Sunday, August 19, 2012

Obamacare Must be Repealed! Why? Part 2

Rev. Al Sharpton Interviews Sen. Tom Harkin on Women's Preventive Care

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." -Mark Twain

August 1, 2012
Today marks an important milestone for women throughout the country. Beginning Aug. 1, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, making preventive care more accessible and affordable for 47 million women. From this point forward, women enrolled in new or renewed insurance plans will be able to access a wide range of preventive health services without co-pays or additional out-of-pocket costs. No longer will women be compelled to forego or delay needed preventive care due to economic hard times.
The new package of health benefits for women includes access to contraceptive services. Contraception is a basic part of women's health care, and nearly all women use a form of birth control at some point in their lives. On average, a woman uses birth control for 30 years of her life at an average cost of $50 per month. As reported by the Guttmacher Institute, women who use contraceptives consistently and correctly account for only five percent of all unintended pregnancies each year. The bottom line is that contraception makes for healthier women, healthier mothers and healthier babies, and it reduces health care costs overall.
These guidelines also require insurers to cover mammograms, pap tests and other critical preventive services. Breast and cervical cancer are leading causes of death among women, and early detection is key. According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and when it is detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. That's why it's so important that the Affordable Care Act gives women access to an annual health exam without any co-pays.
Other preventive services include screening for gestational diabetes; domestic violence screening and counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; HPV testing; screening for sexually transmitted infections and counseling for sexually-active women; and HIV screening and counseling. And beginning in 2014, women can no longer be charged more than men for the same health plans and can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
As we celebrate today, we know there is much work to do. Extremists in Congress are bent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and Mitt Romney has pledged to do just that if he is elected president. NOW will work to defeat these politicians and to ensure that all the women of this country have access to affordable health care.
-NOW President Terry O'Neill

