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MurphTheSurf3 On September - 24 - 2013

Protest - Affordable-Care-Act

Obamacare (ACA) is among the strangest of GOP targets.

First, it was their plan.

Second, it reflects their alleged values.

Third, insurance companies are trying hard to make it work.

Lest we forget, the model for the ACA/Obamacare was created by the Heritage Foundation in answer to HillaryCare, and then it was piloted by a future GOP President, Mitt Romney in Massachussets. Republicans used to believe in personal responsibility, they supported and required the concept of an individual mandate before Obama had the audacity to agree with them on that.

For many Democrats a single payer plan or, minimally, the public option, seemed the way to go but the Obama administration recognized that there were too many Blue Dog Democrats linking arms with Republicans in The Senate against both of those plans. Obama chose instead to support the Heritage-Romney-Massachusetts Option, figuring that doing so would attract Republicans to come on board and a bipartisan passage of a universal health care bill would finally occur after Presidents had tried and failed over six decades.

The GOP should have loved it. It was their plan. The ACA is all about GOP favorites, private insurance, private medical care and an emphasis on required personal responsibility/accountability.

So….why is this plan, their plan, a horrible, socialist government takeover of healthcare?

Because…..it was proposed by the black, Democratic President Barack Obama who represents everything that the GOP faithful think is wrong with America. The GOP’s right wing, an increasingly bigger and bigger wing, hates Obama and anything he says or does in a pathological and maniacal way.

But it is the Law of the Land now and despite all of the GOP efforts it is likely to remain so.

What is absurd, in the face of the GOP’s demonizing of the ACA is that insurance companies also believe in it and support it. They were consulted on it, had input and will benefit from the entire nation being required to become their clients. The insurance companies have also accepted a simple reality, if they do not make the ACA work….single payer is the next step…and if that happens they are out of business. The GOP has no alternative to offer so where else are they to go?

In fact, the only GOP plan is to keep 30 million Americans from getting health care. Ironically, they have become the very death panel they fabricated to scare people into opposing the ACA. A major political party in America actually wants more Americans to die of illnesses they can’t afford to treat and force others into losing all they have and bankruptcy due to medical bills (the number one cause of bankruptcy…until the ACA is fully implemented, that is).  “More death and bankruptcies instead of less!”, what a winning health care policy for the GOP.

In my home state of Missouri, a very poorly insured state, there are 9 companies working to pick up the uninsured here despite the fact that my state legislature has turned down expanded Medicaid, blocked its state employees and state supported social welfare agencies from providing info about the ACA and is making it hard for others to do so.

But the insurance companies seem to know that the GOP is on the wrong side of history. I spoke with a friend who is an adjuster last week and she said that the word they have is that the under-insured and uninsured are a huge pool of potential clients and service to them and it is essential to them to convince the public of the need for and integrity of private insurance.

A great quote from her: “What are the bosses worried about? If people ever figure out that all we are is a middle man that get paid to push papers from one desk to another, and that we just add cost to health care because we have our profit to make, they will embrace single payer- medicare for all.”

Over the weekend I took part in a webinar in which a senior officer in a Health Insurance Company said this: “The first resistance from the insurance industry was the result of what we saw as a series of new rules that cut the legs out from under the narrow margins that we operate under generally and gave us nothing to replace the losses…but what has become clear is that with more and more being insured we can provide more care, better care and still do well. Now our challenge is this, first, we have to help to sell our insurance to those who often go without especially young people, the under 35 crowd. Second, we have to show our customers and the federal government that we offer a good service and do it economically, as well as the government could do. And third, we need to make the case that maybe we could expand the limited role that we now have in Medicare through the Advantage programs to a point where we manage all of Medicare.”

As ambitious as the insurance companies may be with regards to the ACA, it would seem that such visions of greater corporate participation in health care would run contrary to what nearly all Americans want when it comes to Medicare, that is, to leave it as it is. As even Tea Partiers declared in 2011 during the battle over passing the ACA, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”

Sources:

This is the first of a trio of articles on the GOP and the ACA, authored by MurphThe Surf3 with contributions by Adlib.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

17 Responses so far.

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  1. agrippa says:

    Got it in one, murph

  2. goleafsgo says:

    Excellent piece, Murph. You really laid it out nicely.
    I think too much credit is given to Republican Governor Romney for Massachusetts health care plan. Without the Democrats in the legislature this plan would have been quite different, I think.
    “Romney vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a $295-per-person fee on businesses with 11 employees or more that do not provide health insurance.[80][81] Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental and eyeglass benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid.[82][83] However, the state legislature overrode all of the vetoes.[84]”
    Democrats do not get enough credit for this.

