Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

GOP congressman-wannabe shoots Obamacare because guns

[smdh]

America Blog

An Alabama (it figures) Republican congressional candidate, Will Brooke, thought it would be a neat campaign stunt to shoot a copy of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

So he did.  And failed.

brooke-shooting-obamacare

Brooke follows a long line of Republican candidates – and wannabe-Republicans like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin – who think it’s cute to fire guns at copies of legislation.

Please just forget the fact that people have been firing guns lately (and for a few decades now) at actual federal government targets like military bases (just this week) and members or Congress.  No, just ignore that and revel in the notion of violence against the government.

Of course, the funny thing is that Brooke was as successful in his personal jihad against the Affordable Care Act as were House Republicans who tried to repeal the legislation 50 times, and then shut down the entire federal government over their insistence on defunding health care reform.

Brooke’s little gun stunt failed.  As with the GOP House’s ongoing anemic efforts, Obamacare lived to heal another day.

Now, you’d think that being from Alabama, Brooke might focus on issues truly harming his state, such as Alabama’s ongoing racism problem, or its citizens’ penchant for killing dolphins with screwdrivers. Though my favorite was Alabama’s infamous attempt in 2012, only a year and a half ago, to repeal language in the state constitution that supports segregation in schools and poll taxes.  The repeal effort failed.  60% supported keeping the racist language, only 40% supported repealing it.  And they wonder why people still call the South racist.

And here’s Manchin’s from 2010

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Boehner’s Obamacare Claim Garners Four Completely False Pinocchios

Yet another fail for Boehner…

Mediaite

Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claimed that, based on the numbered of cancelled plans versus number of enrollees, the Affordable Care Act must have resulted in a net loss of insured Americans. Though PolitiFact and Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler had plowed this territory before, both felt that the Speaker of the House making the claim meant it warranted further review.

Those reviews are in. The verdict: nope.

Both fact-checking sites questioned Boehner’s number of those who had plans cancelled because they failed to meet the ACA’s minimum standards (best estimates place that number at under 5 million, not at 6).

Both sites also reminded Boehner that many cancelled polices were extended under the ACA’s fix enacted late last fall that allowed people to keep their policies for another year, while some were moved automatically by their insurance companies to new plans. PolitiFact estimated that the number of people actually left without insurance is about 500,000. Even taking into account that a fraction of those signing up through the ACA’s website were previously uninsured, the number well exceeds those who would have actually lost insurance.

They also found Boehner’s claim failed to include people twenty-six years and younger who were able to join their parents’ health plan, and those who signed up through Medicaid; conservative estimates put those two groups combined at around 5 million.

“Taking the lowest-range estimates, we still end up with nearly 9 million people added to the insurance rolls, more than enough to swamp Boehner’s 6 million figure, which as we noted is a pretty useless number to begin with,” Kessler wrote yesterday, awarding Boehner’s claim four Pinocchios.

On Tuesday, PolitiFact weighed in and called the claim “Completely false“:

It’s bad math for two reasons. First, most of the people who lost their insurance have seen those policies extended to them through an administrative fix, or they received new coverage through their previous insurer or they bought a new plan. Second, he ignores the millions of people who bought coverage off the exchange, those who gained coverage through Medicaid and the under-26 crowd able to remain on their parents’ insurance.

We don’t yet know how many new Americans will ultimately gain coverage. But every indicator right now suggests it will be a net gain.

[h/t PolitiFact / Washington Post]

 

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, John Boehner

Obama’s “Undignified”? Here’s What’s Undignified!

The Huffington Post

Your call: Obama sitting “Between Two Ferns”? Or Republicans standing for…?

Follow Rick Horowitz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Rick_Horowitz

 

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Bill Maher Obliterates Republicans For Spreading a New Bogus Obamacare Lie

bill-maher-obamacare-cbo

PoliticusUSA

Bill Maher smashed the Republican lie about CBO report and the ACA killing jobs by destroying the bogus conservative moral argument that is the basis for every Republican Obamacare falsehood.

Video:

TRANSCRIPT:

BILL MAHER: Let me ask about this other issue that was in the news this week, which I think is a good thing, the decoupling of Obamacare, or healthcare, from employment. But, it was reported in the press differently. Now, what happened was the CBO — that’s the Congressional budget office — they are the arbiters, they are the umpires. We say they are impartial. I’ve quoted them many times, and say, ‘look, they are the impartial ones.’

