As Republicans and their Tea Party allies lay out the roadmap for repealing the health care law in January — the current plan would have them voting on full repeal in the first days of Congress, followed by separate votes to repeal individual provisions like the individual mandate and the 1099 requirement — House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark (D-CA) is out with this report explaining why the GOP’s plan to dismantle health reform is “dangerous to America’s health.”
I’ve been arguing that health reform advocates have a real opportunity to use the upcoming repeal hearings and votes as a way to reinforce — unspin, if you will — all of the lies told about reform. Seventy percent of voters who recalled seeing a health reform ad during the midterm elections said it was in opposition to the Obama plan. If the Democrats hope to shore-up support for the measure, they will have to clearly spell out what the law does and how GOP repeal will take all of that away. Stark’s report does just that:
– If Republicans repeal health reform, they will eliminate these new tax credits and the cost-sharing assistance, leaving tens of millions of people unable to afford coverage.
– Simply stated, by repealing health reform, Republicans would cause the deficit to skyrocket.
– To prevent working families from facing crippling medical costs, the health reform law limits what insurers can force enrollees to pay in out-of-pocket expenses and limits their ability to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Republicans would repeal these protections, putting millions of consumers back at risk for bankruptcy if someone gets sick.
– Republicans have promised to repeal the health reform law and thereby eliminate this key coverage improvement — forcing senior citizens and people with disabilities to again pay too much for their life-saving medications.
– Republicans would repeal these small business tax credits — raising taxes on these small businesses which would likely result in them dropping health coverage for their workers.
Democrats adopted this line of debate immediately after they passed the law and they will need to return to it in the new Congress. The good news is that the American public has always been highly supportive of the individual provisions in the law and health reform advocates need to ensure that everyone understands that that’s what Republicans want to repeal.