Time and again, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act or hinder its implementation. He’s in denial about a very important reality: Obamacare is working.
Eight million people, including 962,000 New Yorkers, have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges. Gallup estimates that overall, 12 million people have gained access to affordable care since the fall, including new enrollees in Medicaid and those who purchased insurance outside the exchanges. Three million young people have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26.
President Obama pointed out last week that the Congressional Budget Office has lowered its initial estimate of cost of premiums on policies purchased through the exchanges by 15 per cent. Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have cut the rate of increase in premiums for employer-provided insurance in half. Medicare costs per person have nearly stopped growing. and the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by ten years.
Would Reed and his fellow Republican proponents of repeal take away health insurance from those who have newly gained it? Would they return us to the day when Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied insurance? When the insured could face lifetime caps on the amount insurance companies would pay, or when deductibles and co-payments could be unaffordably high? They are offering no alternative to Obamacare, so that when they vote for repeal that’s what they’re voting for.
Twenty-four states where Republicans are in control or have a veto have refused to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, even though they could do so at no cost. As a result, 5 million Americans who could be covered are being denied insurance. This cruelty shows where the Republican heart lies.
Over at his campaign website, Rep. Reed is demanding that Martha Robertson explain her support of the Affordable Care Act. He’s the one who has some explaining to do.