The GOP on healthcare: All criticism, no solutions

June 11, 2012
By Linsey Pecikonis | 0 comments

While waiting on the Supreme Courts decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Acts individual mandate, the media has reflected immense distaste specifically for its usage of privatized healthcare. In a June 5thblogpost, Political Editor Guy Benson of Townhall.com attempts to make the point that Americans do not support Obamacare in general. He points to a recent National Journal Poll which shows that 74% of Americans want the Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate. What he doesnt mention is that the poll also indicates that 46% of Americans wants Congress to try again to come up with a universal health care plan for all Americans, and an additional 18% believe Congress should take small steps by covering more and more people without insurance. By focusing on the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate, Benson and other conservative bloggers have avoided the fact that a majority of Americans want to work toward universal healthcare reform. Avik Roy, in hisblogThe Apothecary,makes the point that most college students are in the peak of health . . . .Covering their health care is usually a pretty easy thing to do. He criticizes Obamacare for prohibiting expense caps in healthcare insurance policies, specifically because it forces college student health plans to charge up to 1112% of their current cost. But if college students are so healthy, why should theactualprice of insuring them suddenly skyrocket? Roys article only highlights an inherent defect of our privatized insurance system: an increase in the price of health coverage for an individual does not reflect an increase in the recipients well being. Clearly, this is a problem that must be solved by restructuring the private insurance system, not a direct problem with the healthcare bill itself. Thereisone upside to all of the negative press about the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives have effectively mounted a huge attack on how costly private health insurance is, by attacking the individual mandate, a provision that expands and promotes privatized healthcare. If and when the Supreme Court rules the mandate unconstitutional, will conservative bloggers continue to rail on the high costs that individuals must pay for healthcare that many will inevitably need? No, not likely. They will immediately forget about our wasteful, convoluted current systemand that they once strongly opposed people being mandated to participate in it. Negative press on Obamacare, and thus privatized healthcare, has conservatives trapped. The conservative blogosphere is astonishingly absent of suggestions for how to improve the unsustainable current system. Progressives will have greater clout in convincing the public that a transition toward universal government health coverage is the clear alternative.

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