Posts Tagged ‘health care’

The activists pushing the latest Tea Party cause can’t explain how their effort to stop health-care reform could ever possibly succeed. Will they shut down the government?

The Tea Party has a new obsession: killing Obamacare by stripping the funding needed to implement the law. Thirteen Republican senators have signed on to the effort, which would likely lead to a government shutdown, since Democrats and President Obama are unlikely to agree to gut the president’s signature domestic achievement.

Sen-Ted-Cruz-Dallas-Defund-Obamacare-Town-hallMany Republicans are deeply skeptical of the idea, fearing it is yet another suicide mission by the far right that will hurt the party politically. Republican Senator Richard Burr, for example, called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” The Beltway conventional wisdom is that this idea is doomed to fail.

But activist groups say their members are passionate about the idea, and they plan to keep the heat on politicians to join the fight. The groups include Heritage Action, which is spending $550,000 on online ads in Republican districts and holding rallies in nine cities; an event in Dallas featuring Senator Ted Cruz drew 1,000 attendees on Tuesday. The Senate Conservatives Fund isairing radio ads against three non-supportive Republican senators, including Burr. Meanwhile, two more national grassroots organizations, the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica, are teaming up on their own six-state tour and online ad campaign, which involves calling eight Republican senators “chickens” for refusing to support defunding.

For the rest of the article, click HERE

 

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As the provisions of the Affordable Care Act — referred to as Obamacare for short — begin to come online, congressional Republicans have continued to obsess over repealing the law altogether.

The New York Times looked into the numbers on Wednesday and concluded that House Republicans have spent a whopping 15 percent of their time trying to repeal all or parts of the new health care law:

The repeal vote, which is likely to occur Thursday, will be at least the 43rd day since Republicans took over the House that they have devoted time to voting on the issue.

To put that in perspective, they have held votes on only 281 days since taking power in January 2011. (The House and Senate have pretty light legislative loads these days, typically voting only three or four days a week.)

Republicans don’t seem to have any regret over the fact that repealing Obamacare has taken precedence over other issues, like jobs.

“It’s something that we wanted to move up on the list of priorities,” said Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) to the New York Times. “And I’m glad they listened to us.”

 

– See more at: http://thecontributor.com/house-republicans-have-spent-15-percent-their-time-trying-repeal-obamacare#sthash.wJyP1BsJ.dpuf

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Turns out a lot of Republicans love Obamacare, reports Daniel Gross. Or at least, they like coverage for their kids, health-care rebates and a ban on denying coverage for preexisting conditions.

gop_plan512The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is starting to take effect. And here’s a shocker. While the overall legislation is wildly unpopular among Republicans—90 percent disapproved, according to a June poll—individual components seem to be catching on like wildfire among the GOP crowd.

Take, for example, the requirement that insurers continue policies to children whose parents have coverage until they turn 26. The Commonwealth Fund last week released an interesting study (PDF) of young people and Obamacare. It found that between 2011 and 2013, the number of people aged 19 to 25 who had been on a parent’s health insurance plan in the previous year rose from 13.7 million to 15 million. “Of the 15 million young adults on a parent’s plan, an estimated 7.8 million likely would not have been eligible to enroll in that plan prior to the Affordable Care Act,” the Commonwealth Fund reported. The report also found that Republicans were more into this provision of the ACA than Democrats. In March 2013, 73 percent of young Republicans surveyed had heard of the provision, compared with 63 percent of Democratic youths. Maybe it’s because they were more likely to be benefitting from the expansion. “In March 2013, 63 percent of Republican young adults had enrolled in a parents’ policy, compared with 45 percent of Democrats,” the report said.

That’s a pretty significant difference. What accounts for it? It could be that young Republicans are less likely to leave the nest and get their own jobs with benefits than young Democrats. Or it could be that Republicans simply love their kids more. But it is more likely that Republicans, being generally better off than Democrats, are more likely to have solid employer-based health insurance in the first place. The kids of well-off people don’t typically enter the workforce or the military at the age of 18. They go to college, then take a gap year, or go to graduate school, or try to get in on the ground floor of professions like media, entertainment, politics, and finance by taking a series of internships, or part-time jobs, or volunteer jobs, none of which may come with insurance. And so the (likely) Republican parents of Republican youths aren’t making their kids take out health savings plans or buy crappy high-deductible plans, or simply fend for themselves—as most Republican politicians think everybody else’s kids should do. Thanks to Obamacare, the grown-ups are putting their kids on their insurance plans.

