Massive resistance against providing medical care continues
Posted by Charles II on November 21, 2013
Ed Pilkington, The Guardian:
Barack Obama is facing a fresh offensive against his troubled healthcare reforms as Republican legislators backed by corporate sponsors prepare an attempt to effectively destroy the Affordable Care Act at state level.
With Obamacare still in crisis from its botched technical rollout, the signature reform of the Obama presidency faces threats from state-based politicians who have devised a strategy to scupper the federal health insurance exchanges.
The move is the latest in a sustained effort by conservative states, mainly in the south and midwest, to resist key elements of the changes that are designed to extend healthcare to millions of uninsured Americans.
The idea for the new attack is the brainchild of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), a group that acts as a dating agency for Republican state legislators and big corporations, bringing them together to frame rightwing legislative agendas in the form of “model bills”.
A new Alec proposal, approved by its annual meeting in Chicago in August and published as a model bill for adoption by state assemblies across the nation, would scupper the federal health insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare. The Health Care Freedom Act, as Alec calls its model bill, threatens to strip health insurers of their licenses to do new business on the federal exchanges should they accept any subsidies under the system.
Alec justifies the measure as a way to protect local employers from the “employer mandate” – the provision in Obama’s act that penalises employers with more than 50 workers who do not offer any or sufficient healthcare cover for their employees. However, health insurance experts say that were the model bill to be taken up widely by Republican-held states, it would seriously disrupt the federal exchanges, and in turn put the whole health reforms in peril.
Legislation with almost identical language is already being debated in the state assemblies of Missouri and Ohio.
“You cannot build the healthcare system based on the free market unless you have subsidies. If they are taken away the whole thing collapses,” said Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive and critic of the health industry.
These people are evil. There is no other word to describe the attempt to deny health care to people who are uninsurable because they are sick or poor. 40,000 American die every year because of their past efforts. To continue to cause people to die needlessly in the face of having lost the argument and two national elections is, very simply, murder.
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