Obamacare coverage turns out to be better


The process of repetition is well-established among humans as a way of maintaining control and stability over their lives. Occasionally, though, it makes sense to step back and do a bit of reassessment. The focus of this letter will assist with the habitual tendencies of the Tribune Chronicle editorial board and their Nov. 14 editorial “Obamacare hurts more than it helps.”

In what was a refreshingly short though still decidedly dishonest editorial the Tribune began yet another attack on the Affordable Care Act by announcing, with sad panda eyes, that Americans numbering in the millions “will have to buy government-approved coverage at higher cost.”

But that above quote from the opening paragraph of the editorial does two cute things: The first is that it crassly labels the changeover in coverage as “government-approved” in an effort to depict the obligated change as oppressive “Big Government,” and the second little trick is that it then falsely claims that this change will absolutely come at “higher cost.”

Here’s a news flash: Most of the health insurance in this country is already what you would call “government-approved.” That simply means that it covers basic expenses instead of just being symbolic junk insurance that covers nothing. In some instances it’s even been documented recently that insurance companies, in their cancellation letters, neglected to mention that many of the people getting their plans canceled would be able to find extremely similar if not superior plans on the health insurance exchanges.

A statistic that many forget is that before Obamacare the No. 1 reason for personal bankruptcy in the U.S. was medically-related expenses. Of those bankruptcies many were from people who already had health insurance. The times were just that bad.

In response to the claim of people having to purchase insurance that is “higher cost,” I forewarn the Tribune’s editorial board: stop lying in the form of oversimplifying. Some of the change-overs – which may be delayed slightly due to the President’s recent announcement – might have to pay more, but not everyone. A lot of that depends on what kind of plans people choose to purchase. Regardless, the Tribune’s editors appear to have dedicated themselves to demagoguery about the content of Obamacare. It would make far more sense to cover actual problems with the law, like its slim offerings in the realm of dental insurance.

Overall the piece repeatedly discredited itself in several ways, such as incorrectly implying that subsidies are the only way the law helps people.

There are indeed issues with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But let’s refrain from making up problems for the sake of selling newspapers. Until single-payer passes and makes universal coverage a reality, “Obamacare” is the law of the land.

I’m pleased with Obamacare since it’s how I’m going to be obtaining my health insurance for the foreseeable future. And it’s actually going to be pretty good, affordable coverage.

So while it’s not yet Thanksgiving, I’m going to say it anyway: I’m thankful for Obamacare. Many will be.

Robert Heltzel