In the old days, they used to say that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. When it comes to health insurance, it seems a liberal is a conservative who has been mugged by an illness.

Rebates are a second, apparently non-objectionable component of Obamacare that has already kicked in. The ACA set standards for the insurance industry, stipulating that firms must spend a certain amount (80 percent) of the premiums they collect on patient care. Under Obamacare, insurers that choose to spend more money on administration, or marketing, or salaries, or dividends have to send rebates to customers. This summer, the first rebates were sent out, some $500 million to 8 million Americans. Now, these rebates are likely to have been shipped disproportionately to Republican households—those with high-end, employee-subsidized coverage. But I haven’t been able to turn up any examples of people refusing thechecks, or sending them back, or burning them—an act FreedomWorks is suggesting people do to their fictional “Obamacare cards.”  Republicans, like Democrats, enjoy receiving checks in the mail.

Then there’s the case of pre-existing conditions—another aspect of Obamacare that is popular among some Republicans. In the old days, they used to say that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. When it comes to health insurance, it seems a liberal is a conservative who has been mugged by an illness. After having a devastating stroke in 2012, Sen. Mark Kirk had an epiphany about the inadequacy of rehabilitation services for poor people. “My concern is what happens if you have a stroke and you’re not in the U.S. Senate, and you have no insurance and no income,” he told National Journal. “That’s the question I have been asking, and the reality is that if you’re on Illinois Medicaid and are a stroke survivor, you will get just five visits to the rehab specialist.”

The same holds for the pre-existing condition ban. Clint Murphy, a former political operative, McCain campaign staffer, and cancer survivor turned Georgia real estate agent, recently wrote of his conversion on Obamacare. Although he had long since been cancer free, Murphy still wasn’t able to get insurance as a self-employed person. “I have sleep apnea. They treated sleep apnea as a pre-existing condition. I’m going right now with no insurance,” he said. Murphy said he can’t wait for the exchanges to bet set up in Georgia, so that he’ll be able to purchase insurance without being denied for a pre-existing condition. And even as they cavil about ripping up Obamacare, and hence the ban on pre-existing conditions, it is common to hear some Republicans speak kindly of the ban.

This is a dynamic we’ve seen over and over again in the past 80 years. Republicans shriek, cry socialism, and offer full resistance to any effort to expand social insurance. Then, after a certain amount of time passes and social insurance measures become popular and effective, they stand foursquare behind them and demand they be protected. Every single stinking component of FDR’s New Deal was a disaster, but don’t you dare touch Social Security! Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program was a debacle, but keep the government out of Medicare! Obamacare must be torn up root and branch, just don’t kick junior off my insurance plan!

It almost seems as if much of the political toxin could be removed from the debate if Republicans could somehow be kept ignorant about the party affiliation of the president who first proposed the plan.

To this point, there was a great anecdote in a recent Washington Post article about efforts to pitch state-level exchange programs at the Kentucky State Fair:

A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare. The man is impressed. “This beats Obamacare I hope,” he mutters to one of the workers.

The person running the booth didn’t have the heart to tell the guy that the program he seems to like is Obamacare.

Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/28/why-rebublicans-are-starting-to-love-health-reform.html

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images-154The Republicans are in control of the House, and you may wonder how they’re spending their time. God knows they aren’t doing much to help the country, since their stated and constantly demonstrated goal is to spend their energies blocking everything Obama wants to do, including the things they used to want, until Obama wanted those exact same things! So, how do they spend their time? Here’s how: Symbolically “Repealing” Obamacare 37 times!

So who are these representatives actually representing? You’ll recall that they screwed their constituents by killing background checks for gun purchases, which 93% of their constituents wanted. They voted against the Violence Against Women Act. They’re voting to cut food stamps, they’ve cut early childhood education, 6a00d8341c90b153ef01761666353f970c-500withey’re choosing “austerity” over jobs…and more. So, again, who are they actually representing, specifically in these 37 votes to repeal Obamacare? What are the facts about what Americans really think about health care reform? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pick up a newspaper and find out the results of a survey on this very question?

Well, last week CNN published the results of a really big survey on this very thing – and the results?

According to CNN:

A majority of Americans still oppose the nation’s new health care measure!
54% of respondents oppose the new laws, and 43% support them!

So, clearly, most Americans hate Obamacare. Maybe these Republicans in the House are actually representing the people in these 37 symbolic votes!

