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Nobody Is Coming For Your Guns — They’re Coming For Your Health Care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was landmark legislation because as a country, we finally made a good faith attempt to establish universal health coverage and banned pre-existing condition clauses. The ACA established a new paradigm in this country that the federal government has some responsibility to make sure that every American has access to decent health care.

Despite the dishonest campaign from the GOP demonizing the ACA, it has proven to be surprisingly popular. At the present time, the ACA has an approval rating in the neighborhood of 55%. Moreover, the ban on pre-existing condition clauses has a 75% approval rating. In contrast, only 33% approve of Brett Kavanaugh and 34% support the new GOP tax law.

Despite popular support for the ACA and its consumer friendly reforms, the GOP wants to roll it back. In 2017, most of the Republicans in both Houses of Congress voted to allow the states to gut the ban on pre-existing condition clauses. Moreover, those same Republican members of Congress would have been exempted from the elimination of those patient protections.

All five members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation voted for Trump Care in 2017. In addition, Pete Ricketts and Doug Peterson have joined a lawsuit filed by 20 Red States aimed at tossing out the entire ACA and the ban on pre-existing condition clauses. (That’s one of the many reasons why the Kavanaugh nomination is so important.)

If the Republicans can’t convince the five so-called “conservatives” on the Supreme Court to repeal the ACA through judicial fiat, they have plans to jam through an ACA repeal bill next year if they win the election. Vice President Mike Pence recently stated at a campaign rally that if the GOP does well enough in next month’s elections, they will take another run at repealing the ACA in 2019. (The GOP came within one vote of repealing the ACA in the Senate last year.)

We don’t have to settle for the GOP’s regressive health care plans. The Nebraska Democratic Party has nominated an excellent slate of Congressional candidates who want to expand health care and make it less expensive.

U.S. Senate nominee Jane Raybould has a plan that would end the cap on the tax credit that the Affordable Care Act uses to make health insurance more affordable for working families. More generous subsidies would make insurance much more affordable and increase the number of Americans who are insured.

In Nebraska CD01, Jessica McClure supports a Medicare buy-in-for all plan. Under her plan, any small business or consumer could buy into a public health insurance plan through Medicare. Jessica’s plan would give millions of Americans access to better and less expensive plans.

In Nebraska CD02 and CD03, Kara Eastman and Paul Theobald, respectively, support a Medicare for all system. As Paul Theobald said: “Our health care system is designed to maximize the profits of corporate shareholders. What we need is a health care system designed to maximize the health and well-being of American citizens.”

In the Omaha based CD02 race, Don Bacon has been making a series of disingenuous attacks on Eastman’s health care plan. He is falsely claiming that Medicare for all will cost $32 trillion in additional spending over the next decade and turn into Medicare for none.

What Bacon doesn’t tell you is that the cost of maintaining the health care status quo over the next 10 years is $50 trillion. The unspoken and dishonest assumption behind Bacon’s attack is that somehow we will be paying twice for health care in the next 10 years. Or in the alternative, Bacon makes the assumption that our health care will be free for the next 10 years.

Somebody needs to ask Bacon how he plans to come up with the $50 trillion necessary to finance the status quo. The U.S. has far and away the most expensive health care system in the industrialized world and it simply isn’t sustainable. We pay a lot more than other First World countries and get a vastly inferior outcome.

The stakes couldn’t be any higher on November 6. Will we have a health care system designed to benefit the American people or the well heeled special interests? That is one of the many questions on the ballot. Volunteer! Organize ! Vote!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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