//ObamaCare: ACA The Last Chance For Private Health Insurance
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ObamaCare: ACA The Last Chance For Private Health Insurance

I am a conservative. Which is why I support the ACA and want to see it succeed. Because I believe it is a reasonable compromise which curtails the worst abuses of the for-profit system, such as pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime maximums, while encouraging people to take responsibility for addressing their own healthcare costs and stop passing costs off to everyone else through medical bankruptcy.

by Patrick Tomlinson

(The Hill) – The ACA is, at its core, a 30-year-old conservative proposal. Its roots date all the way back to Richard Nixon’s administration, who was the first to propose an employer mandate. It was expanded in the early 90’s by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which proposed the individual mandate as well as a penalty for nonparticipation and a low-income subsidy. It was embraced by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as an alternative to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s healthcare reform plan. And finally, a near carbon copy of it was signed into law in Massachusetts by Governor and future GOP Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. This is the plan which in one form or another, conservatives had been clamoring after for more than three decades.

It is based on the free market, for-profit healthcare system of both insurance companies and healthcare providers. Indeed, it has empowered them both, swelling enrollment by millions and sending their profits soaring. Even as Aetna pledged last week to drop out of the healthcare exchanges in eleven of fifteen states, citing anticipated losses, their Q2 earnings topped $780 million.

There is nothing anti-capitalist about the ACA. It works in conjunction with the free-market healthcare system which has existed here since the beginning. It is also the very last chance that system has to prove it can work.

Last November, citizens of Colorado delivered over one hundred and fifty thousand signatures to place a referendum on the ballot to create a first-of-its-kind single-payer healthcare system which would encompass all citizens of the state. If passed, it would effectively end the private, for-profit model of healthcare in an entire U.S. state. And while it may seem radical now, so too did marijuana legalization, or same sex marriage a few short years ago (both of which have my full support). In the digital age, ideas like these don’t stay contained for long, and when they catch fire, very little can be done to slow their momentum.

I am a conservative. Which is why I support the ACA and want to see it succeed. Because I believe it is a reasonable compromise which curtails the worst abuses of the for-profit system, such as pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime maximums, while encouraging people to take responsibility for addressing their own healthcare costs and stop passing costs off to everyone else through medical bankruptcy.

I worry about the expansion of government power into the private sector a single-payer system would represent. I worry about what would be an actual government takeover of some 20 percent of the economy. And I worry about the impact it may have on competition, and therefore medical and pharmaceutical innovation in our country.

Which is why I have for so many years put my full weight behind what has always been the conservative alternative. The ACA is the alternative. And if you keep encouraging the arsonists within the ranks of the GOP to burn it down, you are the ones ushering in single-payer.

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