Republican Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) is in the news again, in August, about health care reform, but it’s a bit different than 2010. This time, the Morning Call reports, the tensest moments were when Mr. Dent voiced his opposition to the Affordable Care Act:
“It’s raising costs,” Dent said.
“What does that mean?” a woman yelled.
“How do you know that?” another woman screamed from the back.
“The health care law is raising costs, it is harming job creation, it is disrupting coverages and it is stifling innovation,” Dent said over their protests.
“What about New York? Premiums are down 50 percent,” a man yelled, referring to New York regulators’ report that insurance coverage under the health care law will cost half of what it does now.
There were some folks challenging the congressman from the right as well — but the main part of this article that stuck out to me was that 2013 is seemingly the inverse of 2010 with regards to the famous “August town hall.” More aspects of Obamacare have kicked in three years later: young adults are now allowed to stay on their parents plan until they’re 26, the Medicare doughnut hole is closing, people have already gotten checks back if their insurance company spent more than 20% of its money on overhead, most preventive services are of little or no cost, etc.
Mr. Dent is also either misinformed or blatantly lying when he says that the Affordable Care Act is “raising costs.” Firstly, the full law has not been implemented yet, so all of its cost-control mechanisms will not kick in for another couple years. However — in addition to health care costs indeed being set to soon drop 50% in New York — health care costs, while still rising, are already rising slower than they have in recent years. For example, insurance premiums increased by 9% in 2011, and only by 4% in 2012. In addition to that, the law’s subsidies for those near or below the poverty line will help make the already slowing cost of health care a net-negative.
Is the 113th congressional summer recess setting itself up to be the opposite of August in 2010, where health care advocates take the reign? The more the years go by, the more this is likely to happen. The more the plan kicks in, the more people are going to start seeing its benefits and defending it.
Even Ted Cruz recently admitted that the reason to defund Obamacare immediately is because Americans could get “addicted” to it. Please, Senator, take as much as you can away from us as quickly as possible before we start to like it too much. Perhaps this is what Congressman Dent believes as well.