It’s lovely to listen to melodic phrases like “patient centered care” and “freedom of choice,” as well as all manner of other Republican catch all incantations…but none of these address practical questions Representative Mark Amodei (RNV2) needs to answer about the replacement of the Affordable Care Act. A few examples:
The extension of health care insurance and Medicaid helped reduce the level of uncompensated care for which hospitals could ultimately be liable. How will a GOP plan reduce the level of uncompensated care? How will rural hospitals be affected? How will hospitals in Lander, Pershing, and Humboldt counties be affected?
Prior to the Affordable Care Act there was only one health insurance company selling individual policies in large swaths of District 2. How will the GOP replacement legislation insure competition for those seeking to purchase individual health insurance policies for their families?
Prior to the Affordable Care Act insurance companies could market policies with lifetime limits. These were certainly cheaper than comprehensive policies, however they never seemed to be adequate for serious and chronic illnesses or very serious accidents with long term recovery and rehabilitation. In fact, many respected consumer advocates called these “junk insurance.” What will the GOP replacement do to prevent the reintroduction of junk insurance?
Before the Affordable Care Act Republicans touted health savings accounts as an alternative. How would a GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act address the health care needs of those whose wages and salaries are insufficient to sustain the contributions needed to establish an adequate health savings account level?
Prior to the Affordable Care Act insurance corporations could refuse policies for those with preexisting conditions and to those engaged in what the companies categorized as high risk occupations. How will a GOP replacement prevent a reintroduction of these practices?
Before the Affordable Care Act insurance corporations were allowed to charge higher premiums for policies sold to women, or which covered female members of families. How will the GOP replacement address this issue?
The Affordable Care Act extended the viability of Medicare. How will a GOP replacement extend the capacity of Medicare?
These are but a few of the questionsame raised by the GOP calls for repeal. They cannot be answered by pious recitals of Republican rhetorical flourishes. They cannot be addressed by reiterating Republican buzz words and phrases. They have to be addressed in the real world, of real people, with real health care needs.