MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The latest in an ever-shifting array of GOP strategies to try and destroy the Affordable Care Act is to, according to Salon, convince young people that they will pay more for insurance. That part is actually true for a relatively small percentage of the population, because now people are covered regardless of pre-existing conditions, and age ratings will lessen.
This means that given an insurance pool that includes higher-risk patients due to age and chronic and life-threatening illness, the pot of money has to increase to cover care. But that's in theory, because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) limits insurance company to spending 15% for administrative overhead. The ACA is going to also attempt to limit insurance company profit. California already does this with a cap on revenues over expenses.
Although the jury is still out, many studies thus far are already predicting -- due to its cost control measures -- that the Affordable Care Act should actually lessen the cost of medical care in the United States.
But here's the BuzzFlash at Truthout challenge, which we have mentioned before: If you are young or on the younger side of middle age, you can be responsible, in cash (without relying on any government assistance whatsoever), when your parents become ill. Right now, one of the chief beneficiary demographics of the Affordable Care Act are people between 50-65. Without the Affordable Care Act, if they are un- or under-employed, they cannot afford what amounts to approximately $10 - $25,000 in insurance depending on the deductible, network, and out-of-pocket expense. They may even be paying huge premiums even if they have an employer-sponsored plan.
So let their children who might bawk at the Affordable Care Act pay for their mom and dad's healthcare if there is no ACA. Also, let that young person who doesn't currently have insurance, but can afford it, sign a legal document that they will not use any government funds if they become ill or have a serious accident.
Let's go a step further and challenge those Tea Partiers and Republicans and some Democrats who want to cut back on Social Security and Medicare. (After all, "the grand bargain" proponents use the same strategy of telling young workers that they will be paying into Social Security at a higher rate in order to cover the aging population.) You and those who agree with you must first sign a similar legal document that declares that you will support your parents and supplement their meager Social Security incomes as the government cuts back the checks that they earned as they worked toward retirement.
The pro "grand bargain," anti-Affordable Care crowd will be the first to tell you nothing is free. Well then, the cost of the care for their parents, older and disabled relatives should be borne by them if they oppose government programs.
And when these young or under-50 haters of the federal government complain that they are bankrupt from paying for medical care and their parents' stay in the nursing home, just tell them to -- in the colloquial -- shove it.
Sign the check Tea Partiers -- and the followers of the "Grand Bargain" anti-Obamacare Pied Piper!
The bankruptcy awaiting you is your own doing.
(Photo: Jonathan McIntosh)