Slippery Language on ACA aka Obamacare Replacement

Fox News carried a lead story today on their website:

White House vows plan will offer insurance to every American, downplays upcoming CBO report

I will be the first to admit the story itself was somewhat fair and balanced.  It was about Gary Cohen’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, and he had this to say:

“We don’t think so,” White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn said on “Fox News Sunday,” when asked if many of the insured will lose their health care. “We believe if you want to have coverage, we’re providing you access to coverage.”

“We have to make a better plan,” he said

I have been noting with increasing alarm members of Congress of the GOP kind stating something over and over again especially this past week as their bill has come to light.  The oft repeated comment goes something like this:

“Everyone who wants health care insurance can buy it at an affordable price.”

I don’t doubt they can make this statement true, but before I or you go celebrating, why don’t we try and parse the meaning of this?

Off an on as I have listened to Sirius FM in my car, I have heard a commercial that begins with a man calling to make a claim on his home owner’s protection policy for a failed hot water heater.  The lady who seems to have answered his call tells him his hot water heater is not covered.  When he asks what is, she tells him earthquakes and invasions from zombie vampires.  He complains that zombie vampires would never happen, and she cheerfully responds “Yes. but you would be covered if they did!”

It seems hard to not extrapolate the GOP supporters of repeal and replace whispering the same sort of thing to us when they are talking about their plan.  Yes, anyone can buy health care insurance and can afford it.  But what would we get?  A plan that covers care for an attack by zombie vampires?  Not likely; that will probably be excluded, along with preventative care and checkups, lab tests, mammograms and PSA tests, and things that actually bring down health care costs by early preventative treatment.  Also gone will be medical advice on healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Instead, a White House copy cat plan for McDonald’s and taco bowels.

When treatments are covered, what are the co-pays and deductibles going to be?  No one, absolutely no one who wants to repeal and replace, is saying one word about costs to individuals after all is said and done.

Who is going to get hit the hardest?  Middle aged people who will get reduced tax credits, those who are not fortunate enough to have an employer=provided insurance plan, senior citizens?  The answer is clearly “anyone who gets sick.”

Remember the guy from the 2008 election campaign who had a sign saying “Keep the government away from my Medicare!”? Make that “Keep Congress away from my health insurance.”

Don’t be surprised when you hear, next year or the year after that, “We promised everyone affordable health care insurance, and you got it. Sorry about the lack of coverage.  Either ask your parents or your family to pay for that coverage, or stop being a welfare queen and get a job.”


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