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Affordable Care Act and Republican Objections

Observations on the Supreme Court Decision and subsequent arguments from the GOP.

As I hear and read the rants coming from the Republicans about the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, I’m amused by much of their so-called argument. First, they scream that government should not be able to make anyone buy something they don’t want.  What’s amusing about this argument is that they are perfectly content with requiring hospitals, nurses, doctors, and other health professionals to provide care to these very people who refuse to buy insurance. Why is it, according to them, truly unconstitutional to require someone to buy health insurance, but perfectly constitutional to require professionals to provide their services for free? Interestingly, the Republicans carefully dodge this question.

Second, they talk about how much this program will cost. From what I’ve read, it will cost about 1/3 what the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires cost. And as we approach the election, how to pay for the Affordable Care Act is clearly spelled out, while the Republicans have not offered any explanation for how to pay for the tax cuts.  It’s interesting, though, how they always manage to find the money when the rich benefit, but have major problems when the rest of us do.

Third, Justice Thomas did not recuse himself from considering this Act even though he has profited from fighting it all along and stood to profit even more if it had been defeated. If you recall, Justice Kagan recused herself from considering the Arizona immigration law because of her previous positions on the issue.  It was disappointing, but not surprising, that Justice Thomas did not have enough integrity to do the same thing. Fortunately, Justice Roberts, unlike most of the other justices, based his decision on the law, not political ideology.

Going forward, the Republicans have pledged to do all they can to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. So as you consider the upcoming election, look at what you stand to lose: exemption from preexisting conditions, children allowed to remain on parents’ health insurance until age 26, funds to help offset the costs of the donut hole in Medicare for senior citizens, free essential health screenings, and more. These will disappear if the Republicans have their way.  Their win would seriously damage millions of Americans who are now receiving coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Learn the facts about this ACT, commonly called “Obamacare.”  Read about it and learn the truth. Then make your decision about the upcoming election.

