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Exactly Which Life-Saving Provision Would You Repeal, Mr. Candidate?

As they stump across South Carolina, top-tier GOP candidates are fond of boasting how quickly they, as president, would do away with the Affordable Care Act. Never mind that the law’s most important provisions are hugely popular with the majority of Americans.

In response, Boston Globe columnist John McDonough penned a nuts-and-bolts piece, in which he urges voters and the press to ask GOP candidates whether they would repeal specifically those popular provisions. In fact, he prepared a list of 50 questions for everybody to put to anti-ACA politicians. A sampling:

If you are elected President, are you committed to repealing the section of the Affordable Care Act (section # in parenthesis) that:

1. Prohibits health insurance companies from imposing lifetime or annual benefit caps on health insurance policies and consumers? (1001)

2. Prohibits health insurance companies from rescinding an individual’s insurance coverage because of an error or misstatement on a coverage application not connected to fraud? (1001)

3. Requires health insurances to cover proven clinical preventive services without co-pays or deductibles? (1001)

4. Permits parents to keep their adult children up to age 26 on their health insurance policies? (1001)

5. Requires health insurers to provide enrollees with a clear summary of benefits and coverage not to exceed four pages? (1001)

6. Requires health insurers to spend no more than 15 or 20 cents of every premium dollar on profit, marketing, administrative costs as opposed to medical expenses? (1001)

7. Sets national standards for administrative simplification to reduce the paperwork burden on patients, providers and insurers? (1104)

8. Prohibits health insurers from refusing to cover individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions? (1201)

9. Requires the establishment of health insurance exchanges in each state to provide an easy, online way for consumers to compare and buy health insurance? (1311)

10. Provides tax credits to income eligible individuals to be able to afford to purchase health insurance? (1401)

Those are the first 10. McDonough has 40 more.

And he’s right. We’re letting the anti-reform crowd get away with calling the whole law bad, while most Americans agree that most of its content is good. Let’s start hammering the Obamacare detractors on what exactly they would like to repeal and see if they really support shutting the terminally ill and others out of our healthcare system.