Okay, what they said was Obamacare, over 10 years, will reduce employment by 2 million people. Okay, somehow in the media that got to be Obamacare will kill jobs. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening. What it means is that because people now, of course, can decouple, and by the way, we should never have coupled employment with healthcare in the first place. We did that during World War II because they throw salaries, so it was a way of giving a worker a benefit. 

Okay, now, you know, because they passed that thing which Republicans agree with too, we should not — if you have a pre-existing condition, you have to cover that. So now people don’t have to stay in their job to get covered. So these are people choosing to leave the workforce because they finally can. Isn’t that a good thing?

ALICIA MENENDEZ: Yeah, I mean, it creates opportunity — it basically is a game of musical chairs where we have the same number of chairs but less people competing to sit in those chairs. So it creates opportunity, and as you said, free people up. So that means: you want to go hang out with your grandkids? You can do that. You want to start a business? You can do that because you’re no longer dependent on your job for your healthcare.

MAHER: Yeah disincentives to work are not always a bad thing. Americans work too much. Americans are over-worked, overstressed. They take less vacation time. They don’t retire when they want to. Not everything is GDP.

Bill Maher did something more important than get outraged about the Republicans latest ACA lie. He debunked the moral argument behind the lie. The lie about the CBO report is based on central Republican argument against Obamacare. Republicans believe to their very core that providing better access to healthcare for millions of Americans is immoral.

In the same segment S.E. Cupp dredged up the work is dignity argument, but Maher replied that not all jobs have dignity. He used the example from his own life of working at Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips was not a dignified job. A more modern example would be working at Walmart. The largest retailer in America is a place where employees don’t have access to affordable healthcare, and the wages are so terrible that employees are forced to both work and use programs like food stamps and Medicaid to survive.

Real dignity is having the freedom to leave a bad job, and not have to worry about what will happen if you or a loved gets sick. True liberty is restoration of the ability to move up the economic ladder. Programs like unemployment benefits and the ACA aren’t destroying dignity, they are enabling it.

It is fun to listen to Maher use humor to take apart Republicans. In this case, it was more important that he drove a stake through the bogus moral argument that is at the heart of the Republican lies about the ACA.

The best way to combat the Republican lies about the ACA is to destroy the baseless moral argument that their emotional house of cards is built upon.

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, Bill Maher

The Obama Administration Is Not Dead Yet

National Memo – Gene Lyons

“Not the headline I’d have written, but then I’m terrible at headlines. To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the Obama administration’s demise are greatly exaggerated.  Absent malice or catastrophic failure, people forgive and forget. What’s more, should the Iran initiative succeed, the U.S. has an opportunity to avoid involvement in an endless succession of wars in the Middle East. Should it fail, we’re pretty much right back where we started. ” ~ Gene Lyons

For a guy whose presidency was supposed to be on life support, Barack Obama has certainly had a productive couple of weeks. With his poll numbers sinking toward George W. Bush territory — 53 percent in a recent CNN survey said he’s not a strong or decisive leader — Obama took action on two important issues that dramatized the power of the presidency.

One was about getting Congress to act; the other about preventing World War III.

But first, a few words about Obama’s political fortunes: With reports surfacing about great improvements in the Healthcare.gov website’s performance, what many have described as the nadir of Obama’s presidency may prove a short-term phenomenon.

Stone partisans aside, Americans want their presidents to succeed. With strong majorities saying they continue to like Obama personally, and to believe that he cares about people like them, he retains a reservoir of good will to sustain him until the positive effects of the Affordable Care Act become clearer.

However, if people doubt that Obama has the wherewithal to manage the gigantic enterprise that is the federal government, well, no wonder. Like many intellectuals and nearly all writers — his Dreams from My Father is a real book, not a ghostwritten campaign bio — Obama confuses saying something with doing something. He also has a terrible time admitting error — another occupational trait, I assure you.

His failure to make sure that somebody with real-world management skills supervised the Healthcare.gov rollout is the most incomprehensible blunder of his presidency. Had the site run properly, Obama’s ballyhooed “lie” about people keeping their insurance coverage — more of an opportunistic campaign exaggeration, actually — wouldn’t have caused a great ruckus, because most people whose insurance companies dumped them would have been mollified to learn that they’re getting a better deal.

