I am as proud of Barack Hussein Obama and his accomplishments as the next Black person, but even Obama’s intention was to call it the Affordable Care Act — emphasis on “affordable” and “care.”

But because the Republican opposition wanted to tie Obama’s name to a measure they swore to the death to destroy, they tagged it Obamacare, confusing all sorts of folk who happily thought they had something called the ACA.

The Obama folks finally stopped fighting the Obamacare label and just embraced it, branding it with their own spin of coverage for all.

So now that the Republicans have taken possession of health care — with their majority margins in the House and Senate and their wayward leader Donald Trump in the White House — people are insisting that they claim full ownership of the replacement measure.

Therefore some observers have taken to calling the new health care overhaul, which the House Budget Committee voted Thursday to advance, “Ryancare,” after Senate Majority Leader Paul Ryan.

Others — in honor of the heartless leader now occupying the White House — have dubbed it “Trumpcare.”

However, Trump doesn’t want it titled after him. He only wants his gold-embossed name on projects like luxury apartment buildings, high-end golf courses, a scam university, neck ties made in China — that kind of thing.

Because the current proposal maintains the Affordable Care Act’s two most popular — some would say “socialist” — elements of allowing pre-existing conditions and for offspring to remain on their parents plans until they’re 26 years old — conservative opponents have named it Obamacare-lite.

Look, Obama and Michelle have gone from sun bathing and jet-skiing on a private island last month to dining with friends in Manhattan restaurants more recently. They’ve moved on.

Our health care should be about what it delivers to patients and consumers, which brings me back to the Affordable Care Act.

Let’s admit that it’s not really affordable.

For those who pay $30 a year, it works. But there are others whose health care premiums nearly rival their mortgages. And despite how we feel about President Obama or President Trump, that’s doesn’t work, either.

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has the right idea. He told the Associated Press: “Republicans need to come up with a plan that actually makes insurance affordable, or work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act.”

But I don’t see any improving going on. Instead, I see an extreme measure that a Congressional Budget Office report says would cause 14 million Americans to lose coverage, rising to possibly 24 million by 2026. That doesn’t work, either.

We as a nation are only as good as we treat our most vulnerable citizens. Sick citizens are pretty vulnerable.

What we can’t afford is to give the nation’s 1 percent one more cent of health care profit, which seems to be the direction of the Republican replacement plan. This may be a business to them, but it’s life or death to most of us.

Right now, pundits say Ryan doesn’t have the votes for the bill to pass in its current state. So as our lawmakers tinker with it to fit the tastes of more legislators, let’s get the wording straight. How about, “I don’t want to die care,” which means it won’t abandon Americans in need. Or “Congresscare,” which means whatever Congress members have, we get.

The name for the current proposal is the American Healthcare Act — which sounds like it’s going to mean, fend for yourselves. But we as a nation, with children and elderly and afflicted, can’t afford that kind of treatment towards each other, either.

Legislators say what you mean, and work to fairly and affordably cover us all.

 Sheila Simmons is an award-winning journalist and a public relations specialist. She is the author of “Memoir of a Minnie Riperton Fan.” She can be reached at ssimmons@phillytrib.com or www.simmonssheila.com.

Also On New Pittsburgh Courier:
comments – add yours