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Can Obama Unite Democrats Around ObamaCare?


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: politics, obama, healthcare, democrats, usa )

Cal
- 289 days ago - theweek.com
The party is threatening to fracture over the troubled health care law



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Comments

Sheila D. (25)
Friday November 15, 2013, 10:58 am
What a shame that they can't figure out a way to make it work, instead of nitpicking at each other and the President. If they hadn't been so busy trying to get rid of it, even after it became law, they may have fixed most of it by now. So, all I can say, is GET BUSY! Congress, and figure it out.
Thanks for the article, Cal.
 

Jinny L. (66)
Friday November 15, 2013, 1:01 pm
Join together..... make it better,,,,, make it work....simple as that. Thank you Cal for sharing.
 

Avril Lomas (0)
Friday November 15, 2013, 1:03 pm
Heaven forbid that the "Judas gang "should jeopordise their electability for 2014 to do the right thing. (They might lose their cushy jobs, tax payer funded health care and fabulous pensions) Universal health care should be the right for all Americans ,not just a perk for the rich.
Why Oh Why did the administration not take a few trips out of country and find out how to run a system for all, (as in Western European ,(Civilized ) countries. ??? Maybe they could even ask Cuba!
All the best with this bunch Mr President,what a bunch of self serving woosies!. You will have to hold their hands and tell them nice bedtime stories!
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:26 pm
This is a law based on a lie. A repeated lie. Those that believed in President Obama and his ACA repeated the lie. Now they are trying to get away from it.. Maybe because they knew they were repeating a lie at the time or that they don't appreciate being lied to themselves.

This has some serious results for millions of Americans who did nothing but take care of their own in their own way.

There is so much wrong with this from inception to conclusion that I am ashamed and deeply saddened that this is our America. Doesn't feel like it to me at all.

All our politicians care about is winning a point for the team. Not many of them actually give a care for the American people. Just look at where we are. Disgraceful.
 

jan b. (3)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:42 pm
Suzanne ..What is disgraceful is the fact that some don't want everyone to have healthcare a basic human right !!! The SAME ol--disgusting attitudes existed when medicare was initiated and now seniors LOVE IT. The health-care reform bill actually was drafted mostly by the insurance industry who understand INSURANCE ding ding ding !! The ACA was presented by three centrist Democrats, one centrist Republicans, and two conservative Republicans.

One of the most important things about the ACA is that The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all health insurance issuers and group health plans use a ... maximum for out-of-pocket expense. FOR EXAMPLE Would you rather have an out-of-pocket expense of $6000 or bear the co-pay or total cost of a not that severe heartattack that may cost $700,000 and leave you BANKRUPT. ??
! Besides all the preventive care you will get because the insurers have to spend 80% of your premiums on healthcare now. The people that handle your food now may discover they did have TB or parasites because they couldn't afford to see a doctor before. Kids can be enrolled under their parents plan til they are 26. Seniors already saved $6 billion dollars for drugs.
Don't get brainwashed by the GOP retorek about the ACA. Of course it should be a one-payer system or medicare for all .....but look at how the republicans are acting about the ACA and you think you will get the one payer .....forget it ...not in our lifetime especially when some people side with the GOP TP like you do Suzzanne.
 

jan b. (3)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:47 pm
In 2000, the average annual health insurance premium in the private sector rose to $2,655 for single coverage and $6,772 for family coverage, an increase of 33.3 percent and 36.7 percent, respectively, since 1996, according to new data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey,1 conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Dissatisfaction with the system was also rising when costs were rising and people were paying more for premiums because some couldn't pay for their emergency medical trips . SO Obama, Hilllary Clinton and John Edwards campaigned on healthcare reform and OBAMA WON the PRESIDENCY. WHATs THE LIE ??? ACA was passed by congress and Obama signed the BILL. Some has s been in effect since 2010 .
 

Roseann D. (178)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:48 pm
The GOP sure knows how to make life unlivable for Americans....soooo what exactly is pro-life about them anyway? Like irresponsibly implanting the seed, then walking away like Deadbeat Dads once the deed is done.
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:49 pm
Janice, I am not brainwashed by any one or group. I speak from my reality, not yours, not theirs, MINE.

A lie is a lie is a lie. If it is so damn good. Say it like it is and don't sugarcoat with lies to get the votes and approval. Disgusting.
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:52 pm
Do not get me wrong. I don't side with insurance. I hate insurance companies. You should see the rates in Jersey. They make your rates look good.

