Democrats deserve credit for Connecticut’s smooth running health exchange

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Last week a U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled, in clear defiance of congressional intent, that the federal government cannot provide subsidies to consumers who buy health insurance on federal exchanges.

In response, GOP leader John Boehner said the ruling showed that “President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable.” In fact, the ruling (which was contradicted the same day by a unanimous Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the subsidies) demonstrates something entirely different. It shows the relentless, malicious efforts by the Republican Party to deny affordable health care to middle-class Americans.

Republicans have voted 50 times to repeal or dismantle key provisions of Obamacare with no credible alternative. Twenty-five states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures refused to extend Medicaid coverage, a key component of Obamacare, leaving millions of vulnerable Americans without access to health care. A study by Harvard University estimates that up to 17,000 Americans will die each year in the 25 Republican-led “refusal states” due to lack of access to health care.

It’s no different with Republicans here in Connecticut. Tom Foley, the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor, said, “I support what they’re doing,” referring to congressional Republicans’ attempt to shut down the federal government to force changes to Obamacare. That’s hardly an example of the “competent leadership” Foley claims to represent.

Dan Debicella, GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, proposes a “market-based system.” He is apparently oblivious to the fact that we’ve had (and still have) a mostly market-based system that drives the highest costs in the world while leaving millions uninsured and delivering sub-par performance compared to government-managed systems that Republicans denounce as “socialist” failures.

Thanks to Gov. Malloy’s leadership, Connecticut’s state exchange worked beautifully, extending insurance to nearly two and a half times more residents than was originally estimated. In addition, more than 150,000 low-income Connecticut residents who couldn’t afford health insurance before are now benefiting from the Medicaid extension.

That’s the outcome of a “workable” law supported and implemented by Democrats in Connecticut.

 

Jonathan Perloe
Cos Cob

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