Health care

November 15, 2013

West Virginia’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller protested bitterly at a congressional hearing that “lifesaving benefits” of the new Affordable Care Act are being obscured by fierce Republican smears against the bold advance in human rights for Americans.

“Whether it is expanding Medicaid coverage already for almost 60,000 West Virginians or removing barriers to care for those with pre-existing conditions, the real story of the Affordable Care Act lies in the lives it is making better every day,” he told the hearing. “And I remain enormously proud of the law and the promise it holds for people in West Virginia and around the country.”

Rockefeller said he’s dismayed by “the ability of the Republican Party to be maniacally political while seeking to destroy this law and forget the extraordinary benefits of this law.” He said the GOP spotlights a few rollout problems in an attempt to taint the whole law as worthless.

The ACA is designed to provide health care for around 30 million lower-income working Americans who currently lack coverage. A major part of the plan is expansion of Medicaid to millions of less-privileged working families — although GOP governors and legislatures are blocking this reform in about two dozen states.

AARP says the ACA will help Americans in 10 different ways. In future history books, it will be recorded as another major improvement in U.S. living conditions.

Over the past century, conservatives have opposed every humane advance for Americans. They fought women’s right to vote — and birth control for couples — and Social Security pensions — and equality for blacks — and Medicare for seniors — and Medicaid for the poor — and decriminalization of homosexuality — etc. Luckily, liberal progressives won all those battles.

Someday, the ACA will be embraced by nearly everyone as a boon to Americans.

— Charleston Gazette