I also don't side with liars and those who knew the serious results to come for millions of Americans and their families who don't deserve this crap thrown at them. They bought into it based on what was stated and that was a lie.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (453)
Friday November 15, 2013, 2:56 pm
NY and NJ have two major liberal papers: The NY Times, and The Daily News. The News ripped Obama to shreds today. They were just short on calling him incompetent.
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday November 15, 2013, 3:33 pm
Allan, Barack Obama was never qualified to run a company much less our country. Everything he has touched has hurt our economy and our citizens. Our foreign policy is worse than when Carter left office and now due to Obama's socialist drive for single payer millions of Americans have had their private health insurance cancelled and if they want to have it rewritten it will cost them double or triple what they were paying. People around the world are watching America and probably shaking their heads and saying, "Get this guy out of office and save your beautiful country."

Obama cannot survive this. He needs to resign and take Joe Biden with him. We should not let Joe Biden sit as president.

I believe another tsunami vote will take place in 2014. 39 democrats voted for the GOP bill today. Reinstating those who have lost their healthcare coverage isn't a walk in the park....it will be difficult to do. And the ultimate insult is that Obama extends that for one year and guess what? In one year our citizens will face the same situation....it is a train wreck. The republicans tried to tell the American people before Obama was re-elected but they didn't pay attention. The republicans were right. Obama cannot and should never be trusted again. He is a certified liar. Let us see how the 2014 election turns out. We saw what happened in 2010. Never underestimate the power of our votes.

I just want Obama and Biden gone....far away from Washington DC. Obama was elected for all the wrong reasons. We know that now.
 

Jason R. (60)
Friday November 15, 2013, 4:45 pm
It is being improved on no matter what jack ass doesn't like it. They will be the biggest fools when it's done…Is every one stupid!!!!
 

Jason R. (60)
Friday November 15, 2013, 4:48 pm
"This is a law based on a lie. A repeated lie. Those that believed in President Obama and his ACA repeated the lie. "

It wasn't a lie. Fox said it was a lie. Right wing morons said it was a lie…Grow tf UP!!!
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Friday November 15, 2013, 4:53 pm
Noted. Well, I was busy this p.m. but understand that something passed in the House to extend some portions for a year. Doesn't sound good to me. But, I'm wondering if will affect the nearly 2 dozen states that accepted the ACA.
We should've had Medicare For All.....single payer system. But, the GOP wouldn't let it pass, and this is what the whole of Congress ended up compromising on. We're happy our young adult kids could stay on the policy longer, that "pre-existing conditions" could no longer get your policy canceled, that the insurance companies are now REQUIRED to pay 80% of your premiums on your health care....and if they don't, you get a refund check....there are many other great insurance reforms that came out of this bill----and millions more will now have coverage.
What we really wanted was the insurance company "middleman" out of the equation, but Congress couldn't approve that. Now, they want to dump the best parts of what they passed, in favor of more money for the insurance companies. I will write, email, sign petitions & phone my members of Congress not to let this slide in favor of the insurance companies.

And, it was truly unfortunate about the website. But, how long did it take for that Medicare expansion passed during Bush......to finally get all the glitches out? How long did it take to fully implement Social Security when it passed? And, this was done in the middle of a GOP-caused government shutdown when everything that didn't just come to a complete stop....slowed down significantly.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Friday November 15, 2013, 5:03 pm
We need Singlepayer, until then, scams like the one the insurance companies pulled on policy holders "grandfathered in" to trick them into a higher premium and deductibles will happen. It's the for-profit way. Screwing the ILL over on Wall Street as a commodity is big business and inherent to this very exploitive industry. Make it single-payer so citizens don't have to deal with the corrupt insurance companies scamming to make bigger bucks. If they tricked you out of your policies, what else are they tricking you out of? Singlepayer is the way forward.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Friday November 15, 2013, 5:09 pm
Get real Diane. There hasn't been an honest candidate out of your party in years. And the 39 Dems with the weak backbones need swift kicks to the curb. We don't need scaredy cats that lack the courage of their convictions in the party. We need ballsy, gutsy guys like Alan Grayson, and Indie Bernie Sanders to keep kickin' the psychopathic GOP while they're down until those greedy b*st*rds OUT. Stop being suckers to the GOP noize machine. My big complaint about the Dems. Grow some balls already!
 

