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Health Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a major improvement in making affordable, reliable health care available to the people.  No longer can people be denied health insurance due to pre-existing conditions.  No longer can insurance companies cancel policies when an insured becomes sick.  No longer are there lifetime caps.  The number of bankruptcies due to health expenses (currently over 500,000 per year) will decline substantially. Better policies are available at lower costs.

Common with other major programs, the startup software had problems which were solved.  Over 10 million more people have affordable health insurance due to the PPACA.   Some provisions of the law have been delayed to give small businesses more time to make and implement choices.  We need to all be patient and work toward full implementation of the system.  It will be well worth the time and effort.

The right wing echo chambers still reverberate with distortions and outright lies.  If the Republicans have control of the House in 2015, there may be 40 more dead end votes to repeal "Obamacare".  They will fight health care reform for many decades to come.  Indeed, the Republicans are still trying to undermine Medicare after nearly 50 years and Social Security after nearly 80 years.

For the next two years on the national level, we need to concentrate on implementing the PPACA, smoothing out any problems encountered.  The long range solution is a Medicare for Everyone system similar to the Single Payer systems which are used in all other industrialized nations.  Those systems are successful, spending 1/3 to 1/2 of what we do for healthcare and getting better results, and have no opposition by any political groups within those countries.  In this country, the path to Single Payer will almost certainly be on a state by state basis.  The PPACA includes an exemption provision for states to be allowed to do so.  Vermont has already passed Single Payer.  Other states are moving in that direction.  See my proposal for an Ohio Constitutional amendment for a phased implementation.

The right wing counter argument to all of this is that having affordable health care in which our government plays a role will take away our freedom to be sick, broke, and miserable.  See Freedoms with Single Payer.