SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

July 30, 2013

Column: Can we get real about repealing Obamacare?

OK, class, let’s talk about repealing Obamacare. Some of us are having a little trouble envisioning what that would look like, but I know all you smart Republicans have some great ideas. So, let’s get started.

Kevin Yoder, from Overland Park, Kan., you’ve voted, like, 39 times to repeal Obamacare. Tell us what you’ll say to those senior citizens who will have to start paying more for prescription drugs if you succeed. The Affordable Care Act, as you know, is closing the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug coverage, and 6 million seniors are already benefiting.

Congressman Yoder? What’s that, he’s left the room? Something about phoning his grandma, you say.

Well, all right then, let’s move on.

Vicky Hartzler, from Harrisonville, Mo., you’re a big Obamacare critic. What will you say to the millions of people with pre-existing conditions who will lose their chance at affordable health insurance once the repeal happens? And how about the families of those 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions already benefiting because of the law? Surely, you’re not going to cast them into the cold, but insurers won’t handle high-risk patients unless they’re assured of a broad base of healthy people to help absorb the losses.

Say what? Congresswoman Hartzler has stepped out also? I see.

Perhaps we’re being too specific. How about some of you Republicans just generally tell us your ideas for making health care affordable and accessible to all Americans, not just the ones who are healthy and have jobs with benefits. We’d also welcome your ideas for slowing the escalation of medical costs.

Anyone?

I see a hand up. Sen. Roy Blunt from Missouri. Very good.

Blunt: “As you know, I’ve been talking for years about commonsense solutions like medical liability reform and selling insurance across state lines.”

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