The never-ending battle over health care reform
As the new Congress prepares to start, House leaders have signaled that repealing the Affordable Care Act will be one of their first priorities. I’m sure for some Members this is a simplistic ideological exercise — if “Obamacare” is bad, then repeal of “Obamacare” must be good, right?
Unfortunately, this partisan effort on Capitol Hill would have terrible effects in the real world. It would allow insurers to spend less on care and more on executive salaries, re-institute discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, make prescriptions more expensive for seniors, raise prices on preventative services, slash funding for community health centers that are the only primary care providers in many low-income communities, and kill other needed reforms before they have a chance to take effect.
Obviously, a very small circle of people determine the legislative agenda. But it’s up to the rest of us – including faith leaders who worked hard to pass the Affordable Care Act — to remind lawmakers, the media, and other political insiders that there are human consequences to political stunts such as this.