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Opinion: The Greatest Tax Ever?

The Buck Starts Here

Included in my mail on Saturday was a letter from my healthcare company.

For the first time I can remember it was actually good news: my insurance company spent too little on actual health care delivery so my family is getting a refund.

Thank you Barack Obama. Thank you Democratic Congress. And thank you Supreme Court.

This is the greatest tax ever!

I am one of 13 million Americans that is getting about $1.1 billion in refunds this year because health care companies spent too little on providing their customers health care.

As for the Republican Congress that voted 33 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act: I am sure that all those Members of Congress, and Tea Partiers everywhere, will send that check right back to the insurance companies to spite President Obama.

Personally, I am looking forward to getting the refund. It's my money and I am spending on health care, not giving it to a bunch of faceless insurance bureaucrats to do whatever they want. I have no interest in paying for high administrative costs and executive pay.

I am glad that my insurance company cannot raise my premium strictly to increase their profits – as they have in the past.

Transparency for healthcare spending is one of the innovative features of Obamacare. For the first time, health insurance companies must report what they spend on health care delivery. That is a good thing for consumers. It is the first time they will know what they are actually getting for their money.

Americans are starting to do the math: no co-pays on preventative care, rebates for policies that are overpriced, no lifetime limits on benefits, no exemptions for pre-existing conditions, no dropped coverage when you get sick, no more gender discrimination in policies and pricing.

Those are some pretty popular and pretty good things. It's what we should expect. When Americans add it up, it’s money in their pockets because they are now paying for health care and not bloated executive pay packages.

Now Americans can start to do the other math:

Republicans voted in favor of co-pays on preventative care and against rebates for policies that are overpriced, 33 times.

Republicans voted to maintain lifetime limits on benefits and to block coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, 33 times.

Republicans voted to let insurance companies drop your coverage when you get sick and to allow gender discrimination in policies and pricing, 33 times.

Republicans have voted zero times for any replacement plan. Because they have no plan. They stubbornly want to return to the bad old days when people went bankrupt because health insurance companies made the rules.

So when the check comes in the mail to everyone that whined about Obamacare, what do you think they will do with it?

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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