Jason R. (60)
Friday November 15, 2013, 6:13 pm
It's highly probable, those policies were junk any way. Lesson learned? Never trust big insurance to act in good faith. Just like republicans and their sheep.

Cal. Don't bait the idiots.
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 7:50 pm
"And, it was truly unfortunate about the website. But, how long did it take for that Medicare expansion passed during Bush......to finally get all the glitches out?"


I understand these things have kinks to be worked out. The only difference is there are penalties imposed by the IRS if you don't get in by a certain date. That is a problem. How can you penalize people who couldn't get in? or who don't want to put such personal information in to a system that is not guaranteed secure to protect it?
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 7:54 pm
"It wasn't a lie. Fox said it was a lie. Right wing morons said it was a lie…!!!"


Um, no...


"Grow tf UP!!! "

Yup, that is about what I would expect. Made me giggle though and that is always a good thing.
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Friday November 15, 2013, 7:59 pm
"It's highly probable, those policies were junk any way."


By who's standards? How pompous to assume you know better than those making decisions based on their wants, needs and realities. Sounds like imposing your wants, needs and realities on to others. Yes, maybe some benefited and some didn't. For those that didn't is that fair? What about them?
 

Jason R. (60)
Friday November 15, 2013, 10:19 pm
The news showed that some policies were pure junk with numbers like $57,000 premium due. It was in the fine print…You TRUST them? I don't giggle like a child over things that show me to be in the know. I'm used to it.

I don't have or invite fear either. Look at what it does to people. They run around like chicken little, screaming, the sky is falling. It's ridiculous and simple minded. Just the way it is.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Friday November 15, 2013, 11:18 pm
All great reasons for singlepayer. It's what Obama should have pushed for in the first place like a true Dem! If you are going to have GOP headaches to deal with anyway...go for the whole enchilada. No kowtowing to corrupt insurance companies that wrote the ACA and backstabbed him anyway. Not the tw*tbuckets I want in charge of my healthcare anyway.
 

John S. (301)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 1:56 am
I learned the lesson, read the bill next time. Love people that say should have done single payer, they had enough of a fight without that complication, not just from Republican but from the "non Dem Democrats. Of course, they could have just used the Dutch system as most Americans would have been happy with that. And the roll out would have been much easier and supporters would not be turning against it. I'm glad Jason R is happy, they have signed up 1.5% of target!
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 3:16 am
Our country will never have single payer. Obama knew back in 2010, perhaps earlier, that Americans were going to lose their private health insurance. That's called fraud and he got caught when the insurance companies dumped millions of people. America is not like any other country and this is precisely why single payer will never work in our country. The ACA was just a building block for single payer and it failed. Now Americans no longer trust Obama and his administration. So, no matter how many ways you want to blame republicans for this keep in mind that they have been against the ACA from the beginning but the media wouldn't budge. Those who voted for Obama not once but twice and who have lost their private health insurance and are faced with paying double, triple their original healthcare premiums simply got what they deserved for believing in this incompetent president. Obama basically stabbed you in the back .... the word hoodwinked comes to mind.

I never trusted Obama from the beginning. I knew he was a very bad choice for America. Now his popularity rating is down in the 30's.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 3:22 am
The democrats, if they are to survive and keep their seats, have to move away from Obama. From where I sit, I believe it is too late for them to change the minds of their constituents who have been lied to for years and have had their health insurance dropped. This is huge. It's real. And, it cannot be fixed. Obama wants to push it down the road for a year and when that time gets here the Americans will still be faced with much higher premiums and the single payer concept. Americans are smart. They will vote in 2014 and again in 2016.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 3:26 am
Here's a recent opinion piece that hits on all the pistons IMO:

"Sign-up rates for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law have been low amid ongoing technical issues

-

It has been a pretty dreadful week for President Barack Obama. Flapping around his head are a whole flock of chickens coming home to roost.

-

This is all about his greatest achievement - the law for which he will be remembered - the programme nicknamed for him, Obamacare.

-

It is in trouble. He is in trouble.

-

The sign-up for Obamacare was pitiful. He was forced into holding anews conference of abject apology while Democrats, most notably Bill Clinton, ran as fast as they could away from the president whose poll ratings had just plunged to a new low.

-

It was capped by a savaging from Jon Stewart. Can it get worse than that?

-

'Folks are frustrated'

I'm reminded of the doyen of spin doctors, Alistair Campbell, when journalists wrote that some speech or other of Tony Blair's was "the most important of his career".