Chuck Teeter

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David May July 06, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Mr. Check's comments pretty much summarize what's wrong with our political discourse right now... and in fact is a better explanation of why "this country is eroding as it is." There can no longer be a civil dialog. I take it from his tone that he's parked on the far right side of the political spectrum. And if you don't agree with him, you should be banned. You should shut up and go away. I don't think that is going to happen Mike. We won't be bullied. Another sad commentary about "modern conservatism" is that there is just no way somebody like Ronald Reagan would get elected in this environment. He would be too "liberal" today. He was too willing to talk to the other side and actually compromise for the good of the country. Gasp! -- he even raised taxes. Rush Limbaugh would be proud of what you say Mike, but not the Gipper.
Rich Harrington July 06, 2012 at 07:24 PM
I've been reading about the Swiss form of national health care. It is that everyone (mandated) must buy a minimum form of health care from a private insurer. It appears to be have the coverage determined as the best to keep everyone basically healthy. You can then buy additional insurance to increase the coverage and get better care (such as in Switzerland, a semi-private room vs a ward). Since there is competition among the insurers for both the basic and additional insurance, this should keep the costs down. I agree with Mr. May above. There is no need for name-calling or characterizing of a political party. This gets us no where.
Olddeegee July 06, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I know a paid Koch brothers comment when I see one!
ron kurowski July 06, 2012 at 09:05 PM
David, your comments are right on target, and I give you credit for being so restrained in your remarks. ... "progressives should be banned from posting on this site". My God! What next? Ban progressives from voting or running for office simply because you don't like what they say or stand for? Why are people like Mr. Check so afraid of a real dialog on an important issue like national health care? Are they simply afraid of having to confront facts and the truth. If they had facts on their side they wouldn't have to resort to name calling and ignorant comments.
Truth July 06, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Rich, this analogy can't work with Sweden, the population is the size of Chicago, the U.S. is 300 million.
Olddeegee July 07, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Allowing anybody in our country to suffer from illness is wrong. Worrying that taking care of our population will bankrupt us is the pursuit of those that are already morally bankrupt. Our system is, and for a long time has been, broken.
Olddeegee July 07, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Yes, but it's worth the study to see what programs may work for our population. Our government was formed the same way. Our country used an a la carte method to create our Constitution, we're not modeled after any single system. It can help us to correctly build the model that will work best for us.
Plainfield Mom July 08, 2012 at 04:21 PM
THANKS TO OBAMACARE - THE IRS WILL BE ADDING 16,500 NEW AUDITORS, AGENTS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES TO "INVESTIGATE AND COLLECT BILLIONS IN NEW TAXES FROM AMERICANS." This tax will add to the $500 billion in tax increases that are already in Obamacare. Now that Congress can use the taxation power of the federal government to compel behavior or lack thereof, what’s next? More taxes if we don’t drive Toyota Priuses or if we eat too much junk food or maybe even pea soup? This decision has made America less free. ‘We The People’ have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo – the I.R.S. Even more disheartening is that reviving the American dream just became nearly impossible to do. We are now a nation in which supports dependency rather than independence. Instead of encouraging self-reliance we are encouraging people to rely on the government.
Tim July 08, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Please refrain from copy/pasting the email chain letters your insane relatives and friends send to you. http://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/irs-expansion/ Q: Will the IRS hire 16,500 new agents to enforce the health care law? A: No.
Olddeegee July 08, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I've read several debunkings of this one. Why are Republicans so challenged with the truth?
Barry Allen July 08, 2012 at 07:10 PM
The IRS will probably not be hiring 16,500 more employees (agents or otherwise). It could be more, will probably be less. One of the problems is the landscape for the implementation changes daily. The factcheck.org article Tim referenced was last updated 18 months ago. Since then, of course, we found out that the "penalty" is really a tax (SCOTUS said so). The implementation within the new health care rules will fall to the IRS ... something that has changed in the last couple of weeks. Referring to old "facts" that change daily doesn't help reveal the truth. I believe that the real truth will emerge gradually through 2014 as the current more than 13,000 pages of policy to implement the act continues to grow. Sadly, as time goes on the total cost per person just seems to go up ... no one is announcing that the just found incredible savings buried in the evolving implementation.
Tim July 08, 2012 at 08:22 PM
The fact check of the statement is not valid because it is 'old'. But the original statement itself, which by definition is older than the fact check of itself, is still valid? This is not a logical argument. Please find another one.
Barry Allen July 08, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I didn't say that ... not in the least. My comment was to imply that giving incorrect data as a response what is considered bad information also has a credibility issue. It, too, is just bad information. Given the continuously developing ACA implementation you could have done better. Much better. Like simply pointing out that, until it's implemented, the resources required in the IRS, or any other agency is a quickly moving target. The Annenberg document is, because it's old, nearly as wrong as the original comment. But, I in no way implied that convoluted last sentence "But the original statement itself, which by definition is older than the fact check of itself, is still valid?". My original opening statement reaffirms that.
David May July 08, 2012 at 10:11 PM
The Associated Press has an interesting story on the Internal Revenue Service's preparations for oversight of the ACA's rollout. Here's the link: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/08/12628058-irs-gearing-up-for-new-responsibilities-in-health-care?lite The bottom line, as Mr. Allen has noted above, is that the number of agents/staffers needed to oversee implementation of the health law is still unknown. What is known, according to the AP article, is that the 16,500 number that Plainfield Mom quoted as fact is really a 2010 estimate from a GOP-led House panel. According to the IRS, the number is "made up" and has "no basis in fact." I'm not sure where her $500 billion number came from either, but what's really missing from the debate is the "hidden tax" that every insured American has been carrying for decades that results from the healthcare costs of the uninsured--and that especially includes those who are voluntarily uninsured....people who just want to express their "freedom" and not have coverage. That's fine, but healthcare isn't the same as broccoli or pea soup. Plenty of those who consider themselves young, healthy and "invincible" and believe they don't need insurance do become very sick or have tragic accidents every day, often requiring millions of dollars in care. When family resources run out, who then pays the costs? The taxpayers, employers and those of us who do have insurance. The cost is passed along...
David May July 08, 2012 at 10:11 PM
... The individual mandate, which has been estimated to affect about 1% of the population, is designed to help balance that. And the ACA attempts to increase access to healthcare for those who can't afford policies by offering tax credits/subsidies--something else the IRS will need to make sure is done fairly and not fraudulently. I have a hard time seeing the scary "loss of freedom" and "liberty" under this law. I also have a hard time seeing a conflict between the individual mandate, whether it's called a tax or a penalty or a fee -- and the concept of self-reliance. Good health--and good health care--are so essential to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I'm supportive of anybody who tries to make that a reality for ALL Americans.