People took Obama’s falsehood personally, unlike, say, George W. Bush’s deceptive assurances that he’d received “no warning” about 9/11 or his phony certitude about Saddam Hussein’s imaginary WMDs. That’s because nothing touches them more directly than health insurance. (Although talking about botched White House initiatives, how about the bleeping Iraq War?)

Also because it’s personal, they’re apt to forgive Obama when the law starts working for them. But slowly, one at a time, like the way they forgave Bill Clinton.

Most also see that if Obama has weaknesses, he also has formidable strengths. Agreeing with Senator Harry Reid to do away with Senate rules allowing Republicans to filibuster White House appointees took real political courage. Will Republicans retaliate when they get the chance? Probably. And that would be worse than total congressional paralysis how?

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No One Is Talking About These Obamacare Stories

David Shevlino

Delaware artist David Shevlino will get better health coverage at lower cost next year, thanks to Obamacare. Why aren’t we hearing more about him? (David Shevlino / November 25, 2013)

Los Angeles Times

The Obamacare success stories you haven’t been hearing about

Last summer Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, a married gay couple in San Diego County, got kicked off their long-term Kaiser health plan, for which they’d been paying more than $1,300 a month. The cause wasn’t the Affordable Care Act, as far as they knew. They’d been living outside Kaiser’s service area, and the health plan had decided to tighten its rules.

That’s when they discovered the chilly hazards of dependence on the individual health insurance market. When they applied for a replacement policy with Anthem Blue Cross of California, Ellen, 59, disclosed that she might have carpal tunnel syndrome. She wasn’t sure–her condition was still being diagnosed by Kaiser when her coverage ended. But the possibility was enough to scare Anthem. “They said, ‘We will not insure you because you have a pre-existing condition,’” Holzman recalls.

But they were lucky, thanks to Obamacare. Through Covered California, the state’s individual insurance marketplace, they’ve found a plan through Sharp Healthcare that will cover them both for a total premium of $142 a month, after a government subsidy based on their income. They’ll have a higher deductible than Kaiser’s but lower co-pays. But their possible savings will be impressive.

More important than that was knowing that they couldn’t be turned down for coverage come Jan. 1. “We felt we didn’t have to panic, or worry,” Holzman says. “If not for the Affordable Care Act, our ability to get insurance would be very limited, if we could get it at all.”

Holzman and Vezina are exactly the type of people Obamacare is designed to help–indeed, rescue from the cold, hard world of individual health insurance of the past. That was a world where even an undiagnosed condition might render you uninsurable. Where your insurance could be canceled after you got sick or had an accident. Where your financial health was at risk as much as your physical well-being.

These are the stories you’re not hearing amid the pumped-up panic over canceled individual policies and premium shocks–many of which stories are certainly true, but the noise being made about them leads people to think they’re more common than they are.

We’ve compiled several alternative examples for this post. They’re anecdotes, sure, just like the anecdotes you’ve been seeing and reading about people learning they’ll be paying more for coverage next year.

Continue reading here…

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Jon Stewart: Obama ‘Somewhat Dishonest’ About Healthcare But Republicans Are ‘Lying Like Motherf*ckers’

Huffington Post – Comedy

On Tuesday, Jon Stewart tore into the latest issues with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, most notably the fact that President Obama’s promise that if you liked your insurance before, you could keep it wasn’t entirely true. But, as is often the case, there were even bigger liars to fry.

After rolling clips of Obama contradicting himself on the policy, Stewart pointed out, “So, yes, the president was somewhat dishonest about the promise of his healthcare program, but here’s the weird part, his opponents have been lying like motherf*ckers about its effects.”

The rest of the segment focused on politicians and pundits from the right pulling out all the stops to characterize a legitimate problem as one of the worst tragedies the U.S. has ever seen.

Watch the clip above and let us know if you agree with Jon Stewart’s take.

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November 6, 2013 · 7:14 PM

Special Investigation: How Insurers Are Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Customers

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TPM DC

Donna received the letter canceling her insurance plan on Sept. 16. Her insurance company, LifeWise of Washington, told her that they’d identified a new plan for her. If she did nothing, she’d be covered.

A 56-year-old Seattle resident with a 57-year-old husband and 15-year-old daughter, Donna had been looking forward to the savings that the Affordable Care Act had to offer.

