It seems strange that healthcare is such a divisive issue in this country. One would think that in a country founded on “brotherly love” and Christian Values, we could easily come together on issues like taking care of one another. Yet, repeatedly, we find a division between the people who have money, doing everything they can to keep as much of it as they can, and those that wish to help their fellow citizens. Ads, even funny ones like the newest detractor to “Obamacare”, can be deceptive because of this division.
Now, part of what makes this country amazing is our freedom of speech and expression. One can say just about anything, express just about any opinion, support just about any cause. A new ad campaign by the group Generational Opportunity has taken aim at the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.” It has been reported by Politico that the ads are part of a $750,000 campaign that has been, according to IRS fillings, funded by Freedom Partners (a group with ties to the Koch brothers).
In each of their 60 second ads, we meet first a young woman and then a young man, both college aged, getting an exam. They are both asked about having “signed up for Obamacare” and both protagonists responding with, “it sounded like a good idea.”
The young woman finds herself getting a pelvic exam and her doctor leaves just before a very creepy Uncle Sam like figure comes out of no where. The ad ends with an urge to not “let government play doctor” and to “opt out of Obamacare.”
The young man finds himself in a similar situation, getting a surprise prostate exam and his doctor also leaves just before creepy Uncle Sam pops up. Again we are told “Don’t let government play doctor” and to “opt out of Obamacare.”
Even though the ads are quite funny and hold your attention, it is difficult to watch someone in a vulnerable position being taken advantage of, as they are in these situations. Again, we enjoy freedom of speech and it seems that conservatives have found a humorous and engaging way of spreading their message. It is, however, misleading in its representation of what the Affordable Health Care act does.
In an opinion column published in the Los Angeles Times by Jon Healey, there is an argument made to this same point. Healey goes on to show how the ad does not accurately portray the new law. There are many outlets to get unbiased information on the Affordable Health Care Act and what it means for the citizens of this country. One such outlet for information was put out by ConsumersUnion, a group that creates consumer reports.
The only control the government has in health care, according to this bill, is making sure that insurers provide coverage and to protect consumers of medical insurance. It is a mandate to insurers to provide coverage that is more comprehensive and making it law for insurers to meet or exceed the new minimum levels of coverage. It also leverages the sheer number of uninsured Americans, all buying into medical insurance plans, in order to help spread out the financial burden of those that are ill to those that are not.
The financial structure of the bill would make all of this happen in the private sector, with private insurers, as is currently the case. It does, however, lawfully enforce insurers to not turn away consumers with a history of medical issues, nor have lifetime limits cutting off supporting those with long term illness, nor turning away children who are sick preventing them from getting treatment.
The government’s role in health care, through this act, is to find ways in which to reduce inefficiencies and help transform the incentives that have been driving up costs without actually improving quality. How is this much different than the ways government already protects consumers from monopolies and in other area that we have to participate in, like buying energy or heat?
We are no where near Universal Health Care in this country under this bill. If anything, this is going to make the insurance companies bigger and richer, but at the same time make sure it is paying customer’s costs without screwing over those same customers. The Affordable Health Care Act is a step in the right direction for us, but it is a small step. The ads by Generational Opportunity, the newest detractor of “Obamacare,” are funny and state one idea, it is, however, not based in much, if any, fact.
Written by: Iam Bloom