The GOP/TB realized they could never really expect their base voters to sympathize with the health insurance industry and its historical profiteering—an industry that would like nothing more than to continue pocketing billions of dollars with ever-increasing rate hikes and other greedy practices that have been accepted for decades. This industry donates heavily to federal campaigns, with 55% of their donations going to the Republican Party.
So, with money in hand and a bunch of uninsured, low-information, red state voters—who would personally benefit from the ACA’s regulations on the worst practices of the insurance industry—GOP/TB politicians and their spokespeople decided that even if facts weren’t on their side, they could still keep the base loyal and distracted with a favorite strategy: “If you can’t beat ‘em, SCARE ‘EM!”
And here we are today.
Michele Bachmann: “When the federal government controls your health care, they literally control life and death. This egregious system, that will ultimately be known as ‘Deathcare’ must be defeated.”
Michele Bachmann: “… let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. Let’s not do that! Let’s love people, let’s care about people. Let’s repeal it now while we can.”
Ben Carson: “Obamacare is the worst thing that’s happened in this nation since slavery.”
Ted Cruz “…Do you think that is going to expand our health care if we do not see bright young students going to medical school? That is what ObamaCare is doing. Because you do not want an IRS agent deciding if your mom lives or dies. “
Ted Cruz: “Americans all over this country are suffering because of Obamacare. It is the single biggest job killer in America.”
Sarah Palin: “Of course there are death panels in there. But the important thing to remember is that’s just one aspect of this atrocious, unaffordable, cumbersome, burdensome evil policy of Obama’s and that is Obamacare.”
Steve Doocy: “…We see from your tax records that you support the Tea Party or conservative groups. You want a doctor’s visit? Three weeks. You want hip replacement? Four years.”
Now, imagine that noise when a needle scratches a record:
John McCain to a Fox anchor (on Friday): “On the debt limit, now there are things that we could negotiate with the president about, some entitlement reforms, some tax reforms, things that are achievable. Defunding Obamacare is not one of them.”
ABC’s “Nightline” touted a PolitiFact story… that rated the number one lie in 2010 politics: Republicans calling the health care bill a “government takeover of health care.”
When asked why the claim received the status of biggest lie of the year, PolitiFact.com editor Bill Adair answered: “It was so pervasive. It was said by the Republican leadership, by Republicans running for Congress, said by Republicans running for governor. And it’s just not true. This is a plan that uses the private health insurance system to expand health care coverage.”
Clips played of notable GOP congressmen Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) calling the bill a “government takeover,” as well as party chairman Michael Steele and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) saying the same. “Congratulations to the lie of the year for its speed and effectiveness,” concluded Jake Tapper. “Way to deceive the public.”
BECAUSE THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID:
Obamacare (i.e. the Affordable Care Act (ACA)) facts:
• ObamaCare’s goal is give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance and to reduce the growth in health care spending in the U.S.
• The fact is ObamaCare does not replace private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. If you have health coverage you like, you can keep it.
• ObamaCare offers a number of new benefits, rights and protections including provisions that let young adults stay on their plan until 26, stop insurance companies from dropping you when you are sick or if you make an honest mistake on your application, prevent against gender discrimination, stop insurance companies from making unjustified rate hikes, do away with life-time and annual limits, give you the right to a rapid appeal of insurance company decisions, expand coverage to tens of millions, subsidize health insurance costs, and require all insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
• Over 100 million Americans have already benefited from the new health care law.
• Read more
Someday, if the GOP captures the presidency and both houses of Congress, President Barack Obama’s health care law could be altered or even repealed. But it would be replaced by some new program that does the same thing, because there is no politically viable way to snatch away the medical insurance that customers are buying through the exchanges.
Quite the opposite: As soon as the glitches are cleared up and everyone becomes a bit less hysterical, the question will be how to obtain coverage for as many as 30 million people who will still be uninsured — including about 8 million ineligible for the ACA because of a sabotage campaign by Republican governors.
Look at Texas, which the state medical association calls “the uninsured capital of the United States.” An estimated 22.5 percent of the population lacks health insurance, a higher percentage than in any other state. Many will remain uninsured because Gov. Rick Perry — a once and perhaps future GOP candidate for president — refused to set up a state insurance exchange and turned down billions in federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage.
Rejection of the ACA may be popular in Texas now. But demographic trends are making the Lone Star State’s electorate more diverse, as the Latino population grows, and less reliably Republican. Small businesses that cannot afford to offer health insurance may soon worry about losing employees to states offering better coverage for the working poor through local exchanges and expanded Medicaid. Time is on the side of those who want to expand coverage, not those who want to restrict it.
I trust that conservative leaders will continue riling up the base with the untrue charge that the ACA is “government health care.” It is nothing of the sort. Obama decided at the outset not to push for a government-run health system, such as those in Britain and Canada, or a single-payer system of any kind.
Instead, all of Obamacare’s insurance plans are offered by private firms — the same companies that also provide employer-sponsored insurance. Disappointing his liberal supporters, Obama declined to include even a single public, government-run health plan. All the apocalyptic right-wing rhetoric about socialism and the end of freedom is nothing but hot air. Soon, no one will take it seriously.
On Thursday, Jon Stewart slammed the 26 states that chose to forgo the federal money that would completely cover the cost of expanding Medicaid over the next three years.
All the 26 states unsurprisingly have either GOP governors or GOP-controlled legislatures, and are guilty of “total dickishness” as Stewart put it. “[These 26 states] must be a pretty eclectic group with many different reasons to explain why they would turn down money to bring healthcare to the working poor. Or maybe there was just one — spite: the emotion that makes you turn down millions of dollars that would go toward healthcare for the working poor — because you hate the president.”
[Note: if you leave the Hulu player open, the segments automatically load / play from the rest of this episode.]
Which states turned down federal money to bring healthcare to the poor? The Moocher States:
The Moocher States are most of the red states which already take in more federal money than they pay to the federal government. The residents of these states will be happy to know that uninsured people will continue to utilize the free “dine and dash” system of healthcare that’s endorsed by their party, and they’ll continue to have the opportunity to absorb those costs personally with their insurance rates and their doctor / hospital bills. It’s a win-win for everyone, I guess. Except for the working poor.
image: view data detail
In a mere 24 hours, the tea party town-criers have been reduced from dire apocalyptic warnings about the end of liberty and freedom, to whining ACA sites are loading slowly. The horror! That’s an interesting twist into arguably the biggest immediate threat posed by the ACA to the GOP naysayers. It isn’t just that people will come to like the low rates and guaranteed acceptance offered under the ACA over time. A more immediate problem for the usual suspects is millions of people have already found out that the dreaded Obamacare, the socialized government invasion that would bring Lady Liberty down on her knees, is really just a boring website full of insurance policies and coverage info.
- If you only want to get a handle on what states are where with respect to Medicaid expansion, click the 50 state image above to go to a detailed bitmap showing that data.
- If all you want is an accurate estimate of how much a middle of the road policy might cost you, this tool at the Kaiser Foundation will do that for you.
- If you want to actually shop for real rates, you’ll need to click the appropriate state exchange or the Healthcare.gov link, create a screen name and password, and then follow the prompts, where you will fill in lots more information. …Be prepared to verify your identity several times by answering a wide array of questions to help HHS or your state HIX keep your info secure. And in part because of record traffic, and in part because the HIX websites have to interlock with many other sites to help you apply, most sites are going slow and/or will be down intermittently.