-

He laconically agreed it probably was, since the last most important speech of his career. And until the next one.

-

The same is true of Mr Obama's worst week. That news conference was the full-blown humble-pie-eating act. Here's a selection of quotes:

"I understand why folks are frustrated."

-

"I do make apologies for not having executed better over the last several months."

"We and I did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website."

"That's on me."

-

"That's something I deeply regret."

-

"I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them rather than easier."

"When we don't do a good job on the rollout, we're letting them down. And, you know, I don't - I don't like doing that."

-

"I said early on when I was running, I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president."

-

"There have been times where I thought we were - got, you know, slapped around a little bit unjustly. This one's deserved, all right? It's on us."

-

'Acute distress'

I haven't seen the president squirm like this since his shell-shocked performance after his shellacking in the 2010 mid-terms. Then he wondered aloud how he'd lost the plot and how he could do better.

-

Then his acute distress must have reflected his understanding of just how bad his plight was. When he lost the House, he lost all hope of pushing through the rest of an ambitious progressive agenda.

-

Now his one historic achievement, the one big law he got through before he lost the House, is in grave danger. With it his whole reputation, his legacy.

-

A colleague pointed out that only last week, we - and the rest of the media - were highlighting the hole the Republicans were in. It is true. They are in a mess, and so is Mr Obama.

-

Their problem is about how to win elections, his is about the limits on what you can do after you've won.


Page 1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24963378
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 3:28 am
More:

Opponents of Obamacare have protested vigorously against the sweeping healthcare reform law

-

At the heart of his problem is a plan that is inherently complex and confusing. He decided at the beginning of his presidency that he would never sell a simple government-run scheme.

-

It would have been even more controversial than Obamacare, it probably wouldn't have got through Congress, but if it had it would have had the huge advantage of simplicity and clarity.

-

Instead the federal government parts of the plan got whittled away. But then when Republican states refused to set up their own programmes, the federal government came back in.

-

Mr Obama is in a hole now because of the technical failure of an already ideological, controversial plan which bewilders most people with its inherent complexity.

-

He has promised that he will "chip away" at the problem, and that everything will be much better by the beginning of next month.

-

Democrats will hope these teething problems will fade and be forgotten. But it may not be a "chipable" problem.

-

Mr Obama will be under intense scrutiny as we head into the new year and the mid-term elections.


If his worst week turns into his worst month, it will be a pretty dismal 2014 for the president.

Page 2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24963378
 

Arielle S. (317)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:26 am
I'm old so health care doesn't affect me - not on food stamps so that doesn't affect me either - not gay so those laws don't affect me. However, the whining, the obstructionists, the constantly putting personal agenda over country - all that does affect me and I'm sick of it. The GOP has done nothing to make ACA better - they could have let it start and THEN picked at it but no.... can't allow anything this President does even appear to be good.
If the GOP put half the energy into improving the country that they put into destroying it, we'd all be much better off.
 

tasunka m. (334)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 8:32 am
I believe they could NOt have dropped the ball at a worse time
Repukelicans are all over this babbling " see we were right to fight this,it's a mess and will never work!"
so Mr. Obama is losing all his youth base,from what I have seen, not only did they not want health care in the first place,now they have an excuse to not even try to comply...
I see the approval ratings for the rest of his term as plummeting.
Thanks Cal
 

Jason R. (60)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 8:55 am
Diane! You're back with your right wing bull sh*t!

"for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law"
That sounds so racist! This is a Liberal/conservative plan. You people are so confused by hate.
 

Robert B. (57)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:25 am
Diane O. and the other O, The Affordable Care Act (originally a conservative idea) was passed by CONGRESS (173 republicans voted YES), approved by the Senate, Signed by a Democratically elected President, ruled CONSTITUTIONAL by a majority conservative Supreme Court and has become Law. The ACA levels the playing field for millions of Americans who were uninsured and now have a chance at healthcare. Before the ACA greedy insurance companies could drop you for ANY reason. Before the ACA you could be denied insurance for existing conditions. Now there is NO limit on coverage. You DO NOT have to enter sensitive personal info on the web site other than do you smoke or not. You will NOT GO TO JAIL if you can't pay. The ONLY lies about all of this is what is coming from the mouths of the LIARS at right wing propaganda stations. The ACA is not perfect and the right had not done a F**king thing to HELP in ANY WAY!!!! Medicare took a couple of years to get running smoothly. The only lies I see are the ones coming from a Teabagging Brown-shirted racist minority pack of first class a$$holes. The sooner these clowns get botted out the better. HAVE A NICE DAY!
 

