Imagine that you have a car. Maybe this car: a 1990 Buick Regal.
It’s not the greatest on gas mileage, but it gets you where you need to go. To work. To the store. To the doctor. Out and about to where you need to go.
Now you don’t have any plans to just abandon it on the side of the road simply because it only gets 15 miles to the gallon . I mean, it still gets you where you need to go. Plus it makes absolutely no sense to just abandon it on the side of the road and wander along until you happen upon a new car.
That’s what the GOP is asking the American people to do. To leave the Affordable Care Act in a ditch on the side of the highway and continue on in hopes of finding an alternative.
The ACA isn’t perfect. No one is debating that. But it’s evened the playing field for millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t have access to healthcare, whether due to preexisting conditions, to employment status, or for any other reason. Someone with a family history of cancer or with high blood pressure isn’t barred from getting health insurance. And people who work for employers who don’t offer benefits (whether for full-time or part-time work) or who’re self-employed, they get access to healthcare.
That’s not all. ACA doesn’t allow insurance companies to put a cap on coverage, so they can’t drop someone who’s needed more than $200,000 worth of treatment for a spinal cord injury. It also forces insurance companies to charge men and women the same premium. All forms of birth control are covered. Preventative treatment–whether wellness exams or flu vaccines–are covered.
There’s one thing to consider above all: some people are alive today because of this law. They were able to afford lifesaving medication or treatment that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.
As I said, ACA isn’t perfect. It’s far more expensive than it should be. Plus health insurance companies can choose not to participate in health exchanges, meaning limited choices for people in certain states.
But I’d much rather be driving a 1990 Buick Regal that gets crap gas mileage than walk along the side of the highway and hope to find a nicer car along the way. I’d rather have health insurance that’s imperfect than to have only promises that the government will come up with a plan soon. Because soon isn’t now. And I–along with 20 million other Americans–need health insurance now.