Blog Archives

Clarifying the Affordable Care Act’s Requirement to Buy Coverage…

The following chart from the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation makes clear who has to buy health coverage under Obamacare and how much it will cost. I feel it is better to know how this really works than to hear Republicans as they cry that the world will come to an end.

The Requirement to Buy Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate“) works.

Hypocrisy – A Republican Medical Practice…

Let me take you back to last January in Congress. Kaiser Health News ran a story on Republican doctors who were elected to the House during the teabag push who were all pledging the destruction of the Affordable Care act:

Dr. Scott DesJarlais

When Scott DesJarlais heard the American Medical Association was backing the Democratic health care overhaul, he cut up his membership card. Now the Tennessee doctor, who was elected to the House last fall, can express his disdain for the law more directly by voting this week to repeal it.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

“People didn’t want this bill,” said DesJarlais, 46, who is a Republican.

He added a blunt warning to those who think the House repeal effort is an empty gesture: “I think the Senate needs to take it seriously and the White House needs to take it seriously or they’ll have to answer to the voters in two years.”

During a hard-fought campaign against four-term Democrat Lincoln Davis, DesJarlais denounced the law as a “smoke-and-mirrors ploy to implement socialized medicine.”

Socialized Medicine is a common complaint among Republicans… although few know what the phrase actually means. And this becomes clear with a news piece that came out yesterday:

DesJarlais’ office appears to be touting a successful health reform program. According to the Crossvile Chronicle, a representative from DesJarlais’ district office was on hand last week for a groundbreaking ceremony to hand over nearly $4.5 million in grant money — entirely funded by the Affordable Care Act — for the construction of a community health clinic in Cumberland County, Tennessee.  (from Think Progress)

In addition to ending insurance company abuses, expanding coverage to 30 million people, and reining in individual health insurance market, the Affordable Care Act provides grants for community health clinics across the country. The $4,495,730 grant touted by DesJarlais’ staff is part of round of health reform funding that was announced last year.

And it’s not like this is the only case of Republicans taking advantage of the Affordable Care act which they swore up and down to repeal. Think Progress points out:

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV… as you know, now resigning to avoid being questioned on a sex scandal) asked for nearly $1 million in doctor training grants from the law. Meanwhile, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) sent a letter to the Obama administration asking for health reform money he called “critical” for his rural constituents.

So the dreaded Obamacare is actually something they are taking extreme financial advantage of for their state programs. Some see this as hypocritical the disease of Republican hypocrisy over the Affordable Care act needs to be cured by their doctor/members. Oh wait… as DesJarlais proves, they are the ones who are most hypocritical.

Watching the House go at it on Health Care…

This is a moment of extreme entertainment as the House of Representatives battle over amendments coming from the Republican Congressman King of Iowa trying to stop funding for the Affordable Care Act (which he insists on calling “Obamacare” even though that name has been protested by Democrats). Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut is organizing the Democratic opposition and seems to be doing a pretty good job at it.

Republicans seem to refuse to address the cost of ending the Affordable Health Care Act in lost jobs and extreme cost increases put on Americans by Insurance companies. They are carrying out an assault on the working poor, the elderly and the ill Americans. It is a travesty that we have to go through this.

King is putting out amendment after amendment, all going after the same end: ending what he calls “Obamacare”. Since there is no act with that name, why don’t they just tell him to shut up and sit down?

And it begins again… this time in the Senate

 

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Mark Twain

As I settled in this afternoon awaiting a coming ice storm (the first of these just missed us last night) and curious about what’s going on in Egypt where around 2 million people were demonstrating today for Hosni Mubarak‘s resignation (in a speech this afternoon he said he would not run for reelection and would be out of office by the Fall… as you might guess, this does not seem good enough for the demonstrators who want him out now) I wondered what was happening on C-Span 2.

I thought I’d watch the Senate debate the FAA Funding Bill and what do you think happened? Senate Republicans have attempted to repeal last year’s sweeping health care law via an amendment to a FAA funding, proposed by the beloved Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Not since the Earth’s creation some 6000+ years ago, when men and dinosaurs peaceably shared the world, have I heard such idiocy.

So, instead of solving the major problem of supporting and improving Airline regulations, we are listening to Republicans tell us that most Americans are opposed to the Health Care law (although recent polls indicate that an average of 80% of those Americans DON”T WANT IT REPEALED!) They are adamant that 50 million people who became covered due to parts of the Affordable Care Act should be dropped from coverage… and at the same time they will continue to waste our time and money with this kind of folderol. I thought Harry Reid was going to keep this crap off the floor.

I guess this is going to be Mitch’s strategy… no matter what bill is proposed, Mitch will see to it that an amendment to repeal Health Care will be included. And we will look on in disbelief. Maybe we need 2 million Americans to stand outside of Congress until Mitch and his pals decide to take an early vacation.

 

How the GOP will force a repeal vote in the Senate

This from Salon, by Alex Pareene… something to start your depressing morning with:

 

clipped from www.salon.com
Exciting news! Having already wasted a day of everyone’s time pretending to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the House of Representatives, Republicans are now set to force a vote on repeal in the Senate, where purely symbolic expressions of legislative sour grapes can take weeks.
It was previously thought that Harry Reid would simply block a vote on repeal and that would be the end of it, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell always finds a way. He could use “Rule 14” to bring it to the floor, for example. Or — and this is what he’ll probably do — he could attach repeal as an amendment to something likely to pass the Senate.
The Heritage Foundation even has a little FAQ on how the Senate can repeal Obamacare. Of course, irony of ironies, every repeal option requires either 60 or 67 votes.
I am expecting basically weeks of make-believe repeal of Obama’s cootiecare health bill, over and over again. It just feels good, to the GOP.
blog it

While the House looks at repealing the Health Care Bill…

… perhaps you could use some information comparing America’s annual costs and patient life expectations to some of the world’s other countries (most of whom have Universal Health Care). Go to http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi and get some stats that will make you mad as hell (and I write this on a day that California’s Blue Cross group wants to raise their health insurance rates by 59%… other states are lining up with similar increases.)

And the next time some Republican Congressional Type says we have the “Best Health Care In The World” you can assume that the speaker is rich enough to afford it. When will we get single-payer Universal Health Care like the rest of the 21st Century nations in our world?