To the Editor:
“It’s bad enough to force Americans to buy health insurance,” declared Congressman Randy Hultgren in a Jan. 22 letter to the editor concerning protecting our privacy. In the letter, Mr Hultgren, like so many Republicans these days, used the occasion to attack the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
A little history about the ACA may surprise, as well as enlighten. Initially, it was Republican President Richard Nixon, who back in the 1970s, put forth the idea that eventually led to the ACA. Later, the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative think tank, promoted a plan that would require all American families to buy health insurance from private insurance companies, the so-called “individual mandate,” to which modern-day Republicans so strenuously object. More recently, Republican Mitt Romney put the Heritage Foundation plan, including the individual mandate, into law in Massachusetts, apparently with great success.
When Mr. Hultgren and Republicans attack the ACA, they are attacking the only plan that Republicans/conservatives have ever promoted to make health care accessible and affordable to all Americans. So, if they are against universal health care, against a public option and against their own health care plan – which retains the role of private insurance companies – what are they for?
Based on their rhetoric and their actions, it seems like they just don’t give a hoot about making health care accessible and affordable to all Americans, especially the roughly 50 million who were uninsured and the millions more who were underinsured and now have a chance for coverage under the ACA. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a lot better than nothing, which is what Republicans are proposing.