Durango

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