|By Josh Moon, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Primarily because many Americans just realized the president's health care reforms are starting Tuesday -- because it wasn't announced weekly on "The Voice," I guess -- there is suddenly a whole buncha hand-wringing and angst. The usual suspects are back in front of cameras, alleging outrageous untruths and scaring the absolute hell out of people.
And the politicians in this state are doing what they do best -- nothing -- while acting as if they're
Now, I can't deal with every yahoo out there spreading lies. But we can focus on the ones who matter most to us: our state politicians. The folks whose only job it is to read through complicated bills such as the Affordable Care Act and determine how it positively and negatively affects the citizens of this state, and then accentuate the positives and do all they can to eliminate the negatives. Have they done that? Of course not.
Instead, our great leaders -- Sens.
That's the legacy of our leaders in this.
Not one, single original thought. Not one idea. Not one attempt to figure out a way to insure the uninsured. Not one attempt to find a way to provide basic care to the hundreds of thousands in this state who go without it. Not one proposal to introduce competition into the least competitive insurance market in the country. Nothing.
In a state that ranks near the bottom of pretty much every health-related category, our esteemed governor's long-term goal, as he stated in an interview a week ago, is "Resist the implementation of (Obamacare)."
That's some goal, governor.Bentley's resistance will leave more than 300,000 residents of this state uninsured and without basic health care. It will leave billions of federal dollars on the table. And it will leave thousands of jobs going to other states.
Now, these same politicians will tell you that the federal money that would pay for nearly all of the Obamacare expansions is not free money, that it's taxpayer money no matter whether it comes from this state or the federal government. And to be fair, that's true enough.
But understand this: Obamacare's expense -- expanding
Instead of paying that major expense, Obamacare encourages preventative care that's usually cheaper. That's why it's estimated the reforms will save us money in the long run, despite taxpayers picking up a larger percentage of the overall bill for more people.
That preventative care will make for a healthier workforce, improve school attendance and hopefully cut down on the embarrassing headlines in which
And here's the big secret: This reform, if implemented fully, will work. In fact, it's already working.
This system has been in
In several states, the new insurance exchanges have been implemented in ways to encourage greater competition, which leads to lower rates and more options. And other reforms and regulations have assured people have more options and are protected better than ever before.
And the costs? There's an overall reduction for the average person.
That doesn't mean some won't pay more. Quite a few will. And there will be bumps and snags and problems for the first several months, maybe even for a few years. That's what happens when you introduce an overhaul of this size.
But here's the bottom line: The old system was broken, left out millions and was well on its way to bankrupting our entire economy. This president introduced a system that, while imperfect, will provide health care to almost everyone while not increasing costs overall and reducing the deficit long term.
It's also flexible, allowing each state the opportunity to shape and mold its insurance market for the betterment of its people and find ways to eliminate or neutralize any problems or snafus within the state market.
Basically, it's a godsend for innovative, forward-thinkers who want to solve one of the biggest issues facing this country.
Unfortunately, we apparently didn't elect any people like that in this state.
(c)2013 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)
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