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Obamacare & the GOP hypocrisy

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Posted on October 31 2018

 

GOP and Obamacare 

a casestudy in hypocrisy 

this is new for me, but I know to some of you it’s not new at all. I’ll admit when then President Obama and the Democrats who at the time controlled both chambers of Congress I wasn’t happy about Obamacare. I felt that it was just another austerity program largely funded by the every shrinking middle class. I was wrong and I can be intellectually honest enough to say with out reservation in 2009 I was 100% wrong about Obamacare.

Because I’m stubborn type-A personality,  I only tend to learned the hard way. Furthermore it’s true you don’t really understand Public Policy until it directly impacts  your family. In 2010 my spouse who had been with his company for over 18 years was laid off.

Granted I know that my family is one of the few lucky ones. I do not take this luxury for granted. We can afford many things that the vast majority of Americans outside the beltway can’t. Until 2010 I had no first hand knowledge of what it was like to be extremely close to financial ruin or putting off a desperately needed medical procedure because it was too expensive. Around the same time I decided to leave my job as a W2 employee and took my turn at being a Beltway consultant. I weighed the options and felt going 1099 offered me far more flexibility and I could split my time between legal research, drafting proposed legislation and helping out in political campaign. All of which I was precluded from doing as a W2 employee.

I’m going to give you some approximate numbers, sadly I do not think I’m alone and the reality is millions of Americans faced the same hard financial decisions my family did in 2010.

2010 our Healthcare Insurance (HCI) was largely paid for by my spouse’s employer. The monthly out of pocket premium expenses for our family was roughly $281 per month. The moment he was laid off our HCI was in jeopardy.

Like many hard working American families we had the following options:

1) buy Cobra which was roughly $1,681 a month

2) but on the ACA Exchange $1,183 a month 

3) seek or change employment status to keep our healthcare.

As previously mentioned my spouse’s employer picked up the majority of our HCI cost. At the time I had no idea what the “Cadillac Plan”. Essentially my family’s employer-HCI plan was: the HCI Company paid for everything;

  • Dr visits co-pay $5-$10, Pharmacy $5-$15, X-rays & Diagnostics $20, medical procedures maybe $50

  • out of pocket monthly premiums of $281

 

The thought of my family paying almost equivalent to a mortgage payment for HCI sounded absolutely insane to me. Then my spouse was laid off, the insanity became our actual reality. Our monthly out of pocket HCI cost was barely $350 a month (including premiums and copays). When I looked at Cobra, the ACA or going into a “pool” via USAA, not only would our cost dramatically increase, because our combined income made the tiered cost/deductions fall off the cliff. Therefore the cost would be 100% on us. The reality is our family faced a near 4 fold increase for HCI cost.

Like many American Families we made it work but my goodness those four months were incomprehensible stressful. Partially because I have a pre-existing condition and one of my kiddos has a pre-existing heart condition. I am one of Millions of cancer survivors, I celebrate two birthdays. Simply put, I kicked the shit out of Cancer’s ass, with the enormous support of my family and family. Many of whom drove me to chemo treatments  or dropped off a casseroles. But I didn’t know how beneficial the ACA is until it directly impacted my family.

At any rate my point is ACA is incredibly popular and the good far out weighs the “perceived” bad. The GOP has spent YEARs purposefully sabotaging this Law.

 

In February of 2017, the Federation of American Scientists submitted this report to Congress 

Republican leaders used a special legislative process known as budget reconciliation in an effort
to repeal parts of the ACA. On October 23, 2015, the House passed a reconciliation bill that
would have repealed several provisions of the ACA.

The House-passed bill (H.R. 3762) was taken up by the Senate, which substituted its own more extensive set of ACA repeal provisions.

The Senate approved H.R. 3762, as amended, on December 3, 2015.

The House subsequently approved the Senate-passed bill. President Obama vetoed H.R. 3762 on House failed to override the veto. 

The irony is the Democrats lost control of both chambers of Congress, largely due to the passage of the ACA. The Tea Party wave and formation of the House Freedom Caucus. Karma will be these “tea party” patriots will be voted out. The GOP ran on a platform of hate and chanted Repeal and Replace, the reality is they didn’t have a “replace” it was strictly repeal. As further explained in Tabble 3 of the FAS February 2017 ACA Report

repealed the premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, eliminated the penalties associated with the individual and employer mandates, terminated the requirements and enhanced federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, and repealed most of the ACA’s taxes and fees, among other things.

CBO and JCT estimated that the loss of tax and other revenue under the bill would be more than offset by eliminating spending on subsidies and Medicaid expansion. They projected that the bill would reduce the budget deficit over the period FY2016-FY2025 by about $474 billion, including macroeconomic feedback effects.

