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December 4, 2013

Affordable healthcare is here

DUNCAN — The Republican Party’s angst against the colloquially named “Obamacare” is probably due to the millions of dollars they have wasted demeaning it. Whether they like it or not, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can only be reversed if voters become lazy and allow Republicans to gain control of all three branches of our federal government. What both parties should do is look ahead to when the PPACA is fully implemented. Then, evaluate the final results when affordable healthcare for everyone is completed. A negative critique of a project at its inception is a wasteful effort in futility, politically and financially.

Those that see the PPACA as a form of socialism are only fooling their constituents. Health insurance plans we purchase come from private insurance companies, not the U.S. Government. PPACA Exchanges (Marketplaces) were designed to be state-operated from the beginning. However, 36 states - with Republicans in full control of those governments - refused to establish the anticipated Exchanges. Those states’ refusals left it up to the Federal Government to fill the void. Ergo, when the Federal Marketplace opened up for online operation, it was overwhelmed by the millions of people who were abandoned by their state governments. Isn’t it ironic how history repeats itself?

The same problems occurred when Medicare Part D was initiated under the George W. Bush presidency even with a Republican-controlled House and Senate.

Recently, we were reminded of the equally controversial roll-outs of both E-Bay and Amazon. What short, selective memories we have.

Today, in most part, Republicans are putting forth misinformation designed to convince the public that what we had before the PPACA was enacted is still the best healthcare we can ever have. With that concept now being discovered false, they are at loss regarding what to use to generate their next fear-tactics rhetoric. The House has enacted challenges to repeal all or parts of the PPACA 46 times - all to no avail.

Because Governor Fallin and her Republican legislators refused to adopt the PPACA , according to the Kaiser Foundation, 144,480 citizens of Oklahoma (ages 26-65) will “fall into the uninsured gap” - being neither eligible for Medicaid nor able to qualify for Marketplace subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums.

Most of the truly important parts of the PPACA have already taken effect, and hundreds of millions of Americans are benefiting from its passage. What the Republicans, in their battle against affordable healthcare, hope we haven’t discovered are:

(1) Young adults may now remain on their parent’s health plan until age 26.

(2) We cannot be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing medical condition or have a plan cancelled because of a pay-out cap for a catastrophic illness.

(3) In states which expanded their Medicaid programs, (OKLAHOMA DID NOT) young adults whose parents carry no insurance - and those older than 26 - may now be eligible for Medicaid. Because the federal government also operates an Insurance Marketplace, qualifying young adults of Oklahoma may apply for health insurance and receive subsidies to assist in paying the premiums.

(4) Everyone currently enrolled in Medicaid, or who obtains health coverage through the Marketplace, will have preventive care with regular exams from the medical profession. (This part of the Act will also affect seniors 65 or older as there are no co-pays for these yearly procedures.)

(5) Pregnant women of Oklahoma, fortunate enough to afford health insurance, will now receive pre-natal care which was not offered prior to the PPACA.

Readers, take note! More Republican fear tactics are forthcoming! They now have a new list of phrases to use in future town hall meetings, i.e., “I Lost My insurance” - “Cost of Healthcare Increasing,”- “Negative Stories Heard,” etc..

In the months leading up to 2014 elections, another coordinated attack on both Democrats and the PPACA - to generate groundless fears - will come!

Kenneth Wells

580-444-2563

 twinnwells@gmail.com

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