CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In their hearts, the Republican Party's members of Congress know that the people are going to love Obamacare, once they see what it can do for them. Sadly, the GOP, including our Rep. Shelly Moore-Capito, has undertaken an all-out, last ditch effort to distract and misinform us. But their effort is built on sand, and is constructed of everything but honesty.
Obamacare already has stopped your insurance company from dropping your coverage when you get sick. Obamacare now lets you keep your children on your policy until they are 26. Obamacare has capped your annual out-of-pocket costs at $12,800 for a family, $6,400 for individuals.
Why have Rep. Capito and her party voted 40 times to rob you of those benefits? Because they are beholden to the insurance industry, and to health-care providers, and to the makers of drugs and medical devices -- all major contributors to GOP campaigns and who will earn a bit less, under Obamacare.
Obamacare already has stopped your insurance company from putting a limit on your lifetime coverage. And Obamacare prevents your insurance company from excluding coverage of your pre-existing condition. Rep. Capito has voted 40 times to filch those benefits from you, too.
We Mountaineers now fork over, on average, $8,700 per year for our doctoring. That will rise to about $14,000 per year by 2021, if Obamacare is voted out of existence. Isn't it time that Rep. Capito stand apart from her party's nut jobs? Isn't it time that she demonstrate some Mountaineer pride and tell her party's fringe elements to take a hike?
Obamacare is good for our health and that of our children. And it's going to get better. By New Year's Day, Obamacare will require that your insurance cover at least one drug in every category, and cover mental health services as well as 50 kinds of preventive care and most basic lab tests.
Your insurance will have to cover in-patient care when you have to be in the hospital (although you may still have to pay up to 20 percent out-of-pocket), and your insurance will have to cover maternity care including childbirth and newborn care as well as your children's teeth cleanings, fillings for their cavities and an annual eye exam along with glasses or contact lenses. But Rep. Capito has voted again and again to prevent you from having those benefits.
There are several ways Obamacare will be paid for. First, the millions of mostly young and invincible folks who won't buy insurance because (they think) they will never get sick or injured now will be required to purchase coverage or pay a penalty. That keeps the rest of us from paying those folks' bills at the ER when they have a major illness or accident. Second, hospitals and some other providers will have to take less pay for Medicare services, although the services will not be cut. Third, if insurance companies are caught spending more than 20 percent of their revenue on profits and salaries, they pay a major penalty. (Several already have been nabbed.) And hospitals and nursing homes will have to pay for problems they cause, such as bedsores, rather than passing on to patients the costs for such treatment.
Obamacare: No death panels. Not a job killer. Not run by the government. Not socialism. Rather, the government is putting the brakes on a rapacious health care industry that has taken costs from a nickel of every dollar spent in the U.S. 1960 to 18 cents of every dollar today.
As for Rep. Capito, she is faced with a decision -- she must support either the folks at home or the crazies in her party. She can't do both.
Wyatt is a Gazette contributing columnist and a Marshall University professor.