But that’s not what she found. Instead, she’d be paying an additional $300 a month for coverage. The letter made no mention of the health insurance marketplace that would soon open in Washington, where she could shop for competitive plans, and only an oblique reference to financial help that she might qualify for, if she made the effort to call and find out.

Otherwise, she’d be automatically rolled over to a new plan — and, as the letter said, “If you’re happy with this plan, do nothing.”

If Donna had done nothing, she would have ended up spending about $1,000 more a month for insurance than she will now that she went to the marketplace, picked the best plan for her family and accessed tax credits at the heart of the health care reform law.

“The info that we were sent by LifeWise was totally bogus. Why the heck did they try to screw us?” Donna said. “People who are afraid of the ACA should be much more afraid of the insurance companies who will exploit their fear and end up overcharging them.”

Donna is not alone.

Across the country, insurance companies have sent misleading letters to consumers, trying to lock them into the companies’ own, sometimes more expensive health insurance plans rather than let them shop for insurance and tax credits on the Obamacare marketplaces — which could lead to people like Donna spending thousands more for insurance than the law intended. In some cases, mentions of the marketplace in those letters are relegated to a mere footnote, which can be easily overlooked.

The extreme lengths to which some insurance companies are going to hold on to existing customers at higher price, as the Affordable Care Act fundamentally re-orders the individual insurance market, has caught the attention of state insurance regulators.

The insurance companies argue that it’s simply capitalism at work. But regulators don’t see it that way. By warning customers that their health insurance plans are being canceled as a result of Obamacare and urging them to secure new insurance plans before the Obamacare launched on Oct. 1, these insurers put their customers at risk of enrolling in plans that were not as good or as affordable as what they could buy on the marketplaces.

TPM has confirmed two specific examples where companies contacted their customers prior to the marketplace’s Oct. 1 opening and pushed them to renew their health coverage at a higher price than they would pay through the marketplace. State regulators identified the schemes, but they weren’t necessarily able to stop them.

It’s not yet clear how widespread this practice became in the months leading up to the marketplace’s opening — or how many Americans will end up paying more than they should be for health coverage. But misleading letters have been sent out in at least four states across the country, and one offending carrier, Humana, is a company with a national reach.

“If you’re an insurance company, you’re trying to hang onto the consumers you have at the highest price you can get them,” Laura Etherton, a health policy analyst at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told TPM. “You can take advantage of the confusion about what people get to have now. It’s a new world. It’s disappointing that insurance companies are sending confusing letters to consumers to take advantage of that confusion. The reality is that this could do real harm.”

Continued here…

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, Health Industry Malice

Republicans are Outraged

Daily Kos

Republicans are Outraged – that Americans are getting Affordable Health Care.

Republicans are Outraged – that Americans are NOT getting Affordable Health Care, fast enough.
Republicans are Outraged – that Americans have to pay Taxes.

Republicans are Outraged – that America’s Debt is NOT being paid down, fast enough.

Republicans are Outraged – that the Voter’s Right Act used to make them let everyone Vote.

Republicans are Outraged – that in Texas, North Carolina, and Virgina, there are way too many Women, Students, and poor people voting.

Republicans are Outraged – that so many Americans want to Vote.

Republicans are Outraged – that even with all their Gerrymandered Districts, they still lose Elections.

Republicans are Outraged – that so many Americans do NOT hate Government like they do.

Republicans are Outraged – that so many Americans just want a Government that works –because as recent history shows, that’s just NOT what they DO!
… Provide us a Government that works?  Hah!

Because in their world-view, THAT would be simply Outrageous!

H/t: DB

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‘WE DID NOT WAGE THIS BATTLE JUST AROUND A WEBSITE’

The Huffington Post

By the Associated Press

Obama Speaks On Health Care Law Rollout Problems

President Barack Obama is acknowledging his health care law’s rollout “hasn’t worked as smoothly as it’s supposed to work.”

Obama is encouraging Americans who want to sign up for insurance under new government exchanges to keep trying. He spoke from the White House’s Rose Garden.

The remarks came at Obama’s first health care event since widespread problems with sign-ups online became apparent.

He blamed problems in part to an overwhelming response. He says the program doesn’t depend on website and there are other ways to sign up.

 

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama