Blog Archives

What you remember from a convention makes a big difference.

 

Among all the very effective speakers at last night’s Democratic Convention – the most important being Michelle Obama who brought down the house – the one I remember the most was Stacy Lihn.

Stacy Lihn

Lihn is mother to little Zoe Lihn, a child born with a congenital heart defect, who already has needed three open-heart surgeries which would, in all likelihood, push her close to, or past, her insurance company’s lifetime coverage limit. Lihn told the crowd that President Obama‘s health care reform law “is saving my daughter’s life,” and made it clear that if Mitt Romney is elected, and makes good on his promise to repeal Obamacare, the consequences for Zoe would be disastrous.

“Governor Romney says people like me were most excited about President Obama the day we voted for him. But that’s not true. Not even close. For me, there was the day the Affordable Care Act passed, and I no longer had to worry about getting Zoe the care she needed. There was a day the letter arrived from the insurance company saying our daughter’s lifetime cap had been lifted. There was the day the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare… And like so many moms with sick kids, I shed tears.”

Lihn went on to outline what Zoe’s future would be after the election of a Romney/Ryan ticket:

“If Mitt Romney becomes president, and Obamacare is repealed, there’s a good chance she’ll hit her lifetime cap. There’s no way we could afford to pay for all of the care she needs to survive. When you have a sick child, it’s always in the back of your mind and sometimes, in the front of your mind. On top of that, worrying that people would let an insurance company take away her health care just because of politics? One in one 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. President Obama is fighting for them. He’s fighting for families like mine, and we need to fight for him.”

The audience’s response to Lihn and her family, who appeared next to her on the podium, was highly emotional and supportive. Certainly, this was a speech that everyone would remember when they think of Obamacare… I know I will.

Conventions are a lot like commercials for political positions and and, like commercials, help the voter determine which brand to buy. The big difference between Republicans and Democrats on this issue is that people will remember the major positions: The Republicans will dismantle Obamacare and cut Medicare and Medicaid using the money to afford tax cuts for the rich. The Democrats made it clear that if Republicans are elected a little girl will die.

How the Republicans deal with the actual results of their campaign goals can easily affect voters. There is no way they can make their cuts sound beneficial to sick children.

 

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.

Obama Campaign changes the focus on “Obamacare” – It’s a POSITIVE label

According to Reuters:

President Barack Obama’s campaign has embraced the term “Obamacare,” seeking to turn the negative name Republicans assigned to his healthcare reform effort into a positive branding tool just as the Supreme Court studies the law’s constitutionality.

“Happy birthday, Obamacare,” Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, wrote in an email to supporters last week to note the anniversary of the reform becoming law.

“If you’re tired of the other side throwing around that word like it’s an insult, then join me in sending a message that we’re proud of it,” he wrote.

While it may be a little late in getting around to this strategy, there’s a good chance it can work To help promote it, the Obama campaign  is reaching out with promoti0nal products:

T-shirts that say “I like Obamacare” are available on the campaign’s website for $35.

Buttons with the same message go for $5.

I expect to be seeing these around soon… perhaps on me.

ObamaCare or Obama Cares…

Maybe it is time to look at what President Obama has really done, rather than listen to Republicans funded by the pharmaceutical and major medical industries as they campaign to get rid of his health care plan.

I read this in the afternoon while watching Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, KS:

Spike Dolomite Ward

Spike Dolomite Ward tells her story in an LA Times op-ed.

I want to apologize to President Obama. But first, some background.

I found out three weeks ago I have cancer. I’m 49 years old, have been married for almost 20 years and have two kids. My husband has his own small computer business, and I run a small nonprofit in the San Fernando Valley. I am also an artist. Money is tight, and we don’t spend it frivolously. We’re just ordinary, middle-class people, making an honest living, raising great kids and participating in our community, the kids’ schools and church.

We’re good people, and we work hard. But we haven’t been able to afford health insurance for more than two years. And now I have third-stage breast cancer and am facing months of expensive treatment.

To understand how such a thing could happen to a family like ours, I need to take you back nine years to when my husband got laid off from the entertainment company where he’d worked for 10 years. Until then, we had been insured through his work, with a first-rate plan. After he got laid off, we got to keep that health insurance for 18 months through COBRA, by paying $1,300 a month, which was a huge burden on an unemployed father and his family.

By the time the COBRA ran out, my husband had decided to go into business for himself, so we had to purchase our own insurance. That was fine for a while. Every year his business grew. But insurance premiums were steadily rising too. More than once, we switched carriers for a lower rate, only to have them raise rates significantly after a few months.

With the recession, both of our businesses took a huge hit — my husband’s income was cut in half, and the foundations that had supported my small nonprofit were going through their own tough times. We had to start using a home equity line of credit to pay for our health insurance premiums (which by that point cost as much as our monthly mortgage). When the bank capped our home equity line, we were forced to cash in my husband’s IRA. The time finally came when we had to make a choice between paying our mortgage or paying for health insurance. We chose to keep our house. We made a nerve-racking gamble, and we lost.

Not having insurance amplifies cancer stress. After the diagnosis, instead of focusing all of my energy on getting well, I was panicked about how we were going to pay for everything. I felt guilty and embarrassed about not being insured. When I went to the diagnostic center to pick up my first reports, I was sent to the financial department, where a woman sat me down to talk about resources for “cash patients” (a polite way of saying “uninsured”).

