Jack Gutschenritter: Hate the name, love the act | SteamboatToday.com

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Jack Gutschenritter: Hate the name, love the act

The term Obamacare is a derogatory reference to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act about a universal health care plan that actually is quite good. For those not paying close attention, it was passed in 2010 and has provisions that come into play in future years.

Conservatives recently lost a huge Supreme Court challenge to the passing of the act. They now are focused on a personal vendetta against Chief Justice John Roberts, who they think let them down.

Certainly this was the case last week when the Steamboat Institute's 1773 Club (a reference to the Boston Tea Party and taking our country back) held an evening discussion with Ilya Shapiro, of the Cato Institute. The guest speaker tried hard to find reasons why the act never should have passed and how the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the constitutionality of the act is crazy. He only was talking sense if you had a predisposition of hatred toward government involvement in anything (including health care). The 1773 Club seemed to like him.

I genuinely don't know the true motivation of those who continue to bash the PPACA. I suspect the reasoning is not the same for everyone. Some people don't like any kind of government intervention, and others may not want the Democrats to get credit for such a huge accomplishment. One thing I know to be true is that the public is being done a great disservice by Republican/conservative propaganda machines like Karl Rove's American Crossroads organization. His shrewd, conniving campaigns to mislead the public completely for the benefit of his own political party is detrimental to the health and solidarity of this country. He destroys patriotism under the guise of being patriotic. He received $25 million from unnamed sources to create propaganda against several Democratic accomplishments, including universal health care.

As an example, I received a forwarded email from a friend who tried to alarm people that, as of 2013, everyone will pay a 3.8 percent sales tax on any home sales per Obamacare. It went on and on with multiple paragraphs about how we all should be up in arms and fighting to repeal Obamacare. It encouraged everyone to forward the email every week until the November elections are over to ensure Obama is removed from office.

I challenge anyone to find this in the PPACA document. You can search for words within the document. Those words are not there.

The truth is that there is a House Resolution No. 4872 that enacts an investment income tax on home sale profits to help fund Medicare. It applies only to the top 3 percent income earners and is based only on the profit made on the sale of a house after certain exclusions ($500,000 per couple exclusion). Ninety-seven percent of the public is not even in the applicable income range, and not many people actually are making money on the sale of their house these days.

I encourage everyone to read the document to see for themselves that this act is not a crazy man's act. It is a good program that addresses issues of insurance and provider profiteering, neediness, unfair insurance practices, fraud, etc.

A few good reasons to enjoy the PPACA:

■ It disallows insurance companies from considering prior health conditions of the applicant.

■ It eliminates those without insurance from abusing the emergency room at great cost to the public.

■ It extends the coverage of children covered under your insurance plan from 21 to 26 years of age.

■ You can keep your current plan with the above improvements.

■ It eliminates the possibility of an individual or family from going bankrupt or homeless as a result of medical expenses.

■ It requires those making in excess of a minimum income and who refuse to get private insurance to pay into the government system.

This isn't a bad start to a reasonable universal health care plan. It will be tweaked and massaged in coming years, but why attempt to repeal it?

Mitt Romney says he will kill the PPACA on his first day in office if elected. This is very odd because the act is nearly identical to the State Healthcare Plan of Massachusetts enacted by Romney when he was governor. I guess he is one of those who doesn't like that the act was passed under a Democratic president. Concern for his party is more important than concern for the public.

Jack Gutschenritter

Steamboat Springs