In the recent Arizona 8th Congressional District debate, Republican Jesse Kelly came across as a moderate. When Kelly finished his list of what the American people need with regards to health insurance, I said to myself, “That sounds like Obamacare!”
Jesse Kelly said people should be able to buy health insurance across state lines. The Affordable Care Act allows states to form compacts for the interstate sale of insurance.
Jesse Kelly said businesses should be able to get together and buy one “blanket plan”, so their health insurance costs would be lower as a large group. His proposal is more restrictive than Obamacare because, under Obamacare, multiple plans will be listed on each state exchange. Small businesses and individuals will be able to select a plan that fits their needs. Because of the exchange, these small businesses and individuals will be part of a big group, resulting in lower premium costs and multiple plan options.
Jesse Kelly said people should get tax breaks for their health insurance costs, just like businesses. Obamacare provides tax breaks for everybody (below a certain income level) who buys health insurance.
Jesse Kelly said people should not have to be worried about losing their health insurance if they lose their job. Under Obamacare, people will not be dependent on their employer for their health insurance because they will never be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. So if they want to retire before 65, or work for themselves, everyone will be able to buy health insurance – even if they are overweight, or diabetic, or a cancer survivor. Without Obamacare, these people are uninsurable as individuals.
Listening to Jesse Kelly’s debate comments, two things come to mind: 1) He doesn’t know what’s in the Affordable Care Act, or 2) He agrees with some of the most important parts of Obamacare. I suppose he is against the mandate, despite the fact that this was originally a Republican idea promoted by Newt Gingrich, John McCain and, of course, Mitt Romney in his Massachusetts health insurance program.
I give Jesse Kelly credit for having a well-thought-out and well-rehearsed presentation on his plan for health insurance reform. Ron Barber needs to beef up his response to questions about his position on the Affordable Care Act. Why didn’t he say to Kelly, “Hey, guy, what you just said about your plan for fixing the problem is Obamacare!”?
I would have liked to see Ron Barber run through the long list of good things in Obamacare. Then he should have asked Jesse Kelly which ones he would keep and which ones he would eliminate. Of course, Kelly wants to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act, which makes him extreme rather than moderate, in my opinion.
Here is a video clip of Jesse Kelly’s solution for our current health insurance problem: