Washington state Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, spoke about health care reform to an attentive crowd at the Lewis County Democrats headquarters in Centralia last week. Mr. Kreidler, who also is a doctor, addressed many questions about the Affordable Care Act, and also explained how better access to health care will beneficially impact the lives of everyday citizens.
The elected public official described how state insurance exchanges, tax credits and subsidies will function, and strongly urged individuals to talk to their friends, relatives and neighbors about Obamacare, to help dispel pernicious myths and rumors concerning the law.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Commissioner Kreidler was also questioned about why billionaires like the Koch brothers are funding multi-million dollar disinformation and propaganda campaigns desperately attempting to discredit the ACA, and actually trying to discourage citizens from signing up for health insurance. The commissioner said it is likely that:
“Republicans are very afraid that it [the Affordable Care Act] will succeed. The more people know about the ACA, the more likely they are to support it.”
Some members of the audience also loudly suggested that the right-wing remains so passionately entrenched against improving access to health care for millions of uninsured people because: “Anything Obama does they’re against”, or simply: “It’s about fear”.
Medicare for All Would Be Better
When asked whether Washington state might choose to follow Vermont’s lead, and institute a more efficient and inexpensive single payer health care system, some individuals in the mostly older audience inexplicably laughed out loud; Kreidler paused for a moment, seemed to choose his words very carefully, then responded:
“Universal Health Care — Medicare for all — it would be easier and cheaper — it should happen — Washington could do that, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Insurance Exchanges Open October First
The Insurance Commissioner explained that currently there are over 1.1 million people in Washington who are uninsured, about 15% of its residents, and the taxpayer ultimately ends up footing the bill when that population gets sick; but beginning this Tuesday, those individuals can contact the state insurance exchange to apply for subsidized health care. There will be no penalty in 2014 for not having insurance, that regulation does not take effect until 2015. For more information about Washington state’s health insurance exchange, please visit: www.insurance.wa.gov