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“Republicans Could Care Less”: Millions More Denied Coverage By GOP Refusal To Expand Medicaid Than Obamacare Cancelations

For weeks as HealthCare.gov foundered, Republicans focused on President Barack Obama’s claim that “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” which was dubbed PolitiFact‘s Lie of the Year. Republicans purposely neglected to differentiate between the number of Americans whose plans were being canceled and those whose entire coverage was lost.

Now it turns out that the millions of notices that were sent out will result in just thousands of Americans losing access to affordable insurance.

A new report, however, from the minority staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce shows that only 0.2 percent of the approximately five million cancelations – the number often referenced by the Republican Party – will lose coverage because of Obamacare, and be unable to regain it.

In other words, only 10,000 people will lose complete coverage.

The report assumes that 4.7 million people will receive cancelation letters about their current plans. It then finds that half of that number will have the option to renew their 2013 plans, due to an administrative fix to the health law. Of the remaining 2.35 million Americans, 1.4 million would be eligible for tax credits through the ACA exchanges or Medicaid coverage, and out of the 950,000 individuals left, according to the report, “fewer than 10,000” people would lack access to an “affordable catastrophic plan.”

As the Washington Post notes, “there’s no doubt that for those 10,000 people, the health care law left them worse off than before.” Still, that number is significantly less than the amount of people who did not have access to any coverage prior to Obamacare.

“This new report shows that people will get the health insurance coverage they need, contrary to the dire predictions of Republicans,” says Democratic representative Henry Waxman (CA). “Millions of American families are already benefitting from the law.”

Ironically, as Republicans fret over the approximate 10,000 people who will lose coverage in 2014, they are to blame for the nearly five million Americans who will not have any health insurance this year because of the GOP’s refusal to expand Medicaid in various states across the country.

Though the Affordable Care Act provides complete funding through 2016 for Medicaid expansion in all states – and 90 percent funding in the following years – 25 Republican-controlled states have still refused to expand the program that offers coverage to the poor.

As a result, approximately 4.8 million people will find themselves inside the so-called “coverage gap,” which one report suggests could cost 27,000 Americans their lives in 2014.

 

By: Elissa Gomez, The National Memo, January 1, 2014

January 2, 2014 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, GOP | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“No Shedding Crocodile Tears Here”: Obamacare Critics Should Stop Using Young Men To Fuel Their Arguments

In January, one of Obamacare’s most controversial provisions will come into effect:

Every person in America will be required to either have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Overall, the effect will likely be a net positive: Because of subsidies, the cost of insurance will be kept down for many households, and in many states, a Medicaid expansion will help even more families pay for their health care. But while the outlook is great for millions of workers, things are going to be tougher for at least one group: healthy, financially secure men in their twenties.

So, guess which group Obamacare critics have focused on when they attack the effects of the program? I’ll give you three guesses, but you’ll probably only need one.

On Wednesday, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait pointed out the surprising trend, noting that critics of the Affordable Care Act have almost universally cited the group in their attacks. Likening the move to an old-time patent medicine show (“You, sir – the healthy 25-year-old in front who has never been hospitalized or needed medication in his life! Step right up!”), he suggested that the attacks on Obamacare are, to put it mildly, skewed.

On the surface, targeting the law’s impact on healthy 25-year-old men seems like a masterstroke. After all, it’s hard to argue for the fairness of a system that charges healthy young people to pay for the health care needs of sickly older ones. The trouble is, today’s healthy 25-year-old male could easily become tomorrow’s hit-and-run victim, desperately in need of long-term medical care. And, barring that, today’s healthy 20-something will, with any luck, become a less-healthy 50-something, in need of an affordable method to cover his medications and regular doctor’s visits.

(Or, as happened to me when I was an uninsured man in my mid-20s, today’s healthy young 25-year-old could be tomorrow’s guy paying out-of-pocket for wisdom teeth extraction.)

Obamacare has numerous provisions that will extend coverage and make health insurance cheaper. Among other things, it will help cover the Medicare Part D coverage gap, will end exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and will require health care plans to cover preventative care.

For tens of millions of people, these provisions, and others, will translate into lower medical costs, a previously unimaginable access to health care, and a generally improved quality of life. Given the huge potential benefits, maybe it’s time for Obamacare’s critics to stop shedding crocodile tears for the relatively small portion of the populace that is going to have to take one for the team — and, in the process, get insurance that may well make them safer and healthier.

 

By: Bruce Watson, Business Insider, Originally Published in DailyFinance, June 10, 2013

June 11, 2013 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“National Solutions To National Problems”: The Affordable Care Act Is Much More Than Politics

The law is a commonsense solution to our country’s broken healthcare system and is clearly constitutional. It eliminates insurance company abuses, makes coverage more affordable for seniors, families, and small businesses, and creates rules that stop insurers from denying care to the sick and jacking up premiums anytime they please.

The logic of the law is that we can make coverage more affordable and fair if everyone has insurance, including the young and healthy and those who don’t expect to get sick. That lowers costs by spreading the risk more broadly.

Our system is fundamentally out of balance. Many people don’t get the care they need, and others only get care at everyone else’s expense—and usually at an emergency room where services are far more expensive than at a doctor’s office. As a result, at least $43 billion in uncompensated care is provided every year, paid for by a $1,000 “hidden tax” in the premiums of every insured person in the country.

Today most people have insurance. Most of the 50 million uninsured want coverage but either can’t afford it or are excluded by insurers because of pre-existing conditions. When the law is fully implemented, families unable to afford coverage will get tax credits to put it within reach. The truth is that the individual responsibility provision, also known as the mandate, will affect only the 2 percent of Americans who have access to affordable coverage but refuse it. That’s what this fight is about: the 2 percent who reject rules that will allow the rest of us to get better, more affordable coverage.

The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the Constitution gives Congress the ability to develop national solutions to national problems. If the court were to bow to political pressures to strike down the law, it would essentially put regulation of healthcare, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of our economy, beyond the reach of Congress. That is plainly absurd.

The case against the health law is an extension of a transparently partisan political mission to tear down this milestone law as a way to turn President Obama out of office in November. What the partisans selfishly refuse to acknowledge is that there is so much more than politics at stake.

 

By: Ethan Rome, U. S. News and World Report, March 26, 2012

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Health Reform | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historic Achievement For A More Perfect Union

 

President Obama speaking on passage of Historic Health Reform Bill

“Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks in opposition to this flawed health care bill”….We heard this canned statement over and over and over again tonight. We heard about the “Cornhusker kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the Gator aid. We heard that this bill, if it passes, will make Americans less free. We heard that members of the military would loose their health coverage, that abortions would be paid for, that Medicare would be slashed. We heard from John Boehner that this was not the time to create bureaucracies, that there was no transparency, that there was not time to read the bill, that the people do not want this bill. His remarks continued to accent his distress over the process. If I had not been watching and only listening to his remarks over the radio, one would certainly have gotten the distinct impression that he was a very, very angry man. The tone and inflections in his voice gave one to believe that John Boehner just might be a little bit concerned that history was about to pass him by.

Health reform has been talked about and debated dating back to Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose party which called for health insurance for industry. In his first term, President Roosevelt appointed a committee which was to report a program that addressed old-age and unemployment issues, medical care and health insurance. President Truman proposed a single insurance system that would cover all Americans with public subsidies to pay for the poor.

During nearly every Presidential election cycle since those days, every candidate has campaigned on the slogan of “health care for all”. At the end of that cycle, nothing gets done and the cycle continues. We immediately resort back to the status quo. The numbers of uninsured rise, the cost of insurance premiums skyrocket, rescissions continue, out of pocket expenses increase, denials for pre-existing conditions fall off the scales and even children are dropped from coverage.

Well, the time for change is long overdue. Republicans, for too long, have played politics with the lives of all Americans. At every turn, they have denied, delayed, obstructed, lied outright and instilled fear in the hearts and minds of the populace. As Speaker Pelosi said tonight, “all politics are personal”. After tonight, there will be no more politics of fear, no more politics of intimidation, no more threats of personal destruction. All of the talk about process, and all of the whining from republicans with bruised egos, don’t mean a heck of a lot now. What matters to those with no insurance, to those who are uninsured and those who have been bankrupted or lost their homes because of medical bills, simply stated, are results.

Many had given up on health reform with the Senate election results in Massachusetts earlier this year. Many have talked wildly about the upcoming November elections. The insurance companies became emboldened and Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner actually began to believe their own words. Their repeated echo’s of “No” with the brazen 30-60% premium increases by Anthem and other insurers, re-awakened a cautious Democratic party. I want to personally thank Sen McConnell, Rep. Boehner and the insurance companies for their inadvertent contributions to the cause of health care reform.

In November 2008, America elected a President who said that he would get health reform done. For this President, it was not just a “slogan”. He took flack from all sides…Republicans and Democrats alike. With a determined Speaker of the House in Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and the U.S. House of Representatives delivered for the good of the American people.

When the sun rises in the east tomorrow, the earth will still be turning on it‘s axis, the American economy will not have collapsed, America will still be free, and there will be no Waterloo….the only thing that will be different tomorrow is that historic health reform for all Americans was passed tonight. History is now on the side of the American people.

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Health Reform, Obama | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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