Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Comentarios from Maria: The GOP delusion on ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood

obamacare

So Republicans plan to repeal ObamaCare. Now. Like this week. This is not a surprise given that is what they have been harping on for the past eight years.

But what they haven’t done (or had to do until now) is present a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and give Americans confidence they will not be left out in the cold. Fat chance.

One this is for sure, whatever they come up with, I hope it covers delusions, because that is what Republicans suffer from if they think this is actually what the American people want.

The Republicans have yet to come up with a coherent, cohesive, comprehensive healthcare plan to replace the ACA they have tried to repeal more than 60 times while President Obama was in office. Knowing full well Obama would never sign a bill repealing his legacy-making law, it seems they never bothered to take it seriously enough to come up with a viable alternative.

The GOP is now in the hot seat.  They have vowed they will start with the repeal of the ACA this week. But even after eight years of huffing and puffing about it, and with no plan for replacement, what’s worse is that they are doing exactly the opposite of what the American people say they want. Most Americans do not want to repeal the ACA.

Far from it.

The ACA has given more than 20 million Americans access to affordable healthcare coverage, which for many means life-saving care they would have dies without.  For many others, it means affordability that did not exist before when covering a pre-existing condition could mean financial ruin for many families.

Is it a perfect law?  Absolutely not. Obama is the first one to say so and in fact has been saying for years that he would welcome any Republican offer to help change it and make it better.  None ever came.

Are some premiums going up for families with a plan under the ACA?  Yes, and we need to fix that part of the law, making sure that the rate of rising healthcare costs continues to decrease, which is has been doing for the past eight years thanks to the ACA.

Republicans would do well to actually do what they say they are doing – listening to the American people.  It is true that the ACA has never been hugely popular according to polls.  But we cannot ignore that a part of that unpopularity comes from progressives who believe the law did not go far enough.  These folks support the law as is and want to do even more to give more Americans coverage at less cost.

That is why when Americans are asked if they want to repeal it, most say no, they prefer for their leaders to work together to expand it and/or fix it.  Repeal is not something Americans have been clamoring for.  Especially not when Republicans have failed time and again to come up with an alternative that would give Americans better coverage at a cheaper cost.

Another delusional long-standing obsession Republicans have embarked upon yet again, is their goal of defunding Planned Parenthood.  We know this tactic is a darling of the extreme right wing.  But as Republicans take control of everything, here in Washington, they should at least be honest with the American people.

Because again, just like in their efforts to abolish the ACA, their efforts in defunding Planned Parenthood are not based on good policy, or on what Americans want.  They are based solely on partisan politics.  They promised their base they would do it, so they are doing it.

Never mind it would deny healthcare to millions more men, women and children, and make it that much harder for low-income Americans to obtain life-saving services like cancer screenings and pap tests, as well as important family planning services including birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

More than 2.5 million Americans visit Planned Parenthood each year for healthcare and these lifesaving services.  The majority of the American people do not want Planned Parenthood defunded.

In fact, in sixteen national polls, strong majorities of the American people supported Planned Parenthood and did not want lawmakers to pass a budget that took away its ability to serve Americans in dire need of the services it provides.

That’s why Democrats will continue to stand strong against these willful Republicans who will charge right at the heart of the well-being of the country, putting partisanship ahead of good governance, and in their zeal to go after President Obama’s signature legacy, and defund Planned Parenthood, they will actually #MakeAmericaSickAgain.

Democrats tonight are taking to the Senate floor, raising their voices in unison here in D.C. and across the country, and assuring the American people that we are on their side.

Democrats will do the listening, as we have always done, and try, against all odds, to assure Americans their healthcare will be there for them when they need it.

Even in the face of a group Republican delusion for which there is no sane cure.

This Op-ed first appeared on The Hill