Letter: Campaign against Obamacare isn’t right

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 06:05 PM


Health insurance premiums jump 50 percent because of Obamacare. This is the allegation made by a political advertisement which ran on television statewide by the Alexander for Senate campaign. The July 10 edition of The Washington Post said this regarding the advertisement.

“Alexander mixes up so many apples and oranges here that the ad is a virtual fruit basket. As a general matter, one could say that individual premiums have gone up, in part because the healthcare law mandates a rich package of benefits. But one cannot ignore the impact of tax subsidies which the CBO said would reduce premiums by 56 percent to 59 percent or easily compare pre ACA plans with post ACA plans. Alexander may want to relive his moment in the national spotlight but he’s misleading viewers with his math that premiums have risen more than 50 percent.”

The Commonwealth Fund states that the uninsured rate for people 19 to 64 years of age declined from 20 percent to 15 percent. Also, uninsured young adults showed the biggest decline.

Gallup states that the uninsured rate in the US fell 2.2 percent; the lowest quarterly average since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the percentage of uninsured in 2008. Rand American Life Panel shows a net gain of 9.3 million Americans with health insurance coverage.

Kaiser Family Foundation says 57 percent of people receiving health insurance coverage because of the ACA were previously uninsured.

The reason for political discourse in the country is easily identified. Four years has seen one frivolous excuse after another thrown at this law and the cheering for failure coming from this Senator, this Governor and their party.

They have been betting the farm that its failure would be their success. Should it not be reasonable that its success be their failure? Elections should have consequences, failure should not be rewarded. Tennessee’s healthcare successes have come from the volunteers that have stepped out and up to assist and enroll people and families with affordable insurance. Enrollment will begin again this November with volunteers statewide. This state’s lawmakers have only succeeded in an experiment of discrimination giving a distinct advantage to citizens of other states where leadership fulfilled their duties to fairly protect and provide for all their people.

Everyone knows that life isn’t fair. Most Americans regardless of political persuasion also believe that it doesn’t have to be that way. Problems can be solved making life better for the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick and the most disparaged of the despaired. Too many in the corners of this political system say this can’t be done; they prefer problems to solutions. Uncompromising gridlock is crushing the dream that most Americans still cling to. Yes, life can be terribly and heartbreakingly unfair – no more so than in other parts of the world where political corruption, endless war, poverty beyond belief and starvation have left little to hope for. But here, it really doesn’t have to be that way.

Bill Dayton