Obamacare is not for the people. People may argue all they want with this idea. They can tell all the nice things the law provides. However, they will be missing the part about the individual mandate. This is where wikipedia comes in.
In their article titled Health Insurance Mandate Wikipedia writes the following [parts I thought were pertinent are bolded]
“A health insurance mandate is either an employer or individual mandate to obtain private health insurance instead of (or in addition to) a national health insurance plan…[In the United States] an individual mandate to purchase healthcare was initially proposed by the politically conservative Heritage Foundation in 1989 as an alternative to single-payer health care. From its inception, the idea of an individual mandate was championed by Republican politicians as a free-market approach to health-care reform…In 1993, President Bill Clinton proposed a health-care reform bill which included a mandate for employers to provide health insurance to all employees through a regulated marketplace of health maintenance organizations…An individual health-insurance mandate was initially enacted on a state level in Massachusetts. In 2006, Republican Mitt Romney, then governor of Massachusetts, signed an individual mandate into law with strong bipartisan support. In 2007, a Senate bill featuring a federal mandate, authored by Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), attracted substantial bipartisan support…following the adoption of an individual mandate as a central component of Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009, Republicans began to oppose the mandate. In 2009, every Republican Senator (including Bennett, who had co-written the 2007 bill featuring a mandate) voted to describe the mandate as “unconstitutional”…The New York Times wrote: “It can be difficult to remember now, given the ferocity with which many Republicans assail it as an attack on freedom, but the provision in President Obama’s health care law requiring all Americans to buy health insurance has its roots in conservative thinking.”…Writing in The New Yorker, Ezra Klein stated that “the end result was… a policy that once enjoyed broad support within the Republican Party suddenly faced unified opposition.”…However, the idea has traditionally gathered support from insurance companies…In 2010, a majority of the 50 states filed litigation contending that the individual mandate was unconstitutional…Public opinion polls from 2009 through 2012 continued to find that most Americans rejected penalizing people for not buying health insurance…Massachusetts insurance premiums continued to outpace the rest of United States [after Romneycare].”
This can be complimented by a number of videos about the topic.Also note that a 2009 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found 45,000 people die in the United States each year due largely to a lack of health insurance and inability to access quality care. That comes out to one death every 12 minutes (http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/12/headlines#10128). One must remember that in 2011, 1 in 4 Americans didn’t have healthcare in 2012 (http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/headlines#42011) and this is while real healthcare was quashed. Why is this the case? David DeGraw, an investigative journalist wrote in 2010 that [bolded part emphasized]“The healthcare reform bill devolved into what amounts to an insurance industry bailout and was drastically altered by [Business] Roundtable lobbyists representing interests like WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson. Obama and Congress are trying to please the Roundtable with a bill that supports their interests. This led to the dropping of the public-option put forth in the House bill. However, when it came to finishing the bill, Roundtable members began to walk away from the process. That’s the real reason why the reform bill has stalled. Obama…meet…with the Roundtable on February 24th, in hopes of getting healthcare reform back on track. After that meeting, he will then hold a bipartisan healthcare meeting with members of congress.”To remind people what the Business Roundtable is, it represents numerous Fortune 500 CEOs of companies like AT&T, American Express, Bank of America, Bechtel, Boeing, Citigroup, Chevron, Chrysler, Comcast, Dell, Dow Chemical, DuPont, ExxonMobil, FedEx, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Intel, IBM, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Shell Oil, Time Warner, UPS, Verizon, Visa, Viacom and Wal-Mart Stores.Now back to this corporatist piece of legislation. If you still think this law was all nice and dandy, justifying it with a “fact sheet” from the White House, then you are wrong. There are a number of people who spoke out against this piece of legislation, including Socialist Party USA Presidential Candidate Stewart Alexander who called the law a “corporate restructuring of the healthcare system in America” and saying after the Supreme Court upheld the law that: “the private health insurance companies always had two ideas in mind when it came to healthcare reform – either to avoid all reforms or stick the American people with a bad reform. Today, the Supreme Court upheld the bad healthcare reform that will insure the profits of private healthcare companies at the expense of American’s access to healthcare. Obama’s policy was based on the original sin of allowing the pharmaceutical companies off the hook. He then followed this up by pledging public funds to subsidize junk healthcare plans, coercing Americans into purchasing these plans and silencing the voices of single-payer healthcare advocates. This is no reform; it is just another corporate giveaway by the Obama administration.” He also talked about how 26 million people won’t get healthcare under this law. The Green Party of the United States in