published Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The House theater of deceit

The political theater of the absurd that House Republicans staged Tuesday and Wednesday before voting on repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 made a mockery of logic and facts, of the actual benefits of the law already put in place, and of those to be implemented by 2014. House Republicans’ simplistic, 28-line repeal bill, to be sure, will get nowhere in the Senate, so it will not be passed before the 2012 presidential election, if ever. But that is hardly the point.

Republicans did not stage this show in the hope of actually repealing the health care reform bill in the near future. Rather, their interest is only in the political symbolism against reform and the electoral gains they hope this deceitful initiative will spawn in 2012.

Reasonable voters can only hope the benefits of reform will cancel out the GOP’s anti-reform propaganda and lies by then. For voters interested in the facts, there already is clear and ample evidence of the accumulating benefits of reform, and there are larger benefits to come.

The Affordable Health Care Act has already made substantial inroads in curbing the medical insurance industry’s gross abuses of ordinary working-class Americans through tactics that fracture and undermine the original intent of broad-based health insurance.

The Act, for example, has outlawed the use of pre-existing conditions to deny insurance coverage for children. It has banned the insurance industry’s scheme of canceling insurance when customers get too sick, and it has banned insurers’ lifetime caps on medical coverage. By 2014, annual caps on coverage, and denials of insurance to adults with pre-existing conditions will also be banned.

The Act has begun closing the so-called “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage. It has fixed requirements for insurers to spend at least 80 percent of their premium dollars on patient care for small group and individual policies, and 85 percent for large group policies, rather than take excessive profits and pay such lavish executive salaries.

It requires Medicare to provide preventive care, requires other insurers to provide no-deductible coverage for some preventive and wellness care, and requires for-profit insurers and employers to provide basic coverage plans that are adequate to today’s medical costs.

The Act also provides income-adjusted subsidies for families with incomes of up to four-times the poverty level to purchase insurance, and directs states to establish insurance exchanges that will establish a competitive insurance market for such policies. These income-adjusted subsidies will help individuals without insurance meet the mandate for purchasing insurance. And tax credits to small businesses for up to 35 percent will help them finance health insurance for employees.

In our 3rd congressional district represented by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, who wrongly favors repeal, approximately 12,600 small businesses, and their employees, would benefit from the subsidy for small businesses. Overall in the 3rd District, it would help up to 300,000 people get insurance they might otherwise be denied.

The most egregious lie by Republicans about the Affordable Health Care Act, of course, is that it would kill jobs or grow the nation’s deficit. Quite the opposite is true. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the bill finds that it would save $250 billion by 2018 from the current health care status quo without reform, and it would save far more, in the trillions of dollars, over future decades as the health care industry adapts to the fundamentals of reform.

Its cost-saving features are built around better coordination of care, preventive care and reduction of duplicative and wasteful procedures prompted by fee-for-service add-ons. The savings will reduce the cost of care and finance expanded insurance coverage of the uninsured and the underinsured. Those savings, in turn, reduce the amount of uncompensated care that has traditionally caused cost-shifting and higher premiums for the insured.

Breaking the back of this dynamic is essential to bringing down America’s soaring costs of health care, which is nearly double the per capita costs of care in all other industrialized countries. It’s also essential to providing humane, universal care in America — the only industrialized country without universal care.

Republicans’ warped and deceitful arguments against reform go against logic, global experience, and the health and medical security of all Americans. Their campaign of lies serves only to divide Americans and keep the medical insurance industry rich on its profit-gouging, inhumane tactics.

Republicans obviously believe they can deceive enough Americans to make their anti-reform gambit work to their benefit. The next two years will tell.

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Livn4life said...

Yeah and there was no deceit in getting this bill we "have to pass to see what's in it!"(Pelosi) We have seen what's in it now and the people have spoken. There is no deceit in that. The average American does not want this bill. Will there be a viable option from the other side of the aisle? I am not holding my breath on that. I only know the government is unable to effectively administer an albatross such as the one being forced upon us. Here is the saddest part since it has been rammed through: by the time everyone realizes how awful it is, we will likely be in the middle of it and perhaps a deep recession or depression economically. If that occurs I predict the blame for the economic slip will be placed on those deceitful Republicans.

January 20, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
jimmycam said...

You failed to also blame the vote to repeal on the Tea Party.

I have subscribed to the Times for 57 years and unfortunately I do not feel that I am smart enought ot continue when renewal comes. I base this on the fact that I am a conservative and you say I am a dumb and deceitful liar in your editorial. Please correct me if I am wrong.

January 20, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
My2centsworth said...

The page I am reading this article from does not post a name of the individual who wrote it. Evidently they, as is plainly apparent, by their own lack of informed information or at the very least - a reading of the Health Care Bill - shows that they are just mouthing (typing) the rhetoric of the Democratic party line. If you would like some enlightenment before you spout moronic syllables please at least read the subject matter first. Listed are just a few examples of Obama's Socialist Health Care agenda. Below is a list of the tax increases Congress and the Administration have proposed to finance health care reform, by no means is this a complete list, it is a work in progress.

An income surtax on taxpayers earning more than $500,000 a year,[1] An excise tax on high-cost "Cadillac" health insurance plans that cost more than $8,500 a year for individuals or $23,000 for families,[2] An excise tax on medical devices such as wheelchairs, breast pumps, and syringes used by diabetics for insulin injections,[3] A cap on the exclusion of employer-provided health insurance without offsetting tax cuts,[4] A limit on itemized deductions for taxpayers with a top income tax rate greater than 28 percent,[5] A windfall profits tax on health insurance companies,[6] A value-added tax, which would tax the value added to a product at each stage of production,[7] An increase in the Medicare portion of the payroll tax to 3.4 percent for incomes great than $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married filers),[8] An excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages including non-diet soda and sports drinks,[9] Higher taxes on alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and spirits,[10] A tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage of up to 2.5 percent of their adjusted gross income,[11] A limit on contributions to health savings accounts,[12] An 8 percent tax on all wages paid by employers that do not provide their employees health insurance that satisfies the requirements defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services,[13] A limit on contributions to flexible spending arrangements,[14] Elimination of the deduction for expenses associated with Medicare Part D subsidies,[15] An increase in taxes on international businesses,[16] Elimination of the tax credits paper companies take for biofuels they create in their production process--the so-called "Black Liquor credit,"[17] Fees on insured and self-insured health plans,[18] A limit or repeal of the itemized deduction for medical expenses,[19] A limit on the Qualified Medical Expense definition,[20] An increase in the payroll taxes on students,[21] An extension of the Medicare payroll tax to all state and local government employees,[22] An increase in taxes on hospitals,[23] An increase in the estate tax,[24] Increased efforts to close the mythical "tax gap,"[25]

See next post for more.

January 20, 2011 at 2:06 p.m.
My2centsworth said...

Post #2: 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery and similar procedures such as Botox treatments, tummy tucks, and face lifts,[26] A tax on drug companies,[27] An increase in the corporate tax on providers of health insurance,[28] and A $500,000 deduction limitation for the compensation paid by health insurance companies to their officers, employees, and directors.[29]

More to Come:

