The Republican alternative health care reform bill would be funny if it weren’t so cruel.
For months now, the nation has been engaged in a serious health care debate. The GOP stood on the sidelines jeering, saying it had the real solution, but keeping it a secret from the American public. They’ve finally delivered. You might hope the Party of No would have come up with a real plan that gets tough on insurance companies and provides Americans with real help on affordability and new options to keep their families healthy. Nope. The Republicans waited until a couple days before the House of Representatives is set to vote on a historic reform to control costs, increase coverage and enhance quality only to release a plan which basically does nothing but protect insurance companies’ profits.
Seriously? After months and months in which we’ve heard tragic story after story:
- Death and illnesses in families denied health care coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- Millions excluded entirely from the system because they simply can’t afford coverage.
- Families destroyed financially by health emergencies.
- Rampant discrimination against women and minorities in the insurance market.
- Insurance companies spending the premiums paid by hard working Americans to shower their rich CEOs with multi-million dollar bonuses and blanket the halls of Congress with high-powered lobbyists.
- Small businesses that would love to provide coverage for valued employees, but can’t due to massively escalating costs.
And the Republican Party thinks the solution is a health care plan that gives MORE leeway to insurance companies? The one thing that all Americans agree on is that people shouldn’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, right? Right, everyone except the Republican Party. The Party of No wants insurance companies to be able to continue a practice that results in thousands of premature deaths each year, especially amongst children.
This Republican alternative could not be worse if you simply invited all the top insurance CEOs into a room and let them write it (of course, that’s probably not far from what actually happened). For those who can’t currently afford insurance, here’s what the Republicans are saying to you: tough. That’s right. No tax credits to help. No subsidies. No regulations to reduce costs. Nothing but: "You are on your own."
Many Americans live in fear that when they get sick, insurance companies will simply drop them from coverage. It’s a legitimate fear because it happens every day. The Republican solution to this problem? Let the insurance companies continue to do it. Why? It’s profitable. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that the insurance companies are good at showing gratitude to their protectors. A new analysis from the Public Campaign Action Fund finds the health insurance industry dropped $8.2 million to kill health insurance reform in just the last 4 months.
And by the way, the leading Republican spokesperson for their new plan, Congressman John Boehner has pocketed nearly a million dollars from the insurance special interests.
Some had the audacity to hope that the Republicans would come to the table to work with the President to solve problems like health care. Now, it’s clear they are putting insurance industry profits above the health of America’s families.
Cruel, but true.