WASHINGTON, January 17, 2014 – How many times have you heard that implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will provide insurance for millions of American who either could not afford heath insurance, lost or were unable to get insurance because of a prior health condition or have inferior heath insurance plans?
That is a slap in the face to every working American who has lost their private health insurance or watched their premiums skyrocket. When they complain, the response if often, but look at all the people who have insurance because of Obamacare.
J.R. (name omitted) says, “Excuse me for being blunt, but how dare you and the government tell me that the plan my employer pays for is “junk.” Or that the major medical plan I chose myself when I was unemployed, based on my needs and my finances, is “junk.”
She goes on to say, “the plan my employer pays for is not compliant mostly because it doesn’t cover pediatric dentistry (or any dentistry, for that matter). It does cover pretty much everything I need. And the stuff it doesn’t cover I pay for myself (meaning that I have become a very educated consumer — what a concept!). And now I’m going to lose it.”
What should President Obama do to begin the process of restoring faith in his presidency? It was lie when he said, “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it.”
My parents taught me that to tell a lie was one of the worst character mistakes one could make. I could easily be forgiven for a misstatement or even a partial truth, if the truth was unintentionally omitted or I was unaware of other components of the truth.
However, telling an outright lie, especially for personal or professional gain, was unacceptable and would yield greater punishment than if I had just told the truth.
Question: How do you know when politicians are lying?
Response: As soon as their lips start to move and they begin to speak, they are lying.
It’s an old joke but true — at least in the case of the president lying about keeping your current health insurance and your doctor.
I wanted to believe the president when he said the implementation of the ACA would decrease my health care insurance premiums and increase my healthcare coverage, but the facts indicate he was not telling the truth.
To begin to repair his relationship with the American public, the president would have to give an honest and heartfelt apology. Taking a restorative justice approach, he would also have to acknowledge he intentionally lied, despite his good intentions.
Instead the president has said, “I am sorry that they…are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me.”
Was it fair that the government mandated that healthy young people pay more for their healthcare so that older and less healthy people could pay less? The architects of ACA decided it was not only fair, but it would also benefit the middle class.
It is encouraging to see young, working-class people taking notice of what the ACA means for them, that is, beyond being able to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans until age 26. According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, “Among the 18- 29- year olds currently without health insurance, less than 1/3 say they’re likely to enroll in the exchange (13% say they will definitely enroll, 16% say they will probably enroll); 41% say they are 50-50 at the moment.”
How could the architects of the ACA be so shortsighted? President Obama should repair the damages inflicted upon approximately 4.8 million people who received notices that their health insurance plans will be canceled because they didn’t meet the requirements imposed by the ACA. Additionally, he should articulate a clear plan for limiting any additional harm caused by the ACA and apologize to young people.
It’s the right thing for the president to do but maybe not the likely one.
The diverse comments and opportunity to share different perspectives is what makes this discussion useful. When one speaks from her own experience, we should make every effort to listen for understanding.
Thanks in advance for your thoughtful and diverse comments.
Dr. Millicent Carvalho-Grevious, is the founder and principal of Pennsylvania Conflict Resolution and Mediation Services, Inc. She has mediated conflicts for over 30 years, providing services in a variety of venues for private and public entities, including the United States Postal Service, the Office of Dispute Resolution of the Department of Education, and the office of Employer Support for the National Guard and Reserve.
She was one of 14 conflict resolution experts from 11 nations invited to Chongqing, China in 2009 to participate in a forum titled, “Responding to the Challenges of Financial Crisis and Building Social Harmony.” Previously, she served as Director/Program Chair of Urban Studies and Community at LaSalle University, Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Social Work at Virginia Union University and Associate Professor and Social Work Department Chair at Delaware State University. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Social Work and Master of Law and Social Policy degrees at Bryn Mawr College and Master of Education (Counselor Education) at Boston University and Bachelor of Arts at LaSalle University.