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Rev. Al Sharpton’s Pointed Message: “Hating Obama Is Not A Health Care Plan”


Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, delivered a pointed message to critics of the Affordable Care Act in his weekly column: ‘hating Obama is not a health care plan.’

While Republicans are busy scrambling to come up with new anti-‘Obamacare’ talking points, they have yet to offer any alternative that would provide the same consumer protections or cost-savings that we are all enjoying thanks to the ACA. Instead of trying to tear apart a law that has already provided coverage to over 9.5 million uninsured Americans, why don’t Republicans tell us what they plan to do to replace it? As Rev. Sharpton points out, they’re not telling us about their ideas for health care because they don’t have any.

But how long will this strategy work? Republicans are banking on anti-‘Obamacare’ sentiment to carry them through the 2014 midterm elections — this has been their strategy for four years now. This is also why, last week, when the ACA exceeded its enrollment goal, we witnessed a collective right-wing meltdown, with Republican lawmakers and conservative media pundits desperately peddling one theory after another about why the enrollment numbers don’t really mean anything (“Hardly anyone has actually enrolled in a plan“… “It’s a pyrrhic victory!” … “People aren’t going to pay their premiums!”… and my personal favorite, “They’re cooking the books!”). While all of these claims have been disproven with data from Health and Human Services, statewide insurance markets, and even independent insurance industry watchdogs, this is about all conservatives have to offer at the moment. And this will be what they offer up this fall, when Americans take to the polls.

Reverend Sharpton’s message to Republicans? Go ahead, run on that messaging. See how it works for you.

“You can bet the right-wing will run against the Affordable Care Act — or as they like to refer to it ‘Obamacare’. And I hope they do,” writes Sharpton. “Because they will be running against children staying on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. They will be running against people who can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. They will be running against millions of Americans who finally have the security of knowing that they have health coverage should they need it. I would love to see them run against this reform, and I look forward to everyone’s testimonials about how ‘Obamacare’ has improved their lives.”

Democrats, he says, should double-down on their support for health care reform. President Obama made a big promise when he said he would reform our broken health care system, and he kept that promise. Republicans have yet to offer up any such solution, and Democrats should run with that.

“It wasn’t an easy road to get here by any means, but now that we are here and now that people’s lives are literally transforming for the better, we must stand tall for we are on the correct side of history,” writes Sharpton.

As for Republicans? Well, Sharpton thinks they need to learn an important lesson.

“Instead of criticizing and trying to repeal something that isn’t going away, perhaps Republicans need to just get on board for the benefit of this country’s citizens,” Sharpton said. “And maybe, just maybe, they will realize that hating the President isn’t a viable health care plan.”


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