Jason R. (60)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:34 am
Diane...Are you going back to being the troll you are?
 

Roseann D. (178)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:52 am
Diane and the GOPs substandard healthcare plan matches the substandard lives they want 99% of us to have. Diane bankruptcy, foreclosure and death is not a humane healthcare plan. It's the corruption of the for-profit system.
 

John S. (301)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:53 am
Can anyone tell me why Obama caved in and that those those with existing plans can keep them for a year? I'm also not certain that you can call them "skimpy", or "junk". They give an incentive for saving and encourage consumers to care about the cost of the services that they use. Plus Obamacare leaves 27 million uninsured....
 

Roseann D. (178)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:55 am
Never say never Diane. Singlepayer will happen. For-profit is unsustainable.
 

Roseann D. (178)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:58 am
I guess Diane is back after signing her new troll contract with the GOP. Her absence was refreshing. No posts without payment Diane?
 

Suzanne O. (34)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 10:20 am
"You DO NOT have to enter sensitive personal info on the web site other than do you smoke or not."


That is not accurate at all. NJ joined the medicaid expansion and is using the federal health exchange. I went on as a person (family) who has not had health care in about 7 years now. In order for me to shop and see what subsidies might be available, I most certainly had to input very confidential information. Not only for myself but for my daughter and husband. Social security #'s, phone number, payroll information, tax information, am I white, am I this blah blah blah. I stopped because I did not have my husbands pay stub available. I spent about 35 minutes up to the point where I stopped .Don't tell me I am lying, when I am not.
 

SuSanne P. (182)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 11:29 am
Too much chaos for me to reply other then:
You are entitled to your own OPINIONS---but now YOUR OWN FACTS!!!
TY Cal and the sensible Truths being expressed.
 

Jason R. (60)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 11:37 am
"Obamacare leaves 27 million uninsured."

What 27 million could NOT possibly qualify for the ACA? Come ON! Don't you people question anything that sounds remotely fishy? Why is it that people who are socially conservative just don't seem to want to believe the truth?
Because you're afraid you might have to be fair and or share by contributing to society?

Damned this mutation.

 

Suzanne O. (34)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 11:47 am
Socially conservative...

I live my life and let others live theirs. So long as you harm no other. Social is personal, not my business.

I think the world would be boring if we were all the same.

We all have different realities and your fit might not be mine. Why impose it on me?
 

James Maynard (68)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 12:43 pm
If the bought and paid for Congress
had done it right (single-payer) the
first time, there wouldn't be all this
nonsense.....
 

Jason R. (60)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 2:37 pm
"I think the world would be boring if we were all the same. "

As opposed to this division, fighting and forcing the others to go your way?

How would you be different? I'm totally different than my fellow social liberals. It seems to me, the anti social conservatives don't want to live in a managed, structured society. They don't want laws or protections from vulture capitalists. All for one and screw you. That's not a society and we most definitely are social animals. Now, who fought you to be like you are or were you born that way? I think it's learned behavior by the people you're listening to.

Should we get serious about secession?
 

Susanne R. (249)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 10:51 pm
EXCELLENT, COMMON-SENSE ARTICLE. PLEASE READ.

REPUBLICAN OBAMACARE "FIX" IS JUNK, JUST LIKE THE JUNK INSURANCE PLANS IT PROTECTS!
by: Ethan Rome, Executive Director, Health Care for America Now
Posted: 11/13/2013 12:23 pm

"In an effort to cynically score political points, the Republicans have taken up the cause of people who have received health insurance "cancellation" notices. The problem is that the Republicans aren't helping these people, they are exploiting them. They're peddling a "fix" that will stick consumers with lousy insurance policies, put the insurance companies back in charge of our health care and deceive people who deserve a straight answer about what's going on with their health coverage.

If you're one of the people who received a notice, it's unsettling and confusing to say the least -- and you don't need a political party to play politics with your life. You need to know the truth and learn the available options.

