At his campaign website, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, is offering constituents the opportunity to “FIGHT BACK AGAINST OBAMACARE” by signing a petition. A headline deplores “Obamacare exemptions for Congress and Washington Bureaucrats” (sic).
There is no exemption for Congress and federal employees, of course. That’s just another Tom Reed deception. These people are covered by an employer-provided health plan as they were for generations before Obamacare came into effect. Like millions of other Americans with employer-provided insurance, they were not affected by the introduction of Obamacare — they simply continued on with the insurance they already had.
The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to expand health insurance coverage, not take it away, and in this it has been highly successful. At last report, 7.3 million Americans have not only signed up for coverage under the program but also paid their premiums in full. Another 4.3 million are gaining access to Medicaid in the states that have accepted federal coverage of Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. (Twenty-three Republican-controlled states are still refusing to help their less-fortunate citizens by accepting this expansion.)
Thanks to Obamacare, 105 million Americans no longer face lifetime dollar limits on their coverage, and 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied insurance. The uninsured rate for young people aged 19-25 has dropped sharply. Small businesses are receiving a tax credit so that they can offer insurance to their employees at rates comparable to those paid by big corporations. The Medicare trust fund is now solvent until 2030, thanks to cost savings under Obamacare.
This is the program that Rep. Reed wants voters in New York’s 23rd to “FIGHT BACK AGAINST.” He wants us to fight back against a program that has been of tremendous benefit to the American people. We’re not that stupid. We’re going to vote for Martha Robertson on November 4.