   Our health care system was broken despite the dunderheaded Republican mantra that repeats the falsehood that ours is the best system in the world.
   It certainly was... if you happened to be a health insurance company.
   We discussed this three years ago:
   And before President Obama put into place the "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," affectionally coined by Republicans "Obamacare," said Republicans in the form of the Bush Administration, had eight years to reform the broken health care system and did... precisely nothing. Before that President Clinton attempted health care reform, but the Republicans shot his efforts down, just like they tried to do to Obama. Mitt Romney says he will reform health care with the Republican stance of "Repeal and Replace" (and lately since they can't come up with anything to replace Obamacare with, just Repeal) by (according to the clip on Part 1 of this post); 1: letting those 20 million keep their insurance, 2: Those people with preexisting conditions must know that they will be able to be insured, 3. help each state make sure that every American will have access to affordable health care, 4: Lower the cost of health care and health insurance.
   Well, we know Mittens all too well now. As much as we would just love to take his word for everything he's proven too many times in the past to be a chronic liar (which is why the controversy over releasing his income tax records still exists. "Trust me," isn't going to make it, and may cost him the election. Hell, I wouldn't even buy a used car from this guy let alone vote for him for president).
   As we began in Part 1 let's continue to do what the Romney campaign hopes no one does and deconstruct his argument one piece at a time (besides political fact check organizations and Cenk Uygur, the Phil Swift  of the progressive movement (by the way, I hear flex seal sucks), and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow (the Carl Sagan of the Left), you won't get this information anywhere else, certainly not on NBC, ABC, CBS, and other cable and media outlets. They are not in the reporting business anymore. They are in the moderator, or being neutral business.
   And they're owned by huge conglomerates.
   All this information is easily verifiable on the Internet Machine if one bothers to use it.
   Too many don't use it
   Okay, Repeal and Replace. As we've already noted Romney can't simply repeal a standing law on his first day in office if he were to win the presidency. Only Congress can do that and if the Democrats retain the Senate, or gain the House, or both, Obamacare will not be repealed. I'm sure there are ways Romney could sabotage the law, but he can't repeal it. That's a lie designed to get his base all excited, who don't understand what Obamacare actually does, and to vote against their own best interests.  
   As Mark Twain noted a few years ago it's almost impossible to explain this to the conservative base, and has a direct correlation to the Sunk-Cost Effect we also discussed three years ago:
   So on to Replace. Romney's first point is to let the 20 million who will lose their health insurance due to Obamacare keep it. Well that's innovative. Where does he get this 20 million number? He gets it from a March 2012 study by the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan  accounting arm of Congress. What Mitt doesn't mention is that the 20 million figure is the CBO's extreme upper estimate of the number of non-elderly people whose health insurance might be dropped by their own employers. The CBO's best guess was between 3 to 5 million, which is indeed a large number (and who could continue coverage by other means, mainly buying it directly. Many will want to pursue better plans not offered by their employers), but only a fraction of what Romney advances as an incontrovertible fact.  
   Romney also ignores 9 million people who wouldn’t have had an employer plan before the enactment of Obamacare, but who will get employer coverage perhaps due to the law’s mix of subsidies and penalties for employers.  
   It certainly would not further Mr. Romney's position to mention that the CBO also projects that due to The Affordable Health Care Act the number of uninsured Americans, overall, will drop by 29 to 31 million.
   Is this a lie on Mitt's part? Yes, yes it is, if his intent was to mislead which seems to be the case.
   2: Those people with preexisting conditions must know that they will be able to be insured. That's exactly what Obamacare provides! Under The Affordable Health Care Act people with preexisting medical conditions cannot be denied coverage after 2014 when the law fully takes effect. So what's Mitt's point here exactly?
   No, I'm really asking, because I certainly can't figure it out. Please tell me.
   3. Help each state make sure that every American will have access to affordable health care. Really? Here Mittens admits he wants to drop the federal ball and make health care a state issue, which in effect means the U.S. government would have no role in the health care crisis, thereby letting fifty individual state entities take over, who would be under no obligation whatsoever to provide that service, if they were so inclined, and who are at the mercy of state budgetary issues which have only gotten worse under lessened federal spending due to the Republican Great Recession of 2007/2008 and Obama's woosie stimulus which should have been two to three times larger than what it was (700 billion, and which Romney's VP pick, Rep. Paul Ryan voted for, requesting stimulus funds for his own district, and has since derided after Obama took office, along with denying he ever requested stimulus funds. Romney and Ryan = matching liars). If Obama would have stood up to the Republicans then the economy would be much better off than it is now and he wouldn't have any problems getting reelected.
   Except for the fact that's he's black and this country is mired in ignorant racism.
   What's next? 4: Lower the cost of health care and health insurance.
   That's exactly why Clinton and Obama have made attempts to reform health care! But who's been at the forefront at the attempts to stymie these efforts? The very same Republican Party that is nominating Mitt Romney and who has no interest whatsoever in lowering health care or health care insurance costs because that detracts from the profitability of those interests, and that's the Republican's major concern; profitability over people, such as in this example:
   Now of course President Obama has been called out by fact check organizations as well, to have bolstered his own side of the issue. But generally the degree of disparity between the two campaigns is enormous, with Romney being called out time and again for "just making stuff up."
   What else does Mitt/Republicans say about Obamacare? We've already discussed their claim that Obamacare represents the greatest tax increase in the history of the entire universe. That's a lie. 
   He says it will cut medicare by half a trillion dollars, or almost exactly 500 billion. Today he's saying 716 billion. So is his little attack dog  Paul "Privatize Social Security" Ryan. And they are just appalled! They're even outraged! Romney's surrogates flatly claim the President has stolen this money, calling him a thief.
   Hey, guess what? That's a lie.
   They say Obama is going to use that money to pay for Obamacare. Even if that were true at least The affordable Health Care Act is one law that is paid for, which of course further outrages the Republicans who aren't used to paying for anything.
   What they don't tell you is this: the 716 billion will not effect services to medicare beneficiaries, but will cut costs of waste and fraud from providers and slow the growth of the program over a decade. Oh yeah, they also won't tell you that Republican heath care proposals also cut medicare by a similar amount, but it's okay for Republicans to do it, because they don’t want the money to underwrite Obamacare, but want to use it for deficit reduction or other spending instead. In other words they would do whatever they wanted with it, like give more tax breaks to the wealthy, and increase defense spending for political reasons, not because the military needs or wants it (Ryan, disingenuously brought his mom out on the campaign trail Saturday at a wealthy Republican retirement enclave in Florida, and asked how many people there were over 55 years old, as most of them were. Ryan assured these individuals that Republican plans for medicare would not affect them, as they were over 55. As Chris Hayes on MSNBC's "Up," program pointed out yesterday morning, what Ryan was promising was we're not going to screw you, just your kids and grandkids).
   Adds trillions to the deficit and national debt Romney claims. Actually the CBO estimated that the law would reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period.
   Ooops! How did that happen?! Must have overlooked something in your arithmetic there Mittens, like  major cost-cutting provisions including cuts in the future growth of Medicare and increased payroll taxes and investment-income taxes on higher-income earners.
   And it wouldn't be Republican without It's a job killer! Everything the Republicans don't like seems to be a job killer, because the Republicans are so concerned with the economy and all, like they were when Bush was president, who subsequently ran it into the ground!
   The Republicans even tried to pass the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," early last year to make their position crystal, 100 percent clear.
   Romney says 3/4 of small businesses surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare will make it less likely for them to hire.
   Is that right? The same Chamber of Commerce which opposes the health care law, has lobbied against it, and has run numerous television ads attacking it, which of course makes them a non-partisan, neutral entity with no vested interest in the outcome of any survey it might happen to make. It reported that 73 percent of companies with fewer than 500 employees and revenues of less than $25 million said the health care law is "an obstacle to growing their business and hiring more employees."
   However, despite it's own tendency toward result bias, the chamber stated "This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated." In other words, the chamber can’t be sure it’s a representative sample of small-business executives.
   But Romney used it anyway.
   And lastly and according to Mitt, the most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.
   Rather than the insurance companies that stood between you and your doctor before Obamacare.
   Here's a few common folks comments concerning this particular issue:
   "He [Romney] also talks about The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act like it puts gov't between you and your doctor... Call me crazy, but I don't particularly enjoy having greedy, profit focused (as opposed to care focused) Insurance Companies between me and my doctor, as someone with "pre-existing conditions".
   "I'd much rather have the non-profit government decide who gets what care than the for-profit insurance companies to make the decision, the way it is done now! Just think a second about the economic incentives involved - the less care an insurance company provides, the more profit they make."
   Exactly. I've made that very point before.
   Unfortunately, Obamacare will not get the chance to stand between you and your doctor because Obama woosied out and did not include a single payer option, or universal coverage, such as  medicare for everyone, in it.
   While Medicaid will be expanded to more people, most Americans will continue to get their insurance through a private carrier.
   So, I'm still waiting for that answer from my conservative Facebook friends. Why? Why must Obamacare be repealed?
   I'll be waiting... sitting in front of my computer tuned onto my Facebook page, staring at it with a listless and expectant expression on my ruggedly handsome face, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, for hours and hours, hoping that they will get back to me.
   I'll continue to be patient.

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