Today is rollout day for the final phase1 of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare). Among other things, this phase will assure the availability of health insurance for all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions, and it will be affordable to most uninsured. People will no longer be suffering and/or dying because health care is not available to them. Yet Republicans are obviously pissed off about this — literally — in particular, the undeserved-named tea party. For that reason, more than 40 million seniors in our country should be grateful that these Republicans and their PR “news” network, Fox Faux, wasn’t around in the 1960’s; because none of them would not have any kind of health care today unless they are very wealthy.
The AHCA (and its supporters) have been the victims of the most vicious attacks ever on any a government program. Allison Linn quotes experts in a CNBC article (PDF copy here) today who said the fights for Social Security in the 1930’s and Medicare in the 1960’s “was not nearly as venomous” as the fight over Obamacare has been.
Then-movie star Ronald Reagan joined the GOP in trying to stop Medicare. He recorded a speech where he said and did everything he could to kill the program, calling it socialized medicine (it is socialized medicine (some people are too dumb to know that), but back then that word was as “evil” as Communism).
“…doctors [will] be told by the government which patients they could see, and where. [It will be followed by] “other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. If you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
But once the American people had the chance to see how well Medicare worked, those fears spread by the political right soon faded; as will those propaganda fears over Obamacare. However, many experts on the details of Obamacare say that many of the benefits will never be recognized by most people as coming from the Health Care Act. Unlike SS where recipients begin to see a check soon after implementation, there will be little or no material evidence that they’re being helped by Obamacare.
Daniel Beland, a professor of public policy at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and an expert on the U.S. Social Security and Medicare systems, said “When you deal with indirect measures or regulatory changes, you benefit from government action without knowing that.” Henry Aaron, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution and an expert on health-care financing said “If we get by the initial years, people will look back on the rhetoric that is being (used) today with absolute incredulity.”
So, once again, I remind you that had today’s Republicans and their PR network (Fox Faux, CNBC and right-wing talking heads & publications) were around in the 1930’s and 1960’s, you or someone in your family would not have Social Security or Medicare today.
1 Some elements of previously implemented phases have been delayed due to various circumstances.