 

Case in point right out of the gate the GOP controlled State Governorships (26 in total) sued:

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius

The questions before SCOTUS:

  1. Is the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 2 U.S.C. 7421(a)?
  2. Does Congress have power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, specifically under the Commerce Clause or the Taxing and Spending Clause, to require most Americans to purchase health insurance?
  3. Is the individual mandate severable from the ACA?
  4. Did Congress exceed its enumerated powers and violate principles of federalism when it pressured States into accepting conditions that Congress could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding under Medicaid, the single largest grant-in-aid program?

Trump & the GOP celebrated 

 

Look at all of those smug faces, they literally celebrated pulling affordable healthcare from millions of Americans via HR1628  that’s not an opinion that’s a verifiable fact that the GOP and Trump did everything in their power to gut the ACA. 

 

 

Similarly the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has released report after report but the commonality is the GOP protracted attempts to sabotage and “defang” the ACA resulted in the “taking” of affordable healthcare insurance from Millions of Americans, adding billions onto the deficit. You can read the December 2017 CBO report here.

 Like CBO and JCT, other organizations overpredicted costs in 2016 largely because they overestimated the number of people who would enroll through the marketplaces and receive subsidies.

For 2016, other organizations estimated, on average, that 26 million people would enroll in coverage through the market-places or the Basic Health Program and that 18 million of them would receive subsidies; in the March 2010 cost estimate, CBO and JCT projected that those numbers would be 21 million and 17 million, respectively. In actuality, an estimated 11 million people enrolled in coverage through the marketplaces or the Basic Health Program in 2016, and 9 million of them received subsidies for that coverage.

 

And granted that’s a December 2017 CBO report, strictly focused on federal subsidies. What a lot of us overlook is the more healthy people that drop out of the pool that means the cost for HCI does increase for those who need affordable HCI the most. It’s not voodoo economics it’s based on “load sharing” and spreading the cost among many versus a smaller pool. But the GOP’s logic, no worries that we gutted one of the most popular laws, we will just create high risk pools and if that doesn’t work we will create junk healthcare policies all while grossly enriching the cashmere lined pockets of for profit HCI companies and big pharma. With a wink and a nod the GOP gave their special interest groups a gilded bird in a Trump diamond encrusted cage. 

May 2018 CBO report:

 CBO and JCT project that the federal subsidies, taxes, and penalties associated with health insurance coverage for people under age 65 will result in a net subsidy from the federal government of $685 billion in 2018.

an average month in 2018, about 244 million of those people will have health insurance, and about 29 million will not. By 2028, about243 million are projected to have health insurance and 35 million to lack it.

Net federal subsidies for insured people in 2018 will total $685 billion. That amount is projected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2028. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program account for about 40 percent of that total, as do subsidies in the form of tax benefits for work-related insurance. Medicare accounts for about 10 percent, as do subsidies for coverage obtained through the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act or through the Basic Health Program.

 

GOP Trump ACA to Americans 

don’t get sick if you do die quickly

 

This link will take you to Trump’s Twitter Archive and you can read the 499 pernicious tweets filled with lies and gas lighting. 

What you should find most insulting and offensive is the GOP new found, “we are the champions of ACA” and “we totally will fight for pre-existing conditions” and “we want your vote but ignore the dozens of times we voted to gut ACA”...it’s not just offensive, it’s insulting.

 

 

The GOP Liars:

FL Gov Rick Scott’s  vile record on ACA, found here, he doesn’t deserve your vote to the US Senate

Rep Rick Faso, (R-NY 19th) voting record, found here

📍

Rep Martha McSally’s (R-AZ) ACA voting record found here. She is literally gas lighting Arizona voters. Trust me read this article or just jump to the sound cloud interview where McSally admits “I’m getting my ass kicked on my Obamacare votes” <snort>

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) ACA voting record found here

 

Rep. Erik Paulson (R-MN) ACA voting record found here

 

The good folks at the Washington Post recently updated their Fact Checker highlighting current House & Senate Republicans trying to re-write their own ACA voting history, I highly recommend you read their updated article found here

the Fact is the GOP are in fact currently fighting in court to gut ACA/Obamacare or the 67 previous votes.

HELL NO THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO CLAIM THEY ARE PROTECTING AMERICANS  it’s total Trump-GOP gas lighting and it’s bullshit, you know it, I know it and so does the GOP

Vote accordingly if you vote for the GOP, you are voting to take affordable healthcare away from millions MORE Americans.

-Spicy Out 

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