The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Mother in NC

As I drive into work every morning at about 7:30am, I listen to the MSNBC TV feed on Sirius radio—"Morning Joe," to be specific. On this morning's show, the always left-wing panel was interviewing, Mark Meadows, a right-wing member of the Congressional Freedom Caucus from North Carolina. The topic was Obamacare (the ACA) and its replacement. To their credit, the panelists were civil but aggressive in questioning the wisdom of repealing the ACA. Meadows indicated that the current repeal and replace plan is flawed (I agree) and needs to be amended.

After much discussion, one panelist asked the following question: "Congressman, you have 550,000 people in your state covered by Obamacare. If you repeal it, can you guarantee that all 550,000 will maintain health coverage?"

Congressman Meadows filibustered for a bit and then said that (1) there would be a transition period and (2) every person would have "access" to coverage. The panelists leaped on that and in typical fashion one asked: "A mother that looses her Obamacare coverage has a child who gets sick . What is she to do if she loses her coverage once Obamacare is repealed?"

The Congressman answered in political speak, but it occurred to me that he had an opportunity to turn the question around. Here's what I would have said:
Obamacare is collapsing. Premiums in NC are rising at 30 percent a year. Major insurance companies are pulling out because they're losing money and currently, many NC counties have one insurance option—and that option is threatening to leave. Exactly what is the poor mother to do if Obamacare collapses under it own weight in the next 18 months. You all seem so concerned about the mother and millions like her. She'll lose her coverage if Obamacare collapses, as will all 550,000 of my constituents in NC. Is that somehow a better option than repealing and replacing a structurally unsound healthcare program, so that that mother won't lose her coverage down the road.
Obamacare is like a poorly constructed building on a rotten foundation, rife with termites in its structural members, with a leaking roof and a maintenance bill that is growing by the year. The Democrats are suggesting that a new coat of paint and a little wallpaper will make the building whole and at the same time reduce maintenance expenses. It's a fantasy.

The best approach is to tear down the building and start afresh. But to agree to that would require the Democrats to admit that their hyperpartisan approach to healthcare was flawed from the beginning. That the 'promises" made by a Democrat president were not promises at all. That a new program created under a new GOP president they despise just might be better than an old program that is disintegrating before our eyes. They won't do that and certainly won't work with the GOP to help make it happen. Let the mother in NC with the sick child be damned.