“I’m not a deadbeat,” I blurted out. “I’m a good person. I have two kids and a house!” The clerk was sympathetic, telling me how even though she worked in the healthcare field, she could barely afford insurance herself.

Although there have been a few people who judged us harshly, most people have been understanding about how this could happen to us. That’s given me the courage to “out” myself and my family in hopes that it will educate people who are still lucky enough to have health insurance and view people like my family as irresponsible. We’re not. What I want people to understand is that, if this could happen to us, it could happen to anybody.

If you are fortunate enough to still be employed and have insurance through your employers, you may feel insulated from the sufferings of people like me right now. But things can change abruptly. If you still have a good job with insurance, that doesn’t mean that you’re better than me, more deserving than me or smarter than me. It just means that you are luckier. And access to healthcare shouldn’t depend on luck.

Fortunately for me, I’ve been saved by the federal government’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, something I had never heard of before needing it. It’s part of President Obama’s healthcare plan, one of the things that has already kicked in, and it guarantees access to insurance for U.S. citizens with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months. The application was short, the premiums are affordable, and I have found the people who work in the administration office to be quite compassionate (nothing like the people I have dealt with over the years at other insurance companies.) It’s not perfect, of course, and it still leaves many people in need out in the cold. But it’s a start, and for me it’s been a lifesaver — perhaps literally.

Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.

So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”

(thanks to http://mariopiperni.com for printing this.)

So what do you think… are you buying the Republican
rhetoric or do you agree with Spike Ward. Your call.

Quote for the Morning – Tim Pawlenty learns his lesson…

From Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

Tim Pawlenty said he made a mistake dodging the chance during their debate to once again tie Mitt Romney to “Obamneycar” – but he corrected it on Fox last night:

“I think in response to that direct question I should have been much more clear during the debate… I don’t think we can have a nominee that was involved in the development and construction of Obamacare and then continues to defend it and that was the question, I should have answered it directly and instead I stayed focused on Obama…I should have been more clear, I should have made the point that (Romney) was involved in developing it, he really laid the groundwork…

I don’t think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator in one of the main charges against the president, on the political level.”

He then used his Obomneycare phrase again… and apparently he’s is letting this stuff out on Twitter – perhaps he should remember what Twitter did to Anthony Weiner.

Obamacare or BoehnerScare.

As most of you know, I have been upset with the way the Right has tagged the Affordable health Care and Patient Provider Act as “Obamacare“, mostly because they included insults like Socialist, Communist, Fascist and others in the same breath. After yesterday, however, I’m not so sure that Obamacare isn’t something that is starting to work against the Republicans.

First, in the last week Obama‘s popularity has gone up an average 8 points in the polls with at least one putting him above 53%. Frankly, given all the problems we have with Recession, Inflation, the 2008 elections, etc., this is a guy that Americans, for the most part, like. At the same time, the popularity of the Right, be it the Tea Party or the Republicans or John Boehner himself have gone down about the same number of points. This means something.

Secondly, as more of the Health Care Plan has kicked in, a majority of Americans in general, and an extreme majority of Seniors and folks with pre-diagnosed conditions, have come to favor it… to a point where there was at least one poll that put the number of people who actually wanted it repealed was at 18% and few of the other polls were above 25%.

So what I think is happening is that the continual naming of the plan Obamacare, initially intended to attack a Bill that the Right was spending all its time and money to link with the President has actually linked it with a politician we are supporting… therefore it is probably a good thing. At the very least, the Republicans are consistent in repeating the President’s name over and over, something P T Barnum always thought was a good thing… as long as they spell it right.

And I’ve started to see a few publications that refer to “BoehnerScare” as the technique that was used to try and turn us against our  own best interests. Yeah, we would be mentioning Boehner’s name if we use this… but Scare is not Care, and the meaning is clear.

We’re going to see a very active Minority in the House and their focus is clear: “Make these guys show their worst side.” Not hard to do, I think But it will be fun watching C-Span.

House Passes Repeal…Something only 26 % of Americans Support (AP poll). Now what?

Breaking down by party lines the Republicans got Repeal voted through 245 to 189, and it now heads to the Senate where Harry Reid has stated he will block it’s being raised. Although Republicans are expected to find any kind of trick possible to get it brought up in the Senate, it is doubtful that it will happen.

Republicans rejected a procedural maneuver by the Democratic minority to make repeal ineffective unless a majority of the House and Senate withdraw from the federal health benefits program within 30 days after passage by each chamber.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the effort was “an attempt to derail an appeal of the Obamacare bill.

Now the Republicans in the House say they will be proposing a new Health Care Bill starting tomorrow, and Democrats may use this as a way to alter the existing law by bringing in a Single Payer policy, which many of them wanted originally.
Whatever happens, there is very little chance that the current Health Care law will be taken away and the Republicans, instead of creating legislation to increase jobs, has wasted most of the start of their majority presence in the House. The question, then, is why is this man laughing?

(Untrue) Quote of the Day

“The biggest advance of the abortion industry in America is the passage of Obamacare.”

Sarah Palin

…and the biggest advance in idiocy is Sarah Palin’s statement.