Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ObamaCare:   Concrete Benefits and Abstract Specifics

The concrete, which is definitely concrete, and the abstract, which is not so abstract.


I cannot help but notice that ObamaCare supporters  are on the offense.   They are urging Democrats to stress the concrete  benefits of the health law and ignore the abstract  specifics of the law( See Eugene Robinson, “Democrats Should Play Offense  on ObamaCare,” Washington Post,  March 18;  Robert Shrum,  “Democrats Must  Run on ObamaCare,” Daily Beast, March 17).

 Concrete Benefits

Concrete benefits include:

·          Coverage for pre-existing conditions

·         Coverage of young adults  under parents’ plans

·         Removal of caps on life-time health spending

·         Certain Obama changes  - postponing employer mandate, exclusion of  some cancellations , and so forth – to soften impact of ObamaCare.

Shrum claims Republicans  are running on an “abstraction”, that ObamaCare is bad  in the abstract  simply because it comes from Republicans who oppose ObamaCare on ideological grounds.

Abstract Specifics

Counters Grace-Marie Turner: 

An abstraction?! What is abstract about 2,800 pages of legislation and at least 25,000 pages of regulations? What’s abstract about nearly 6 million people losing the health coverage they liked and being forced into the ObamaCare exchanges where health insurance is more expensive, deductibles are sky-high, and networks are limited to a short list of doctors and hospitals? And what is abstract about citizens paying potentially thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with the law’s individual mandate?

Keeping  Concrete Benefits

The problem with the Democratic attack strategy is that Republicans agree with the Democrats on keeping concrete benefits.  These positive benefits should be preserved.  Indeed, retention of these benefits is part of the alternative Republican replacement plan put forth by Republican Senators – Hatch of Utah,  Coburn of Oklahoma, and Burr of North Carolina (See Grace-Marie Turner, “How Can Democrats Run on ObamaCare?” National Review Online, March 17).

And so the arguments  go back and forth on ObamaCare.  On the law's concrete benefits, it’s hard to argue when you fundamentally agree. On abstract specifics,  there are concrete issues on which  to disagree.

Tweet:   Democrats and Republicans agree that certain concrete benefits of ObamaCare should be preserved.

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