People are receiving cancellation notices because they were sold health insurance policies that provide bare-bones coverage and expose them to financial ruin if they get sick or injured. Insurance companies sold these plans knowing full well that consumers could not keep them after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards are fully implemented on Jan. 1. The insurance companies didn't tell their clients that they couldn't keep the plans they sold them, and they certainly didn't tell them that the plans were junk. Now the Republicans want to allow the industry to continue to sell these policies for another year in the name of letting people keep the plans "they like." This is hypocrisy and politics at its worst, not to mention terrible policy.

There are roughly 15 million Americans who buy health plans in the individual market, and they represent 5 percent of people with private insurance. About half of them got cancellation notices, which naturally leaves people anxious to find out what they'll do next year.

Instead of passing a law allowing insurers to keep selling bad policies that provide little for their premium money, we should tell people what their coverage options are and how much better they'll do under the ACA. Because the enrollment web site HealthCare.gov has yet to work properly, most folks don't realize they will save money and get better insurance if they shop in the new insurance marketplaces and take advantage of generous instant tax credits that will drastically cut their premiums.

People can save a lot of money when they buy their insurance through the online marketplaces: Seventeen million people will qualify for tax credits to reduce the cost of their insurance. As many as 7 million people may have no premium costs at all. Six of 10 uninsured Americans will pay $100 or less in monthly premiums. While it sucks to get canceled, the vast majority of those folks will see that getting coverage through the ACA marketplaces is a better deal.

The GOP-led legislation is bad public policy. It will disrupt the insurance market and make things worse now and in the future. You can't mend our broken health insurance system if millions of people can opt out of participating in it. That's how we got into this mess in the first place.

Allowing inferior insurance plans to exist alongside quality ACA policies will destroy the economic foundation of the law -- the idea that financial risk must be spread and shared -- and give our health care back to the insurance companies. Nothing could be worse for the health and the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.

For example, the Republican proposal would prompt younger, healthier people to opt out of enrolling in the marketplace plans, meaning the ACA policies will cover mostly older and sicker people who are more costly to insure. As a result, marketplace premiums would spike and millions of Americans would lose out on health coverage they can afford. People would be denied insurance or charged sharply higher premiums because of their medical history. Consumers would be at the mercy of the health insurance companies. That's not why we enacted health reform. America reformed our health insurance system so everyone could have insurance with real benefits -- not benefits that are only revealed to be phony in the middle of a medical crisis. We did it based on the simple principle that we all do better when we all do better.

The Republican bill would be a disaster for consumers. As we learned during the drive to pass the ACA, junk policies cause nothing but trouble. There are millions of stories of bankruptcy filings, homes and jobs lost, college educations abandoned and dreams deferred because someone with fake insurance got sick and was overwhelmed by medical bills. We can't go back to those days.

The GOP is using overhyped cancellation stories as a pretext to destroy the ACA, a law they have attacked with a single-minded fervor never before seen in American politics. When the Republicans' bill, H.R. 3350, reaches the floor, it will be the House GOP's 46th vote to repeal Obamacare.

Any fixes to the Affordable Care Act should be judged by whether they help people and improve the law. The Republican-led proposal does neither."
 

Susanne R. (249)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 11:18 pm
Did anyone read the John Grisham novel, "The Rainmaker," or see the movie based on that novel? Yeah, it's like that. People buy junk insurance because it's affordable, they're misled by the insurance companies or they don't think they'll ever develop a catastrophic illness. Unfortunately, none of us knows what awaits us.

The only thing that embarrasses me about health care in this country is that we don't have universal health care like most industrialized countries. What we have is people without insurance or with substandard policies that ultimately fail them in their time of need.
...................................
Suzanne O. said:

"There is so much wrong with this from inception to conclusion that I am ashamed and deeply saddened that this is our America. Doesn't feel like it to me at all. All our politicians care about is winning a point for the team. Not many of them actually give a care for the American people. Just look at where we are. Disgraceful."

I sympathize with you and understand what you're saying --BUT-- please keep in mind that the House Republicans have voted 47 times to repeal or amend the ACA and did everything they possibly could to stop this act from becoming a reality. They offered NOTHING in the way of working with the President to improve it. When they failed to kill it, they started doing everything they could to make it fail. That would be my motivation to say that "All our politicians care about is winning a point for the team. Not many of them actually give a care for the American people." We can't let them get away with this! It"s too important. I'm very grateful that my family and I have excellent health insurance, but I have much concern for those who don't. As a Democrat, I often wonder if that really is a major distinction between members of the two major parties. This "I've got mine. Tough luck for you," mindset doesn't reflect the Christian values that the Republican party claims to have cornered the market on. It's hypocrisy, and it's hurting a lot of people.
 

