Guest Author - Stacy Wiegman
Republicans were vilified by the Democrats when they opposed the healthcare reform bill of 2010. Plenty of sad stories about people without healthcare coverage were depicted, but the truth is that Republicans were right to oppose it.
As a pharmacist, I know the healthcare system from the inside, and I was really disturbed that the president handed over healthcare reform to a bunch of politicians and educators. As expected, they came up with a very misguided bill, and due to egotistical leadership in the House, this bill was pushed to approval without any Republican support.
It wasn't evil to oppose this bill, and it didn't mean that you hate people either. The bill, now law, didn't begin to fix the problems in healthcare, and that alone was a good reason to oppose it.
The problem with healthcare is that people want lots of it, but they don't want to pay for it. They want their employers to pay for it, which they don't understand comes in lieu of a raise or a higher salary. Businesses are sagging under the weight of healthcare costs.
This brings me to the employer situation. The healthcare law requires them to provide health insurance for employees working more than 30 hours a week. They also cannot cap coverage. Most companies that offer insurance have a lifetime cap of $1,000,000. With that removed, their liability is endless, and for some, unaffordable. The choice will be to stay in business and cut people's hours or go out of business. It's that extreme.
Those people, then, who have their hours cut will no longer have a full-time job, and they still won't have health insurance. The law did not mandate that people buy insurance if they don't get it through work. Why would they buy it if they don't need to use it? They won't until they do get sick, and then they can buy into the government plan that covers pre-existing conditions. Then our taxes are paying for it, and where does that money come from?
Republicans rightly opposed this mandate on businesses because it will cripple businesses, especially small ones. And it doesn't fix the problem of the uninsured or under-insured--those numbers will actually grow.
We all feel badly for people who have horrible diseases that are expensive. This bill doesn't do anything for them, though. If anybody thinks that the government plan will pay for more, they're wrong. There will have to be limits to what is covered, and, frankly, the government making that decision is not my top choice.
If Republicans can get the majority this fall in the House and Senate, there may be a chance to get this law repealed, and they are hoping for that chance.