Mike Check July 09, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Mr May, it sounds like you are in lock step with the community organizers who are being directed to run interfearence for the left. The truth of the matter is that this is another new tax put on the people of this country who can least afford it- middle class. It looks like our fearless leader has opened up the week again with deamonizing people who have been successful and insisting they pay their "fair share" again. What a joke, this is by far the most least presidential president I have been able to witness. We can only hope that people have awaken and will take to the polls in November and make a change for the good of the country.
I scored 10 out of 10 on this quiz. The day of Supreme Court rulings--private hospital stocks (like Tenet) went up close to 10%,while health insurance stocks went down 1-2%. Most likely,the new law will bring more"Payers" to hospitals--currently these people get by without paying for emergencies. Secondly,Pre-Existing conditions will help the hospitals as they get more reimbusements,but it also means that Insurance rates will go up for all-currently insured.In Kentucky-rates went up 40%. Could you write an article on benefits or additional costs OR provide a good article ?
Dan F. July 09, 2012 at 02:57 PM
"Nothing is free and the taxpayer has a limited budget." That sums up most opposition to the AHCA.
Mike Check July 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Another good step would be to allow us to buy insurance accross state borders. Open up competition and let us decide. This is the only way we have a chance at running cost down.
David May July 09, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Mr. Check, if anything, I'm running interference for the millions of uninsured in this country. Until everyone has access, regardless of socio-economic status, our system will be dysfunctional and will cost too much. The sooner everyone has access to primary care and preventive services, the better off we'll be. And I'm not sure what you are saying about taxes. Are you saying only certain people should pay their "fair share"? In a progressive tax system, those who earn more pay more in taxes. At least in theory. Yes, I agree with the president. Everybody should pay their "fair share." If that makes me a radical, OK, I'm a radical.
River Talk July 09, 2012 at 06:54 PM
My dad and many others are on "socialized" Medicare and it works quite well. I would have no problem being on that. And btw, there will be no president Romney. Most people (70-80%) don't like him and no one knows what he stands for because he flip flops all the time. Even Boehner has no idea. There are People that work that don't have insurance, did you know that? So they don't even get the most basic of care. People don't like to talk about it but their friends and neighbors without insurance are sick and dying. Great that your life is so good but the job of a government is to look out for everyone, not just those living large.
David May July 09, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Ah, now I see where Plainfield Mom gets her "Gestapo" comment and "pea soup" information. From a speech from Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican who has apologized for the reckless statement about the IRS. I hope Plainfield Mom follows suit. Just another GOP parrot. Attached are stories about the apology from Politico.com and CNN: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78303.html http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/09/maine-gov-calls-irs-the-new-gestapo/
Linda Maxwell July 09, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Here is something to consider. Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association. The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court. The DPMA found that many doctors do not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans. The director of the group said, “Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops." There is a reason why people throughout the world come to the US for care when they have money to leave the government run program they have in their own nation.
River Talk July 10, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Let the Doctors leave their profession. This is all about money, you know. The doctors will be replaced by doctors from other countries, just like many people in other professions have been replaced. And there are many doctors who DO support ACA.
David May July 10, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Yes, Linda, 83% of American doctors are considering leaving their practices, their vocations, something they studied nearly 10 years to achieve and for which they are still handsomely compensated. Yup, they all want to go work at Starbucks. If you truly believe such "findings," all I can do is shake my head and walk away.
Tim July 10, 2012 at 05:44 AM
Doctor Patient Medical Association is non-partisan? Is that why they are listed as members of the Tea Party? http://www.thenationalteapartyfederation.com/Membership_List.html http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Doctor_Patient_Medical_Association#cite_note-2 "The Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA) and the Patient Power Alliance (PPA) work to repeal health care reform[1] and call themselves a "a nonpartisan association of doctors and patients dedicated to preserving free choice in medicine."[2] The organization is a member of the National Tea Party Federation[3] and the "American Grassroots Coalition."[4] You are obviously on the internet, so it is simply baffling that you still continue to post things without checking if they are true or not. It would literally take you 5 seconds to look it up first, before you made a fool out of yourself.
Plainfield Conservative July 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Great job, Linda Maxwell. Your posts are well thought out, well articulated and make perfect sense. While other countries are trying to get away from socialism, many in this country want to move toward it. The only reason that the US had been #1 for so long was because of free-market capitalism. Besides, socialism only works in a rich country and as it stands we have to pay back over 15 trillion dollars just to brag that we're completely broke. There are many other approaches to making healthcare more affordable. It's funny to watch people think that the government is the answer to more affordable healthcare when the truth of the matter is that Medicare/Medicaid already accounts for over 50% of all healthcare and is one of the reasons that healthcare is so screwed up in the first place. Hell, when this healthcare bill was first introduced I believe that even Obama said that we could probably pay for his healthcare bill with the fraud, waste and abuse of Medicare ALONE! Why wouldn't they start working on that route to help bring health costs down? Healthcare is such a large part of our economy (1/6th, I believe) and they just want to take that over to so that they can get their hands on even more of our money, in my ever humble opinion.
LMS July 10, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The survey asked about "current changes in the medical system", not the Affordable Care Act. Here are the actual Tea-Party puppet DPMA questions with their results, pre-spin: How do current changes in the medical system affect your desire to practice medicine? I'm re-energized - 4.6% Makes me think about quitting - 82.6% Unsure/no opinion - 12.8% There's no room for shades of grey, just love "current changes" (which are undefined and left up to individual interpretation), hate the "current changes", or have no opinion. I don't want to do a long copy/paste, but a little effort with Google yields all kinds of information about how screwy this group is, how slanted their "survey" and methodology was, and how disregarded their survey was until Fox News picked up its contaminated scent.
Olddeegee July 10, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Her posts, much like yours, are rife with misinformation seemingly culled from e-mail cit and pasting. The lies and distortions do you and your cause no good. The conspiracy angle is laughable as currently corporations control health care.
David May July 10, 2012 at 09:11 PM
More commentary about the DPMA's "survey." for those interested. What a bunch of, well, to put it politely, excrement. http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/07/10/comically-awful-survey-says-83-percent-of-docto/187029

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