To The Daily Sun,
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee met to consider the technical difficulties surrounding the introduction of the federal exchanges of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. All the Republicans on the committee were not only critical of the website glitches but were emphatic in their condemnation of the ACA law. Unfortunately, not one GOP Congressman offered any ideas to correct the difficulties or improve the website's performance. Not one offered help for the people who would benefit from the new health insurance law
In stark contrast, this same House committee met in April of 2006 to consider the troubled implementation and website of President Bush's Part D Plan that expanded Medicare to include prescription coverage for seniors. Democrats on the committee were critical of the Republican plan, pointing out that Part D had a gap or "donut hole" that limited coverage for the elderly above and below set amounts of drug coverage. But unlike today's Republicans, the Democrats back then kept their reservations and criticism in check and joined with their GOP counterparts to come up with better ways to implement the program and publicize the program to seniors.
You do not have to be a Democrat to understand the essential difference between these two Congressional hearings seven years apart. The Democrats did not use temporary problems with implementation as a reason to defund, delay, or change the legitimate law that President Bush had signed. The Democrats put the people ahead of party and worked with the Republicans to help the elderly citizens who would benefit from the legislation.
Over the years, America's seniors learned about Medicare Part D and most are supportive. During this time, Democrats in Congress looked for ways to improve the law and eliminate the donut hole that plagued many seniors with high prescription costs. It may surprise you to learn that the ACA or Obamacare will do away with the donut hole gap over the next few years for all seniors. Ironically, its part of the law, that's hated by the Republicans, signed by President Obama and approved by the Supreme Court.
It's about time that Republicans used their power to effectively help people and put both obstructive and destructive politics aside.