Carol Dreeszen (364)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 1:44 pm
How can it unite Democrats when there are already Democrats scurrying like little rats away from Obamacare because they KNOW re-elections are coming up and they will go down with the ship if they don't distance themselves. They are trying to save their asses in order to get re-elected....it won't work! VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!
 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 1:49 pm
Here's The Republican Healthcare/Replacement Plan -


IN PROGRESS: On January 20, 2011, the House passed H. Res. 9, a resolution instructing House committees to develop legislation replacing the job-killing health care law. Committees are currently doing their work to hold hearings and examine solutions to lower costs, increase access to quality care, and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.
Vote Result • Text of the Resolution [PDF]
Enact Medical Liability Reform
Skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates have distorted the practice of medicine, routinely forcing doctors to order costly and often unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits, often referred to as "defensive medicine." We will enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine.
Purchase Health Insurance across State Lines
Americans residing in a state with expensive health insurance plans are locked into those plans and do not currently have an opportunity to choose a lower cost option that best meets their needs. We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live.

Expand Health Savings Accounts
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide costeffective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients with high-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.

Ensure Access for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions
Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick. We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.

Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion
We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion. This prohibition would go further and enact into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment as well as ban other instances of federal subsidies for abortion services. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

http://www.gop.gov/indepth/pledge/healthcare
 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 11:37 pm
Diane O.: This "replacement Plan" was passed on January 20, 2011. The Republicans had plenty of time to work with the Democrats on a health care plan that everyone could live with. Unfortunately, the Republicans can't live with any such plan --and voting against the Affordable Care Act 47 times --without any meaningful attempt to work with the Democrats to make this Act acceptable to all-- is proof of that.

I addressed the Republican proposal in an earlier comment -- before you posted the proposal. Evidently, you didn't read it or chose to ignore it. Therefore, I'm going to repeat the applicable information:

"Instead of passing a law allowing insurers to keep selling bad policies that provide little for their premium money, we should tell people what their coverage options are and how much better they'll do under the ACA. Because the enrollment web site HealthCare.gov has yet to work properly, most folks don't realize they will save money and get better insurance if they shop in the new insurance marketplaces and take advantage of generous instant tax credits that will drastically cut their premiums.

People can save a lot of money when they buy their insurance through the online marketplaces: Seventeen million people will qualify for tax credits to reduce the cost of their insurance. As many as 7 million people may have no premium costs at all. Six of 10 uninsured Americans will pay $100 or less in monthly premiums. While it sucks to get canceled, the vast majority of those folks will see that getting coverage through the ACA marketplaces is a better deal.

The GOP-led legislation is bad public policy. It will disrupt the insurance market and make things worse now and in the future. You can't mend our broken health insurance system if millions of people can opt out of participating in it. That's how we got into this mess in the first place.

Allowing inferior insurance plans to exist alongside quality ACA policies will destroy the economic foundation of the law -- the idea that financial risk must be spread and shared -- and give our health care back to the insurance companies. Nothing could be worse for the health and the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.

For example, the Republican proposal would prompt younger, healthier people to opt out of enrolling in the marketplace plans, meaning the ACA policies will cover mostly older and sicker people who are more costly to insure. As a result, marketplace premiums would spike and millions of Americans would lose out on health coverage they can afford. People would be denied insurance or charged sharply higher premiums because of their medical history. Consumers would be at the mercy of the health insurance companies. That's not why we enacted health reform. America reformed our health insurance system so everyone could have insurance with real benefits -- not benefits that are only revealed to be phony in the middle of a medical crisis. We did it based on the simple principle that we all do better when we all do better.

The Republican bill would be a disaster for consumers. As we learned during the drive to pass the ACA, junk policies cause nothing but trouble. There are millions of stories of bankruptcy filings, homes and jobs lost, college educations abandoned and dreams deferred because someone with fake insurance got sick and was overwhelmed by medical bills. We can't go back to those days.

The GOP is using overhyped cancellation stories as a pretext to destroy the ACA, a law they have attacked with a single-minded fervor never before seen in American politics. When the Republicans' bill, H.R. 3350, reaches the floor, it will be the House GOP's 46th vote to repeal Obamacare.

Any fixes to the Affordable Care Act should be judged by whether they help people and improve the law. The Republican-led proposal does neither."
 

