One of the architects of the Affordable Care Act created this cartoon before the bill became law. The cartoon illustrates just how ridiculous it is for Republicans to criticize health care reform during this election cycle.
Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have said they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They won’t say what they want to replace it with, if anything.
M.I.T. Professor of Economics Jon Gruber calls those attacks unfair, and he’s entitled to his opinion. He created that cartoon. More importantly, he helped write the Affordable Care Act.
He also helped write the health care reform law for Massachusetts when Romney was governor. Gruber says reforming health care is a massive undertaking. His state is still finding ways to save money and cut costs under “Romneycare.”
So, Professor Gruber is a guy who knows what it takes to change health care. His complaint with the Republicans is that instead of supporting the fledgling changes, Romney and Ryan are trashing the entire idea.
Gruber says this process is like watching a baby as it learns to crawl. Do you threaten to throw it back into the crib if it doesn’t walk right away?
Gruber’s point is that the Affordable Care Act won’t immediately solve the country’s health care problems. Millions of uninsured Americans won’t suddenly become happily insured without any noticeable cost. The reduction in the deficit doesn’t happen right away.
Just like teaching a baby to walk, achieving meaningful health care reform on a national level is an investment. It’s going to take time and patience. And it’s going to take a commitment to stick with the kid and believe walking and even running will be possible.
A threat to repeal the Affordable Care Act before it’s taken its first steps is simply short sighted.