SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

December 17, 2013

Brown: Hypocrisy and double standards

Hypocrisy and double standards are two things that disgust and infuriate all Americans, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately, these qualities are far too prevalent in our political culture today and are prime reasons why Washington and the politicians who work there are held in such low regard.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the implementation and implosion of Obamacare. During the debate over the deeply flawed bill in 2009 and 2010, voters were repeatedly assured by President Obama and his congressional allies that everyone who liked their current health care plan would be able to keep it. “Period.” Now, as the new law implodes before our eyes, millions of Americans have received letters of cancellation. With approximately 5 million people across the country expected to lose their current plan and millions more to follow, when all the smoke clears, it’s clear that the Democrats broke their promise to the American people.

Many other Americans are experiencing fewer medical options as insurers restrict their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low. Some of the country’s top medical facilities are being excluded from the new exchange system, meaning patients who have been getting treatment from doctors they like all of a sudden find themselves out of luck.

For example, in New Hampshire, only 16 of the state’s 26 hospitals are available on the federal exchange, meaning patients must either pay more to keep their current doctor or seek inferior care elsewhere. Neither is a good option.

New Hampshire is not alone. Across the country, some of the best hospitals are not available on plans on the exchange, leaving patients with difficult choices and unwanted, sometimes life-threatening, decisions.

Rather than join with Republicans and immediately repeal this catastrophe before it gets any worse, Democrats are stubbornly digging in their heels. They know that backing away from President Obama’s signature achievement would be a huge embarrassment for the White House, and they’re unwilling to buck their party leadership.

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