Susanne R. (249)
Monday November 18, 2013, 12:13 am
Here's another sensible article regarding the GOP healthcare plan.

The Republican Health-Care Plan: Repeal and Cackle - by Jonathan Chait - NY News & Politics

"It is a season of hubris for Obamacare’s critics. The website is behind schedule, the administration turns out to have misled the public when it insisted nobody would have to change plans, and the roughly 5 percent of Americans with plans on the individual-health-insurance market have been thrown into a panic amid a storm of cancellation notices. This is certainly a political victory for the Republican Party, which has turned the page from its shutdown debacle and found a batch of investigative strings to pull on, administration officials to torment, and new ways to throw red-state Democrats on the defensive. Weeks like this one will continue through this year, and at least for a while into the next one.

But conservatives want this moment to represent something more than a political victory. They sense an ideological victory: the discrediting of the Affordable Care Act as a policy model, a new opportunity for them to substitute their own vision. And there they are not only mistaken but deluding themselves in the fundamental way they have deluded themselves all along.

The single most salient fact about Obamacare to conservatives is that it is unpopular. This is true. What conservatives have never fully acknowledged is that its lack of popularity reflects not a broad agreement with the right’s ideological critique but a deep aversion to change. The paradox of health-care policy is that the failures of the system — its ever-rising costs, its complexity, the constant lurking fear of losing insurance and risking catastrophe — makes people more resistant to change it, because they associate change with risk.

The Obama administration designed its health-care reform to accommodate this fear of change as best it could. It left the employer system in place. It mostly reorganized the individual market, which is small, trying to turn it into a rough facsimile of the employer-based market. Now, Obama’s attempts to minimize disruption to the status quo did not completely eliminate disruption to the status quo. The individual market is being roiled.

And here is where conservatives detect ideological triumph. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, Philip Klein, and Ross Douthat, among others, argue that the tumult in the individual market shows the failure of Obama’s regulatory vision. The old, lightly regulated system encouraged insurers to pick up healthy customers and do everything to avoid covering people who might incur high costs — people with preexisting conditions, women of childbearing age, and so on. This system was much more ideologically congenial to the right, as it allowed the “makers” to enjoy the financial fruits of their good health without having to cross-subsidize the “takers.” And they see the tumult as vindication of the conservative belief in a lightly regulated system, with less comprehensive coverage, and less shifting of resources from the healthy to the sick. “[A]n overwhelming majority of Americans,” argues Klein, “were happy with their coverage.”

That is not true. People in the individual market are far less satisfied than people in either the employer-based market or in public insurance plans, as Jonathan Cohn notes: (To view the chart, please click on link that follows.)

The employer-based health-insurance system is much more popular than the individual market. It’s also much more redistributive. The 25-year-old male in the loading dock has to pay the same premiums as the diabetic 60-year-old in accounting. Is this injustice an important part of the political discourse? How often do you hear people complain about it?

Every iteration of an alternative conservative health-care proposal would impose far more disruption on the status quo than would Obamacare. Most conservative plans involve drastically curtailing the tax deduction for employer-based insurance. That would create cancellation notices for many times the number of people currently seeing them. Even the more modest plans to scale back Obama’s regulation of the individual market would run the GOP into a political minefield. Which regulations do they want to strip away? Discrimination against people with preexisting conditions? Discrimination against potentially pregnant women? Mental-health parity? Every single one of those changes creates millions of angry potential victims.

This is exactly why the actual Republican Party health-care plan is not repeal and replace, but repeal and cackle. Republicans are on strong ground exploiting fear of change. They have understood perfectly well that they must avoid having to defend a different set of changes to the status quo. They have kept their various replace ideas safely to the side for exactly that reason.

And nothing that has happened since has fundamentally changed that. Republicans in red states have tools at their disposal to block insurance subsidies for the poorest Americans. They have political tools to embarrass Obama and his allies. They lack the votes to repeal Obamacare, and will continue to lack them for at least three more years. And by that point, a large number of the people whose interests they have so intently ignored — the uninsured — will be within the system, and will have joined the ranks of those benefiting from the status quo and resisting change to it.

The current uproar that conservatives take as affirmation of their deregulatory vision is merely the same change aversion that has buoyed them all along. Yet that is the very force that is going to make the fulfillment of their alternative vision impossible.

The Republican Health-Care Plan: Repeal and Cackle
 
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