CruzCare-- Another GOP Weapon To Keep Working Families From Getting Health Insurance
Yesterday I went to see my doctor, Dr. Vicky. She is the bomb! And she wrote me a prescription for 4 weeks of Doryx (200 mg). The pharmacy said the cost is $786.00/week. With Medicare insurance the price is $25/week. That's why seniors-- at least the ones who are awake-- react so badly to reactionaries like Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz who want to "ease out" Medicare and undermine Obamacare.
Also yesterday, when I got back from Dr. Vicky's office, I spoke with Matt Moore, one of the Democrats intent on taking on Don Young for Alaska's single, giant at-large House seat. I asked him, as I ask every candidate running for Congress I speak with, to tell me how Obamacare could be better. And, like most of the candidates I discuss this with, Moore told me he favors the Medicare-for-all (AKA- single-payer) approach. I don't speak with a lot of Republican candidates but virtually all the Democrats prefer single-payer to Obamacare. The idea behind it was a compromise with the GOP, corrupt conservative Democrats like Max Bacucus and Big Insurance, though that hasn't stopped the GOP or Big Insurance from trying to sabotage it and dragging us back to the bad old days.
Now that hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for insurance through Obamacare-- many seeing their families covered for the first time ever-- it's going to be harder for Republicans to keep demonizing it. Mitch McConnell, for example, is in a state where Obamacare is very successful already. McConnell is in a tough reelection battle. Advocating taking away people's healthcare… probably not a great idea. His primary opponent, Matt Bevin-- who really has nothing to lose-- is likely to aggressively support CruzCare (the far right's anti-healthcare grab bag of failed anti-family proposals). That's going to leave McConnell is a quandary-- a very, very big one.
Embracing CruzCare should be about as successful for Republican electeds outside of the Old Confederacy as embracing Cruz's government shutdown was. Obamacare may not be popular, but fixing it is-- and that's what Democrats in Congress-- or at least progressive Democrats in Congress-- have always said they want to do. In his deranged speech against Medicare (written for him by the AMA), Ronald Reagan outlined many of the fraudulent right-wing objections to healthcare. Ted Cruz or Mike Lee-- or any number of far right Republicans in the House-- could easily give that exact same speech today. Americans, on the other hand, love Medicare-- just as Reagan admitted he feared they would. Advocating taking it away would be tantamount to political suicide-- which is why people like Paul Ryan who want to do just that, are always circumspect-- i.e., sneaky-- in their approach.
Even conservative Democrats in red states-- think Mark Pryor (AR), Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Begich (AK) and Kay Hagan (NC) particularly-- will be attacking Republicans for embracing CruzCare while advocating fixing Obamacare, a position in synch with that of most Americans (as the recent election in Virginia helped prove).
Democratic candidates can make this dynamic work for them at election time-- especially the ones running against anti-healthcare Republicans. Take far right Republican Gary Miller in CA-31. Because Steve Israel stumbled badly last year by backing an unpopular empty suit, Miller is one of the last Republicans representing a Democratic district (D+5) in the whole country. Refusing to admit he made a mistake in 2012, Israel is backing his loser candidate, Pete Aguilar, again. Fortunately, Democrats in San Bernardino have a viable alternative this year in Eloise Reyes. And despite Israel's attempts to sabotage her campaign, she's pulling ahead of the hapless, bumbling Aguilar and leaving him in the dust as she prepares to take on Miller. Miller, the multimillionaire Arkansas extremist who came to California and voted over 40 times to repeal Obamacare and who would love to repeal Social Security and Medicare as well. Miller is a CruzCare backer. Eloise will make mincemeat out of him. Earlier today, she told us her approach and how drastically it differs from Miller's:
Our country has never attempted an overhaul of its healthcare system like the one we are implementing through the Affordable Care Act. There will undoubtedly be bumps in the road as the system is refined and corrected, but the ultimate result will be expanded access to quality, affordable coverage, and we are already making progress toward that important goal.That isn't something Gary Miller and other California Republicans are helping with. In fact, they are still sabotaging health insurance for working families. If you'd like to help Eloise replace Miller in Congress, you can do that here.
In just the last few months, we have seen a number of state-run exchanges hit the ground running. Here in California, our marketplace is en route to reach its enrollment target for 2014. What that tells us is that there is a real need for affordable healthcare and that the delays seen at the federal level are only a temporary setback in expanding access to coverage to all Americans.
Still, there are ways that the Affordable Care Act must be strengthened.
The Affordable Care Act’s expansion of access to the Medicare and CHIP programs will mean making healthcare a reality for many people who would otherwise go uninsured. In a region like the Inland Empire, which leads the nation in poverty, this feature of the Affordable Care Act is a critical one when it comes to enrolling low-income families. However, it is a feature of the program that is not well-known. That’s why targeted outreach to low-income communities will be critical to ensuring that the Affordable Care Act reaches some of the individuals who need it the most.