On Wednesday, the House Republican majority made good on its dog and pony show of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). All 242 Republicans in the chamber voted to repeal, along with three Democrats. Never mind that 129 million Americans would be denied health coverage because they have preexisting conditions, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services.
And never mind that these same congresspeople, who want to deny their constituents health coverage, receive gold-plated, government-sponsored coverage subsidized by their taxpaying constituents. Only a handful of congressional lawmakers have pledged to give up their own coverage. We should all find this sort of “healthcare hypocrisy” especially offensive.
Rather than repealing the good parts of the healthcare law, Congress should make it better by expanding Medicare to everyone. This would eliminate the problem of preexisting conditions. It also doesn’t make sense to require everyone to buy insurance, while at the same time allowing insurance companies to charge as much as they want. Treating health care as a public service like police, fire protection, public education and libraries, would make the individual mandate unnecessary. During the debate on whether to repeal PPACA, Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio renewed his call to end profit-driven health care and to expand Medicare to everyone: