With all its flaws and limitations, Obamacare – America’s baby step towards joining the rest of the civilized world and offering health care as a right of citizenship, not a privilege of wealth – is now the law of the land. Despite the President’s call for unity, the Republican *cough* “leadership” are again illustrating they lack the maturity required to actually live in the kind of free society they pretend to love by doing everything from (AGAIN) calling for armed revolution to continuing to lie about the law
Q: How Can You Tell A Republican is Lying about Obamacare? A: Their Mouths Are Moving.
“…The Republican line of attack as typified by these three responses from the party leadership is to a). Lie about Obamacare and b). Lie about the prospects of repealing Obamacare. The pathetic Republican strategy is to revive the lies about the ACA that they used in 2010, and hope that the American people don’t realize that none of the things they claim that Obamacare will do has actually happened….”
Rep. Eric Cantor said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold ObamaCare is a crushing blow to patients throughout the country. ObamaCare has failed to keep the President’s basic promise of allowing those who like their health care to keep it, while increasing costs and reducing access to quality care for patients. In this tough economy, jobs and economic growth are on the minds of most Americans, but ObamaCare has increased uncertainty for small businessmen and women and forced them to put their hiring decisions on hold.”
We have written repeatedly here at Politicus that the economic data proves that Obamacare creates jobs. It doesn’t kill them. Eric Cantor also tapped in to one of thebig right wing lies about the ACA. Cantor’s claim that Obamacare takes away healthcare and replaces it with government healthcare was foolish. The truth is that the ACA takes healthcare decisions out of the hands of insurance companies and returns them to doctors and patients.
It is almost impossible to believe that Republicans are still floating the widely debunked idea that Obamacare increases healthcare costs, but there it is in Cantor’s statement… Read the entire PoliticusUSA article here.
As to be expected, immediately after the ruling, Republicans declared their intention to overturn the law if they retake the White House and Senate in November. Mitt Romney, though champion of basically the same law in Massachusetts, reiterated his pledge to repeal the legislation “on my first day as president.” (That’s going to be one pretty busy day.)
The CON freakouts were epidemic. In her latest incarnation as a professional social media updater, Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed exploded with a plethora of tweets declaring the end of freedom, etc… etc…
Though the roots of Obamacare can be found in the bowels of the Heritage Foundation – as Mitt Romney can tell you (Watch Romney explain Obamneycare in 2006), Glenn Beck called for violence against liberals, and, apparently unaware that every other civilized nation on Earth enjoys universal healthcare, many teabaggers publicly professed their intention to move to Canada… a nation with socialized medicine AND gay marriage! (Alternet has a list of some of the more notable freak-outs.)
Necessitous Men are Not Free Men
CONS are fond of positioning themselves as patriotic champions of freedom. They are nothing of the sort. They profess to love the country, but refuse to band together to tackle the problems we face. They insist they speak for the Founding Fathers, but reject the Liberal Enlightenment ideals that birthed the democratic republic they entrusted to us. Our Founding Fathers didn’t fight a revolution against an entrenched aristocracy to disband government – they fought a revolution to create a government OF, BY AND FOR the PEOPLE that promoted the GENERAL WELFARE.
Here’s the reality – if you can’t go to the doctor when you’re sick, you’re not “free.” If you would like to start a business, but can’t leave your job because you can’t lose your employer-provided coverage, you’re not free. If you have to join the military because your cancer-stricken spouse needs health care, you’re not free.
As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”
As Justice Louis D. Brandeis stated, “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
With the worst economic climate since the FIRST Gilded Age – a climate CREATED by conservative policies such as low progressive taxation and deregulation of financial institutions, progressives should be presenting an alternative to the failed austerity initiatives. These initiatives wrap themselves in “deficit reduction,” but mask a more nefarious agenda of permanent subjugation of the working class. Now is the time to be calling for a new, New Deal and revival of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights.
WATCH: FDR’s Proposal for a Second Bill of Rights:
Taxes – the New “Death Panels” or The Price We Pay For Civilization?
Though many other conservative or otherwise courts have found Obamacare valid under the Commerce Clause, the Robert’s found it Constitutional by calling it a tax… so cons are losing their scientifically-verified “low-effort” minds and the CON leadership are making political hay.
From ThinkProgress’ Taxes Are The New Death Panels: Exposing The Latest Lie About Obamacare:
“Republicans are responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the individual mandate by constructing a new “death panels”-like lie. The law, they argue, imposes a burdensome tax on millions of middle class families who will have to pay a penalty for not purchasing health care coverage by 2014. The line originates in the majority’s decision, which found that Congress has the authority to require individuals to buy coverage under its taxing power, but it doesn’t mean what the Republicans are suggesting.
The truth is that the penalty for not buying insurance — $695 or 2.5 percent of household income — is well in line with other policies that are designed to encourage and promote a particular kind of economic behavior. On Friday morning, NBC’s Chuck Todd compared the penalty to a speeding ticket and asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to distinguish between the two taxes. Cantor could not:
TODD: On the tax front quickly, is a speeding ticket a tax? By that same definition? You can avoid paying this tax if you get insurance. […]
CANTOR: First of all, let me — I can’t respond to whether the speeding ticket would be considered a tax or not under the states’ authority any states’ authority. What I can tell you is the court came down on this issue decided that it was a tax to coerce some type of behavior.
