Richardson: We should all be Democrats now - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

Richardson: We should all be Democrats now

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Bill Richardson

Posted: Saturday, November 9, 2013 9:45 am | Updated: 6:56 am, Tue Jan 21, 2014.

Even though Arizona is generally considered a “red” state, I’d like to thank all those who voted for Barack Obama, especially those who re-elected him. I voted for the other guy, both times. And thanks for putting all of those Democrat senators and representatives into Congress.

I finally realized the benefit of having Democrats in public office, especially at the federal level.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, I admit I was a doubter. I didn’t think we could “bend the cost curve” by giving health insurance to millions who didn’t have it. I just didn’t believe the Federal Government had enough magic pixie fairy dust to provide more coverage AND reduce cost.

I thought that cutting Medicare reimbursement rates by 30 percent would lead to lower service to seniors, fewer doctors taking Medicare patients, and layoffs at hospitals with a large base of Medicare patients. Fortunately, none of that is happening!

I thought that requiring companies with more than 50 full-time employees to offer medical insurance benefits might drive those companies to cap employees at 49. Or they might move people from full time to part time to avoid providing health insurance. Even evil corporations wouldn’t do that. Fortunately, no one is being dropped to part-time work!

The President promised that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. PERIOD. That was certainly reassuring. Now, I used to regard everything this President says as a lie, so I thought that insurance companies would be dropping people like flies. Fortunately, no one’s policies are being cancelled!

When the first provisions of the legislation kicked in a couple of years ago, I was pretty sure that forcing insurance companies to cover things they didn’t cover before might increase their costs. And of course those evil insurance companies would simply absorb those increased costs — they’d never pass them on to customers in the form of higher premiums. Fortunately, no one’s premiums are going up!

Here’s why I’m ready to join the Democrat Party and why I think all of us in Arizona should consider “turning blue.”

While trying to explain why premiums are going up, why policies are being cancelled, and why the multi-hundred-million-dollar website doesn’t work, the President gave a speech in Boston recently and gave us the fine print to his statement: “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it — IF IT MEETS THE NEW FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR COVERAGE.”

That’s what I like so much. Now, someone in Washington can decide what insurance coverage is best for us. For all of us.

Because we’re too stupid to figure that out for ourselves.

Yes, we’re simply incapable of deciding what coverage we need, and how much we can afford to pay for it.

I can’t wait for the day when the Federal Government will help us decide what clothes we should wear in the morning.

Why should we think for ourselves when there are others who are so much smarter than we are who can think for us?

• CPA Bill Richardson and his wife, Annelle, have lived in Ahwatukee for more than 17 years. They have four children and one grand-child.

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