Johnson Won’t Tell Truth on Obamacare
Senator claims it’s hated, but ACA now has highest support, especially Trump voters.
This weekend on Capital City Sunday Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson was allowed to make it appear that everyone hates the Affordable Care Act. The fact is that the law is now more popular than ever.
Public support for the law is now such that it has inched up to around its highest point in a half-dozen years. Johnson might also note this past enrollment season was successful even though the Trump administration made things difficult with a shortened enrollment time and reduced funds for outreach to those who could benefit from the coverage.
I found it interesting that Johnson would continue to rail against the law when statistics show Americans in states that Donald Trump carried in November 2016 account for more than 4 in 5 of those signed up for the Affordable Care Act. In fact, a breakdown of the new figures from the government found that 7.3 million of the 8.8 million consumers signed up for this year come from red states. Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia accounted for nearly 3.9 million customers, and they constituted the highest number of sign-ups.
Johnson was proud that the recently passed tax bill got rid of the individual mandate, not seeming to appreciate the role the mandate had in working to make the fundamentals of the health law function. Johnson did not address who is supposed to pay if that person or family drops insurance and goes to the emergency room, or needs hospitalization.
Instead Johnson stated someone contacted his office and said their family was charged 3X as much for health insurance under the ACA. At this point the moderator should have asked if Johnson had inquired of the constituent if the insurance they were paying for was a policy so lacking in basic elements that the company wouldn’t have paid for anything if their family actually had to use it. That, too, was a reason to enact ACA, and one that Johnson seemed not to be interested in.
It seems odd that Johnson seemingly has never heard from any constituents who used the preventative care portion of the health care plans to discover early colon cancer or been able to receive medications to treat their diabetes for the first time. It seems most remarkable that our senator has had no conversations with constituents who had a child with cancer that could not be denied insurance or who were not bumped up against previous lifetime caps — the very type of problems that ACA outlawed.
Never once did Johnson admit the merits of the law and how many people were served by it. Nor did he offer ideas how to work within the framework of the law to make the health care system stronger. But then again, Johnson was never asked any tough questions.
It would be nice if Johnson, instead of looking for ways to scorn the health law, were to join with Republicans such as Senator Lamar Alexander and a number of Democrats to stabilize the markets. Crowing about removing the mandate–which was a most destructive move–shows only the partisan side of Johnson.
What about the public policy needs, Senator?