Thursday, March 20, 2014
To the editor:
In the March 10 paper, a Gazette columnist described an encounter with a Republican neighbor who was disparaging the Affordable Care Act as a handout to slackers. The author, John Sheirer, did a great job of rebutting this false claim, and also describing the numerous provisions of the ACA that will improve the health of the American people.
For example, a Harvard study showed mortality is 6 percent higher in states whose Republican governors declined the expanded Medicaid coverage authorized under the ACA. The recent report claiming there would be two million jobs lost as a result of the ACA is also a misrepresentation: The Congressional Budget Office stated that two million people formerly locked into their jobs because that was their only option for health care will choose not to work, perhaps to spend time with grandkids, maybe pursue a new enterprise.
So it appears the “death panels” and “job lock” the Republicans are shouting about is not a feature of the ACA, but rather of the GOP’s own regressive policies.
Given the benefits of the ACA and the harm that would be caused by its repeal, one wonders why GOP beneficiaries of the act like the one described in Sheirer’s column so vociferously oppose it. Perhaps the $400 million the Koch brothers and their corporate allies have spent on misinformation campaigns could have something to do with it?