The Affordable Care Act (ACA) isn't the best piece of legislation ever created, but when was the last time we saw a well-crafted bill, not to mention that the majority of them are written by lobbyists, with their flunkies, politicians flush with campaign loot, dutifully signing?
Let me tell you how things were before the ACA.
Insurance companies denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Any pre-existing condition. Plenty of people were denied, not because they had cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, or another major medical condition, but because they had one more medical issue than the average. I was one of them. I applied to two different companies, Kaiser Permanente and Anthem BlueCross / BlueShield. The former efficiently denied me within two weeks, but the latter took eight weeks to do so.
And to add insult to injury, Anthem stored the data for applicants on one server and the data for clients on another. Their process was to copy the data from the former to the latter, and delete the data on the former, when a client was accepted. But the data for people who were denied coverage was never deleted from the applicant server. And, no surprise, that server was hacked, with my data and the data for the other unwashed available for cyber-thieves to peruse.
A number of us filed a HIPAA complaint against Anthem, but that law is a toothless koala. We received a year's worth of credit monitoring because that's how the insurance industry protects itself from liability. In the process of making American great again, perhaps you can find the time to implement Shakespeare's directive regarding lawyers.
I was a pioneer because my data was stolen long before Anthem's world-class breach of early 2015, with the data for 80 million people being stolen. Good thing I had already placed a credit freeze on my accounts with the credit agencies.
The Obama administration refused to prosecute Wall Street criminals, snoozed while an ever-increasing stream of medical insurance companies and hospitals were cyber-breached (for example, Premera Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Community Health Systems, St. Joseph Health System, and Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center), operated a revolving door for Google and other Silicon Valley employees, created the Making Home Affordable Act but Timmy "like a knife" Geithner allowed banks to decide if they would help, and didn't even chastise the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, after his company was thoroughly infiltrated by cyber-thieves, allowing him to gracefully float away on his $61 million golden parachute. Why don't you start fresh by prosecuting Anthem's management for corporate malfeasance?
Because Colorado is an enlightened state, I was able to obtain insurance through Cover Colorado, an insurer of last resort managed by the State of Colorado. People in my situation who were living in jackal states were forced to live without insurance, paying full retail price for everything. Just for laughs, I asked a pharmacist what the price would be for a specific generic medication for people lacking insurance. The price for a prescription that cost me $5 would have cost $200, with the pharmacist almost giddy at the prospect of filling a prescription at full retail price.
Needless to say, when the ACA took effect, I did not choose Kaiser or Anthem.
I admit that the ACA needs a redesign, given that insurance companies are leaving smaller markets. Many Republicans want to eliminate it, because as the chatbot Tay said about Ted Cruz playing the Zodiac Killer, they "would never be satisfied with destroying the lives of only 5 innocent people." Then again, staying with Tay, voters seem to be saying, referring to the Democrats: "Okay. I'm done. I feel used."
But don't for a minute misunderstand what would happen if the ACA were to be repealed outright. All of our medical secrets are known, so insurance companies would deny coverage with wild abandon. The NYT pledged that "insurers had no desire to return to the time before the law was passed, when people with pre-existing conditions were routinely denied coverage in the individual market," but that's a crock.
P.S. Choosing a non-doctor to head the FDA is a really bad idea, especially a Silicon Valley investor who regularly approves funding for building entire factories in China (Ben Carson would be a better choice). There will soon be severe pressure to allow Chinese-made drugs into the country. The situation is bad enough, given that 80% of drug components originate overseas, mainly from China and India, and 40% of finished medications come from abroad. We already had our wakeup call with 246 people dying from tainted, Chinese-made heparin -- and we still do not know the point in the supply chain at which the drug was adulterated. Understand that the FDA cannot enter foreign facilities unannounced, but it can and does conduct surprise inspections of U.S. facilities, as it did for decades. Find the person most similar to Frances Oldham Kelsey and nominate her.