After years of crying “repeal and replace,” prominent Republican senators have finally introduced a bill to do this. They call it the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, or CARE Act. According to NPR’s Julie Rovner, it would:
- Remove the duty of coverage,
- End the requirement that health insurance policies meet minimum standards of quality,
- Remove the fine on employers that did not offer employees health insurance,
- Eliminate taxes and fees intended to help Americans afford health insurance,
- Allow insurance companies to deny coverage of “pre-existing conditions” to people covered less than 18 months,
- Allow annual coverage limits to return,
- Offer less financial support to lower-income Americans in buying health insurance,
- Take away the health insurance of Americans that joined Medicaid thanks to its recent expansion, and
- Make employees pay income tax on 35% of their employer-based now-tax-free health insurance benefits on average.
In other words, it would make health insurance far less affordable for millions of Americans, reducing our insurance options–maybe to zero–and disempowering us. But the patient responsibility part of the name is accurate because it would be the individual’s problem.
Opponents of this bill should avoid using its deceptive official name. And please never call this heartless bill the CARE Act! The care it offers is to corporations, not Americans. Because the bill means the opposite of its name, the name is Orwellian language. George Lakoff says that extreme conservatives use Orwellian language when they know their position is weak.
What should Framologists call the bill instead? How about:
- The Corporations Win, Americans Lose Act
- The Insurance Companies Rule America Act
- The Taking Away Americans’ Health Insurance Act
- This Won’t Hurt a Bit Act
- The Increasing Inequality Act
- The You Can’t Afford Health Insurance Act
- Health Insurance Is for the One Percent Act
How do you think Framologists should frame this bill?