38 votes to be exact.
How does that old saying go — “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That about sums up House Republicans. They’ve spent millions of dollars in taxpayer money voting to repeal a law which stands absolutely no chance at being repealed, just so they can use those votes in political campaign ads whenever they’re up for re-election.
But since right-wing Republicans love their rhetoric and propaganda when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, I think I’ve found a solution.
The ability to opt-out.
Oh no, not just an opt-out for “Obamacare,” an opt-out for all health care treatment.
See, the mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act is meant to ensure everyone purchases insurance. In this country we have a huge problem where people that don’t have health insurance are flooding emergency rooms, racking up huge medical bills and then never paying them.
But don’t be fooled, health care providers aren’t losing money. They just jack up the cost of treatment for everyone who does pay. So while people who oppose Obamacare love to say, “I don’t want to pay for another person’s health care!” — that’s exactly what they’re doing anyway.
Hell, what do you think health insurance is in the first place? It’s a pooling of money from a group of people to lower out of pocket costs. Your premiums are impacted by more “at risk” individuals. The “take” from health insurance isn’t the same for everyone. Some people are more prone to illness and use health services much more often than healthier individuals. And yes, while their premiums might be higher, don’t kid yourself — you’re still paying for part of their coverage.
So what the mandate does is ensure we all pay, because most Americans will be required to have health coverage. You know, it’s that whole “personal responsibility” thing Republicans constantly harp on.
But I’ve come up with a plan for those Republicans who don’t want to take “personal responsibility” for themselves. It’s a simple opt-out for health care coverage.
See, they can’t just opt-out of Obamacare, because that won’t prevent them from strolling into an emergency room, racking up bills and not paying them. Or waiting until they get sick, signing up for insurance to get treatment, then dropping it as soon as they’re better. Which will then drive up the cost for the responsible people who followed the Affordable Care Act.
So I’ve proposed a simple opt-out which gives them the ability to not be forced to abide by the rules of Obamacare, but also prevents them from passing their responsibilities onto all of us who do choose to follow the rules.
It will read something like the following:
How many would be willing to sign this? I’m guessing not many. Which goes to show their hypocrisy. You see, they want to oppose a national mandate which requires citizens to obtain health insurance — yet they won’t sign away their rights to medical care that they won’t be able to afford.
Which of course would be passed on to those of us who do pay for health coverage.
And while I know a waiver such as this would never exist, and would punish innocent children who just happen to have the unfortunate luck to have been born to ignorant parents, it’s an option I would love to see Republicans presented with to see just how many would suddenly call it “ridiculous” or “radical.” How many would suddenly backtrack on parts of their rhetoric, while still opposing the Affordable Care Act?
Because at the end of the day, it makes for great political rhetoric to oppose a national mandate which requires Americans to have health care insurance.
But I’m willing to bet the vast majority of Republicans who oppose Obamacare wouldn’t sign away their right to access health services if they chose not to purchase health insurance (and had to pay the full cost before treatment).
The reality is, to most Republicans, “personal responsibility” is just for other people.