But wait…what if you actually read the CNN story, and not just the headline?

Oops. Here’s the real truth: The 54% of Americans who oppose Obamacare includes the 16% of Americans who don’t think the law went far enough and who want a more liberal policy!

Look at this chart: The blue represent the majority of Americans who flat out support the law, the red is the minority who oppose it because they think it’s too liberal, and the aqua are the people who want a more liberal policy.

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The headlines are wrong…the actual results tell a very different story. The majority of us like it and/or want more! In fact, around 59% of American’s either support the act or want it to go further!

But how is the conservative media reporting these findings? Check out this article from FOX “News.”

Confirming the results of recent Rasmussen and Fox News polls, showing that the majority of Americans are still opposed to the Democrats’ healthcare law commonly referred to as Obamacare, as well as a majority wanting it repealed, a newly released CNN/ORC International poll also finds that a majority, 54 percent, are still opposed to Obamacare, over three years after it was signed into law.

Obamacare-Surprise-PartyGood job, FOX “news!” Keep up the “fair and balanced” reporting. AND good job, House Republicans! You’re staying true to form. Keep up the good work of representing the fringe elements while doing whatever you can to screw the rest of us.

I’ve heard from so many former Republicans who, like the author of this article, feel that their party has left them.  Thanks to my friend Bill Rogers for bringing this article to our attention.  Although I don’t share the same experiences as this writer, I too feel that I had to leave the Grand Ol’ Party – or rather that it left me.  (I voted for Reagan!)

images-117When I began writing this I was overwhelmed with the desire to hit something…or vomit. Over the coming weeks that desire has lessened to a slow simmer of absolute disgust and dismay at what has become of the party that I used to love and support. I was once a Republican living in a red state. Today I’m a registered Democrat living in a blue state. This is my story and why I left the Republican Party.

It all started in 2007. I was a 27 year-old divorced woman with no children. I was a survivor of severe domestic abuse. I was single with no money, no home and no plan other than to try and be something more than what I was. I had a car, my clothes and hope.

After moving to a new state with the help of friends, I found a very cheap apartment in a part of town that I still cringe over. My 2 jobs at minimum wage didn’t bring home enough for luxuries like choosing where to live and what to eat. There were days that I had to decide whether I was going to put gas in my car so I could get to work or eat. I always chose work. At least at one of my jobs I would get breakfast and lunch 2 days a week. I could make a $3.99 pizza with 8 slices last for 7 days. I could eat on a can of beans and a pack of crackers for even longer.

I applied to the local university in my town and went back to school while images-116maintaining my two jobs. I took between 15-18 credit hours each semester while working. All of this was possible because of government loans and scholarships.

I went to counseling 2 times a week to work through my PTSD that was caused by the domestic violence I experienced. The church that the counselor worked out of paid for my appointments because I was too poor to pay for them and my counselor said I wouldn’t improve mentally without them.

The biggest fear during this time was that I might get physically sick and need to go to the doctor. When you’re poor, healthcare is something that you dream about. It’s something that you pray you won’t need. It’s the anxiety of “what if” that keeps you awake at night. I went to work sick. I took finals while running a 104 fever. I ruptured 3 discs in my back and couldn’t walk for a week. I wasn’t able to get it treated for 3 years. I lost one of my jobs. I found another minimum wage job. It didn’t offer health insurance.

incredible-shrinking-republican-partyBasic healthcare is not a luxury. It is not just for those that “deserve” it. In the country of abundance that we live in, healthcare should be affordable for every citizen. It’s reprehensible that I can buy a DVD player for less than what it would cost me to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic. Here in the United States we have some of the best medical technology and doctors in the world. Why do we think that only a few of our citizens should be entitled access to them? Why didn’t my Republican party see that? I was left with no answers.

The day I went to sign up for food stamps opened my eyes and changed everything. I had grown up in an upper middle class family. We were traditional, conservative and religious.

I need to break here for a moment and ask that as you read the “religious” part; that you would not confuse it with faith. These are 2 vastly different concepts. What some hold as religion is not the God of the Bible.

My family believed one pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps and never asked for help. It was a family that held firm to a Republican ideology that those on food stamps or “government handouts” were poor, uneducated and lazy individuals that just wanted to stay home and watch tv. These types of people were of the lowest kind. They were to be distrusted and almost hated. However, as I sat in the overcrowded room I looked around and saw people from all walks of life. You could see the desperation on their faces and the worry in every word. “I need help now. What do I do? Please help me.” There was something else that was there too…something so tangible it was overwhelming. It was shame. That oppressive shame of having to say, “I can’t do this on my own.”