President Roosevelt said, “In 1776 the fight was for Democracy in Taxation. In 1936 there is still the fight. Mister Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said ‘taxes are the prices we pay for civilized society’. One sure way to determine the social conscience of a government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent. And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax reaction. Taxes, after all are the dues we pay for the privilege of membership in an organized society. And as society becomes more civilized government, national and state and local, is called on to assume more obligations to its citizens. The privileges of membership in a civilized society are vastly increased in modern times. But I am afraid we still have many who still do not recognize their advantages and want to avoid paying their dues.”
Conservatives Fight for Failure
Whether it’s a penalty or a tax, We The People are already paying for the uninsured… except we pay double than every other country, have worse outcomes… and not everyone is covered.
From the New York Times, “Despite the fact that the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not ensure that all its citizens have health care coverage, the United States spends a (much) higher percentage of its gross domestic product on health care than its peers. It also spends (much) more per person on health care than its peers.”
In 2010, the Commonwealth Fund released its study “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. The executive summary states:
“The U.S. health system is the most expensive in the world, but comparative analyses consistently show the United States underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. This report, which includes information from the most recent three Commonwealth Fund surveys of patients and primary care physicians about medical practices and views of their countries’ health systems (2007–2009), confirms findings discussed in previous editions of Mirror, Mirror. It also includes information on health care outcomes that were featured in the most recent (2008) U.S. health system scorecard issued by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.
…But even when access and equity measures are not considered, the U.S. ranks behind most of the other countries on most measures. With the inclusion of primary care physician survey data in the analysis, it is apparent that the U.S. is lagging in adoption of national policies that promote primary care, quality improvement, and information technology. Health reform legislation addresses these deficiencies; for instance, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama in February 2009 included approximately $19 billion to expand the use of health information technology. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 also will work toward realigning providers’ financial incentives, encouraging more efficient organization and delivery of health care, and investing in preventive and population health.
For all countries, responses indicate room for improvement. Yet, the other six countries spend considerably less on health care per person and as a percent of gross domestic product than does the United States. These findings indicate that, from the perspectives of both physicians and patients, the U.S. health care system could do much better in achieving value for the nation’s substantial investment in health.” Read the entire report here.
Though I personally would much rather see America adopt a single payer system and dismantle the for-profit health insurance racket entirely, this law will help millions of people as well as help America take another step towards the freedom from being crushed by a health crisis, and thus another step towards creating a more perfect union. So, naturally, Republicans are upset and fighting for the current, tried and FAILED, health insurance racket. After all, as John Boehner recently inadvertently stated, when Republicans lose, the American People win.
If You Don’t Have Healthcare, You’re Screwed
Dr. Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at MIT and director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research was interviewed by “The Yahoo Daily Ticker.”
“Gruber, who helped design both the Affordable Care Act and the Massachusetts health care reform Romney signed as Governor in 2006, agreed with President Obama’s analysis of the Court’s ruling.
“It’s a victory because we essentially have a system in America where if you don’t have healthcare from your employer or the government, you’re pretty screwed,” he says.
Once the Affordable Care Act is implemented, Americans can no longer be denied insurance because of preexisting conditions or have their insurance revoked or their premiums jump because they get sick. “This law will…end discrimination in the insurance market and we’ll do that through the individual mandate, which will bring everyone into the health insurance market,” Gruber says.
As for Romney, Gruber, said he is “disappointed” with his fierce opposition to Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Healthcare reform has been “an outstanding success in Massachusetts,” he says, calling it a “template” for the nation. Since 2006, the ranks of the states’ uninsured have fallen by two-thirds, private health insurance coverage has risen even as it’s fallen nationwide, and premiums have fallen by 50% relative to the rest of the country.
“I’m disappointed both at [Romney] and his party,” Gruber says. “Republicans have been completely nihilistic on this topic saying ‘they don’t like it, they don’t like, they don’t like it’ and never offering an alternative that will help the 50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance and the millions more who lose it every year.”
Since the recession of 2008, 5 million Americans have lost their employee-sponsored insurance, according to Gruber. “These are people who’d be left in the cold if this law is not passed and implemented.”
Finally, Gruber argues the Affordable Care Act is not a tax — despite Justice Roberts’ ruling — but “a modest charge relative to the cost [the uninsured] impose on the rest of us by waiting until they get sick and going to the emergency room.”
Regardless of what you think of the Court’s ruling – or the Affordable Care Act itself — it’s pretty clear America cannot continue on its present course. Consider the following statistics, as reported by Reuters:
- At $2.6 trillion, health care spending accounts for nearly 18% of U.S. GDP, a figure is expected to rise to nearly 20% in the coming decade.
- The U.S. spends the most on healthcare and yet ranks 31st in quality of coverage among the 34 members of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).” Read the entire Yahoo article here.
Despite this small victory, with all its flaws – and the Conservative-leaning Supreme Court’s poison pills in the ruling that weaken the Commerce Clause and prevent the expansion of Medicaid – The American Aristocracy are currently winning in their mission to dismantle the New Deal and anything else that gets in the way of their profits – even if that means sentencing another human being to die without lifesaving medical treatment and calling that “freedom.” That fact is a sad example of the moral bankruptcy of the Republican worldview.
We must continue to expose conservative lies and evolve – without them. Rest assured they’ll be the first in line to take advantage of the hard won liberal accomplishments, and eventually position themselves as the champions of policies they fought vehemently to prevent.
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