The following is in response to “Affordable Care: Really?” by Joe Ferguson, Ottawa, which appeared in The Herald’s June 28 Reader Forum.
To Ferguson: I “mostly” applaud your write-up. As an Apparent Cause Evaluation (ACE) of the Affordable Care Act, it is fairly accurate. However, as the whole issue of health care has become such an expensive issue and as important in America as having enough food, water, shelter, and a job; it is probably necessary to do a Root Cause Evaluation (RCE) of the ACA’s failures so those lessons might be applied to the replacement or the renovation of health care. Given, too, the fact that President Trump has not once, but twice, called the current U.S. House and Senate proposals “mean,” though he continues trying to sell them, makes it that much more important to our lives.
To complete that RCE, I need more information:
1) The basic affordable care act was actually written by a learned coalition headed by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and the Legislature of the state of Massachusetts. Why does the GOP want to ignore that fact?
The ACA was structured like a three-legged stool. The bill’s success was based on three financial legs: personal health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. So ...
2) Why does the GOP work so hard to kill Medicaid expansion? Even to the extent that in the latest U.S. House and Senate bills, they are trying to gut it and throw it to the curb like the people who will lose that safety net?
3) Why did the GOP work so hard to demonize those people who might have advised poor and middle class people on how to obtain good personal health insurance?
4) Why did the GOP work so hard to make it seem like the ACA was/is going to be a disaster while hindering those who were/are working hard to make it a success?
With respect to Universal Health Care ...
5) Why do people like U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, say “The real answer is Medicare for all. We just have to figure out how to pay for it”? Then we see him supporting a bill that, I know I am repeating myself, Trump calls mean?
With respect to Medicaid expansion ...
6) Can anyone in the GOP explain to me why Kansas turned down $1.9 billion in expanded Medicaid support to the Kansas health industry, but wait with great excitement for Trump to give them their share of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure reconstruction handouts?
And what about buying health insurance across state lines?
7) Won’t that just gut our state protections provided via our Kansas Insurance Commission and secretary of state, protections from being sold worthless policies not backed by real corporations?
The ironies run rampant. The contradictions careen with confusion. The GOP’s health care efforts appear now to be supported by only 12 percent of the U.S. population, and no one in the health care industry, so it seems the GOP clearly needs help. So, maybe, if we work together, we can figure this out, since our elected leaders, as you have pointed out before, are no longer responsive to us.
— John Holland, Ottawa