I left in tears never returning. My Republican roots and their mantra echoing in my ears…”Lazy, poor, ignorant….Shame!” I told myself I would rather starve.

Throughout this time I had been listening to the candidates’ speeches in preparation for the 2008 election. I came from a very politically active family and there hasn’t been a single election that I haven’t known about and had an “opinion” on (even if it was only given to me by my parents) since I was 8 years-old and my father ran for his first public office as a Republican.

397087_10150519003533521_591238520_8690956_86137725_n_thumb[1]This election was different though. Not just because we potentially had our first African-American candidate, but because we had a candidate that spoke to the people about the everyday issues. We for once had a candidate who said not everyone can pull themselves up without a hand reaching out. I heard words of the civil obligation we have to each other, words of encouragement and of hope.

I went back and listened to every speech I could find that Senator Obama had made. I listened with new ears and a new heart. I was no longer the girl that had lived “easy”. I knew what hard was and I wanted a candidate that did too. I reevaluated what my own personal political beliefs were and I knew that I could no longer support the Republican platform.

In 2008 I watched as President Obama was elected. I clapped and shouted with fellow democrats at the headquarters’ watch party. It was my first election that I ever voted Democrat in. Everything had changed.

In 2009 I graduated from college with a degree in Political Science and History. I was able to get a better paying job and move into a slightly nicer part of town.

My feelings toward the Republican Party have not changed. They really are no longer Republicans. There are some moderates left, but the narrow, fear mongering voice of the party that has taken over drowns out all of those that speak truth. They have traded in a Christian belief of loving your neighbor for one that champions big business, the wealthy, and those that have no idea what struggle looks like.

Over the past few months alone we have seen how far gone the Republicans really are. 160 voted against The Violence Against Women’s Act. My party that I once loved deserted me. Not just as a woman, but as a citizen of this country. We even have a Republican, New Hampshire state Rep. Mark Warden saying “Some people like abusive relationships.” My response to him;

“I can answer truthfully that no, I didn’t like having my jaw broken or the bones in my face shattered. I didn’t like being dragged by my hair or strangled. I didn’t like the bruises, busted lips or black eyes. I didn’t like the mental and physical scars it left me with. And that’s why I left with nothing. I didn’t like having to choose between my life and my livelihood, even when your party makes it so hard for women to be on their own. I did. Now, can you please walk in my shoes for a while? My feet are awfully tired.”

When it comes to food stamps I have seen many of my Republican friends say how it’s so great that we have drug tests for food stamps and yet they’ve never given out food to the homeless or the poor. And they don’t care that the testing will cost Florida millions of dollars and thus far has only saved them $60,000. 98% of those tested have passed. It’s still the idea that everyone that needs help must be lazy and on drugs. Another lie that the Republicans would have us believe. I’m sure that there are some that fall into that category, but not all. Just like I know that not all Republicans are right-wing, gun-toting, women hating nut jobs…just some of them are.

There’s another issue that I’ve decided to add in here. I debated long and hard on it, but it needs to be talked about. It’s the issue of guns. On September 4, 1962 my grandmother was shot and killed with a .45 caliber automatic pistol. It was a gun that was obtained legally from our own US government actually. Because of this I have very strong views on gun control. Yes, I had them even as a Republican. I just kept them to myself back then. I don’t care what nationality, race, religion or party affiliation you are. When you believe that your right to own a gun is greater than another human being’s right to live, you have serious problems. I am at a loss for words as to how the very same people who wear the name of Christian are also the loudest opponents of gun control. “Jesus loves you, but please don’t take this deadly weapon from me.”

My grandmother was a model and an artist. She left behind 3 small children. One of them was my mother. How different her life would have been if our country had strong gun control laws.

People love to ask me, “How could you ever be a Democrat?” My response is always the same; “Because I know what it’s like to not be a corporation that has the ear of a well-connected Senator. I know what it feels like to not have a lobbyist organization to speak for me. I know what it’s like to be a second class citizen in a country that claims to protect the weak. I have been the woman in need of food stamps, the woman that the Violence Against Women’s Act protects. Obamacare was written for me and the millions of others just like me. I went to school on government ‘handouts.’ I want to live in a nation that values life above the cost of a bullet.“

My friends, I didn’t leave the Republican Party. They abandoned me years ago.