The full list of taxes proposed to pay for health care reform is provided because taxes currently left out of the Senate or House bills could reappear at any point. For instance, the tax on cosmetic surgery listed above (sometimes called the "Botox tax") was written off long ago as a laughable way to pay for health care reform. Nevertheless, it somehow found its way into the current version of the Senate bill. References: [1]The Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, § 551. [2]America's Healthy Future Act of 2009, S. 1796, § 6001. [3]Ibid., § 6009. [4]Teddy Davis, "Will Obama Tax Your Health Benefits?," ABC News, May 12, 2009, at http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Business/story?id=7562814&page=1 (November 18, 2009). [5]White House Office of Management and Budget, "The President's 2010 Budget: Summary Tables," August 2009, Table S-2, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/summary.pdf (November 18, 2009). [6]Jared Allen, "House Dems Looking at Windfall Profits Tax on Insurance Industry," The Hill, October 8, 2009, at http://thehill.com/homenews /house/62211-house-dems-considering-windfall-profits-tax-on-insurance- industry (November 18, 2009). [7]Lori Montgomery, "Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look," The Washington Post, May 27, 2009, at http://www.washington post.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/26/AR2009052602909.html (November 18, 2009). [8]Joint Committee on Taxation, "Estimated Revenue Effects of the Revenue Provisions Contained in 'The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,'" November 18, 2009, at http://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func =startdown&id=3635 (November 19, 2009). [9]Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform: Proposed Health System Savings and Revenue Options, Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., May 20, 2009, at http://finance.senate.gov/Roundtable/complete %20text%20of%20financing%20policy%20options.pdf (November 18, 2009). [10]Ibid. [11]The Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962, § 501. [12]Ibid., § 533. [13]Ibid., § 512. [14]Ibid., § 532. [15]Ibid., § 534. [16]Ibid., § 553, 554, 561-563. [17]Katie Howell, "'Black Liquor' Tax Credit Restriction Rides on Health Care Bill," The New York Times, November 4, 2009, at http://www.nytimes.com /gwire/2009/11/04/04greenwire-black-liquor-tax-credit-restriction-rides-on-h -15986.html (November 18, 2009).

January 20, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
My2centsworth said...

Post 3:

[18]Joint Committee on Taxation, "Estimated Revenue Effects of the Revenue Provisions Contained in H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act," Scheduled for Consideration by the House of Representatives," November 7, 2009, at http://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=start down&id=3633 (November 18, 2009). [19]Financing Comprehensive Health Care Reform. [20]Ibid. [21]Ibid. [22]Ibid. [23]Ibid. [24]Office of Management and Budget, "The President's 2010 Budget: Summary Tables," Table S-11. [25]Ibid. [26]Joint Committee on Taxation, "Estimated Revenue Effects." [27] Ibid. [28]Ibid. [29]Ibid. [30]J. D. Foster and William W. Beach, "Economic Recovery: How Best to End the Recession," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2191, January 7, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm2191.cfm.

As you can see I do my homework and have the factual references to back up my posting. If you would like further evidence of the Health Care disaster then try these.

“Don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut.” (President Obama, 9/9/2009)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuaries states: About half of all seniors with Medicare Advantage will lose their plans by 2017

In Kentucky alone: 55,000 seniors will lose benefits at an average of $816.00/yr in 2011. The rest will be lost by 2017.

Estimates in NY, are more server. Over 100,000, in 2011. In Fl. over 250,000, TX. over 150,000 in 2011.

I had better stop here as the list is so long that there is not enough room here. But do not take my word for it, PLEASE educate yourself before posting. Like they say in Washington, If you have a bad bill then attach it to a good bill that people like.

Are there any questions???

USSA is one day closer.

January 20, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
librul said...

My2centsworth wrote:


Just one:

Which insurance cartel money pit do you work in?

January 20, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
rick1 said...

"Which insurance cartel money pit do you work in?"

Typical liberal response when confronted with the facts. You take a page out of Sual Alinksy book Rules for Radicals

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

January 20, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
fairmon said...

Excellent post and thanks for taking the time to provide the data. Obviously unlike some in congress you have taken the time to read the bill. I read it but didn't take the time to post the detail you provide. It is scary and people like Librul don't want to hear such facts since it isn't what they want to hear.

I don't deny that some form of health care revision is needed but this bill is not it. A concept the super wealthy and politicians don't like is to create a separate fund for health care that provides a voucher issued annually to every legal citizen (man woman or child) to pay for a standard health care package as defined by congress or their assigned insurance commissioner. Include without exception in every purchase of any consumable goods or service an amount considered sufficient to purchase from any provider the standard health care policy. The exclusion of prior conditions and no cancellation due to an illness or claim would stand. Obviously there is a lot more detail than posted here.

The added cost of purchase is estimated to be around 5-7% and would be experience adjusted annually. The wealthy don't like it since when they buy a new Mercedes or multi-millon dollar house or yacht they would be paying a huge chunk of health care cost. Those on the lower end would pay but the amount would be based on what they spend and may actually be a higher percent of their spendable income than that of the mega wealthy but that is the case today if they have insurance. It is a fair way to provide universal health care for all U.S. citizens.

January 22, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.
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