Commentary: Tired of Republican distortions on healthcare law

It has been some time since I have written a column for the Shelton Herald. After reading the most recent article by our state representative, I can keep quiet no longer.

His comments on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are nothing more than a repeat of the Republican talking points, with lots of bluster based on little fact.

He doesn’t comment about no cap on coverage, children covered under their parents’ plan until age 26, or exclusion because of pre-existing conditions no longer being allowed.

It is clear he has no understanding of the complexity of the ACA website and the process for signing up for insurance when he compares it to the site regarding the pardoned turkeys.

Fact: The roll-out of the website to sign up for insurance was a mess on the federal level. It didn’t work. The state of Connecticut’s site was much better.

Federal website issues

I won’t defend the mess at the federal site. It is, however, now working better and more people are signing up every day.

If you understand anything about computer programming you understand that you have multiple data bases linked together and talking to each other.

It is all very complicated — and add to that the need to protect privacy and secure the information, one understands the complexity. However, it should have been done right.

Success at state level

Rather than talk about the national issue, why not talk about what is going on here in Connecticut? Now our state representative doesn’t have to worry, as he is covered by the state health insurance program.

I am a small business owner that provides medical insurance for our employees. For years we have purchased our coverage through the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), and it has gone up on average 20% annually.

This year because of ACA, we have a second place to shop — an exchange for small businesses.

The renewal we got from CBIA went down 2% rather than the normal 20% increase. Why? I believe it is competition in the market place. Isn’t that what Republicans want — a competitive market place?

Further, instead of two plans I now have five to select from, all offering similar coverages — and we can pick the best for our needs and a price we can afford.

Problems are being ironed out

I have an acquaintance who has not been able to afford medical insurance to cover day-to-day type of needs so he carried only catastrophic coverage. Because of ACA and the program here in Connecticut, he now has coverage for $69 a month (he qualifies for the subsidy).

Granted these are only two examples of how the new programs are working. Yes, for some there are still issues.

We have a long way to go but both the state and federal programs are getting better, but problems are being ironed out and in the end more people will have coverage.

What is the Republican plan?

Finally, Rep. Jason Perillo, what do you have to offer in exchange? Give us your plan. I haven’t seen one plan from the other side of the political aisle.

Here in Shelton, Democrats are often are criticized for only attacking and not offering solutions. So what are your solutions, Rep. Perillo?

David Gioiello is chairman of the Shelton Democratic Town Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013 and 2007.