    Romney was forced into this because he would lose federal funding..$385 million, if the number of uninsured was not reduced.
    Interesting.

    I think President Obama was brilliant in choosing the basics of a Republican idea. He has them stymied, because there is no better plan other than going with Universal Health Care. They therefore cannot replace “ObamaCare” and thus have dropped “replace” as a threat. Brilliant! And typical.

    “Cunning is seeing a hundred yards ahead --
    Wisdom -fifty miles in advance.”
    ~ Chas. Wm. Day

    The ACA was a deliberate first step towards Universal Health Care for America.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Thanks.

      I think you make a strong case for the Democratic role in the effort. I read a Boston Globe article that laid out the torturous legislative road for the “Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care”. The pitfalls you lay out here are a big part of the story. And there is no doubt that motivation was very mixed.

      Still it was the three way coalition with an assist by Ted Kennedy that laid the ground work for it all. First, the Senate President Robert Travaglini called for a plan to reduce the number of uninsured by half. Second, the Governor, Mitt Romney, announced that he would propose a plan to cover virtually all of the uninsured. Third, Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi committed to delivering the House…all within a two week period. Momentum is very important.

      Obama and his people latched onto the basic model (in recognition that even the public option was not possible- not to mention a single payer Medicare for All)…..and still the GOP denied it all and do right up to today.

      Obama’s cunning and wisdom will be remembered in the years to come.

  3. Well done Murph! I really wish the rabid RWers would read this article and it’s follow ups. But sorry to say, they would rather keep their hatred of our president, than actually learn something that also concerns their own well being.

    I found this to be an enlightening piece, and now have a better understanding of why the ACA is being embraced more and more. I do see the new law as a step toward single payer and seriously hope that one day we will get it. Big insurance though is a very powerful lobby and has very deep pockets to help insure that they get what they want.

    Ted Cruz is a total fool who is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. His stance on the ACA is going to bite him in the butt, on down the line and give the traditional GOP yet another black eye. As Ad Lib sometimes wonders, maybe, in the long run, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

  4. kesmarn says:

    Thanks so much for these insights, Murph.

    I have to confess that reading about the fact that the insurance companies have seen the light and now not only embrace Obamacare but want to take over and run all of Medicare makes my blood run cold. Having seen what they did when they were given carte blanche by Dubya, I would say that the last thing in the world many Americans would want would be having those heartless bots in charge!

    Moving (however slowly but surely) toward single payer and eliminating needless middlemen like the insurance companies would would be more efficient, I think, in the long run. In other words: “Keep your capitalist, corporate hands off our Medicare!” should be the new slogan.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Add to this that a number of those insurance companies are still playing with coverage. I have learned in the last few days that some companies are excluding entire medical systems from their coverage groups (i.e. the expensive ones) and others are sending out letters to those who are currently covered that their policies are being endangered by the exchanges (the first shot in the battle against single payer). So I included the quote as both good news and bad news.

      • choicelady says:

        That seems to be happening in CA, but as with all new programs, nothing is yet fully in place. We shall see how the Exchange based versions of insurance companies compete against their market ones. I’m thinking the pressure against high costs will make them fold into one Exchange based entity covering most providers.

  5. Nirek says:

    Murph, they make no sense. Nor they have a filibuster going to stop the ACA (in a convoluted way). They don’t want cloture because it will allow a majority vote to change the House attempt to defund the ACA.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Correct. I watch about 2 hours of the “not a filibuster filibuster”. One lie after another after another…when are other senators going to call him on this…when will the media….he is either lying or he is ignorant. I am beginning to think he may not be dumb but that he is ignorant- perhaps a victim of his own worldview.

      • I think Cruz has a monstrous ego and a real superiority complex. I think he’ll soon find out that he isn’t as near as smart as he thinks he is. Much of his “reasoning,” comes from the 18th century.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Hope you are correct. The man is dangerous in many ways. To his party, to the other party, to the entire process of participatory government.

  6. choicelady says:

    Thank you for rationality, good sense, and calling out the extremism. This will be a ‘go to’ series I will share far and wide, Murph.

    GREAT contribution, thank you!


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