a 2009 press release said that “The President proposes a solution that would heavily regulate HMOs and insurance firms yet compensate them with huge payoffs. He would improve access to health insurance and reduce the number of uninsured, but at a cost of $1 trillion over ten years…Since Obamacare would exempt 95% of small businesses from the employer insurance mandate, small business employees (many of whom are low-income) will have to be covered elsewhere — an added expense…Obamacare will protect drug company profits by maintaining the Bush ban on bulk purchasing of prescription drugs…Obamacare means a giant taxpayer-funded life-support system for private for-profit corporations, while Americans spend more money for less access. Is this necessary?” Even David Sirota said it appeases the healthcare industry. Some on the right-wing have said this is a “tax on the middle class.” Also one must remember that big corps. like McDonalds were offered waivers and eventually added up to over 2 million employees. As the most recent information it seems the program ended as of accepting new waivers but old waivers issued stayed. They are planned to end in 2013. The biggest groups by employee size currently getting waivers from the law include [not necessarily in this order]
- Local 25 SEIU
- Amalgamated National Health Fund
- Local 338 Affiliated Benefit Funds
- Local 348 Health & Welfare Fund
- Local 272 Welfare Fund
- UFCW Local 1500 Welfare Fund
- Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia & Vicinity
- Midwest Operating Engineers Fringe Benefit Funds
- Division 1181 A.T.U.-New York Welfare Fund
- United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Health and Welfare Fund Atlanta
- South Central UFCW Unions and Employers Health and Welfare Trust
- Ohio AFSCME Care Plan
- Teamsters Local 237 Welfare Fund
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Western Growers Assurance Trust
- WageWorks, Inc.
- A Plus Benefits, Inc.
- United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund
- Social Service Employees Union Local 371 Welfare Fund
- Health and Welfare Fund of the Detectives’ Endowment Association Inc. Police Department City of New York
- Communications Workers of America Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund
- Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association Security Benefits Fund
- Council of Supervisors and Administrators of the City of New York Welfare Fund
- Security Benefit Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York City
- PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund
- New York State Nurses Welfare Planfor New York City Employed Registered Professional Nurses
- Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Security Benefit Fund
- Health & Welfare Fund of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York
- BCS Insurance
- Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (RSL)
- Assurant Health
- Capital District Physicians
- American Heritage Life Insurance Company
- Excellus Health Plan
- The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company
- Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. d/b/a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- Companion Life Insurance
- Reserve National Insurance Company
- New Jersey Basic and Essential Plans
- Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico
You have to remember these organizations APPLIED for waiver. They were not necessarily approved. There is a whole list of orgs. that were denied, 144 of them in fact. The fact they gave waivers at all out is troubling though since a good amount are big business interests. Here is the site I got the info. about waivers from.
Now if you still don’t believe this narrative consider these articles from CounterPunch. One said that the vote upholding the healthcare law helped the “corporate right,” another said that it was a bailout, another said it was a “disaster”, one said that the law is a lack of remedies, another said it was a “deception,” one notes that the program to stop companies from denying pre-existing conditions has long numbers of people enrolled and the law doesn’t provide universal coverage (here), how the law is unconstitutional, how it kills real healthcare reform, how it is simply a “facade or regulation,” and how it is simply corruption. I could go on. With all of this evidence showing that the Affordable Corporatist Act I bet there are still some that say I’m all wrong. Maybe this is because they conned you into support it (also here).Please go ahead and skim through the rest of the articles on counterpunch on this topic.
This makes perfect sense as Australian Journalist John Richard Pilger points out…
I end with a video by Anne Feeney asking for National Healthcare Now [I’d specifically like a single-payer plan]!
Marcia Angell, M.D., former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine on the need for a universal, single-payer health care system in America, free of for-profit market dictates and logic.
I am happy that more are coming around to this idea. There was a bunch of stories recently on The Real News Network about this (therealnews.com)
Obamacare is simply incapable of doing what it is supposed to do — provide nearly universal care at an affordable and sustainable cost. The problem is that three years ago, in his futile efforts to win over Republicans (remember the embarrassing courtship of Olympia Snowe?), Obama gutted the law before it was even passed. He made the private insurance companies the linchpin of the new system, and promised them millions of additional customers and billions of taxpayer dollars. He also did nothing to rein in the profit-oriented delivery system that rewards providers on a piecework basis for doing tests and procedures. So with all the new dollars flowing into the system and no restraints on the way medicine is practiced, the law is inherently inflationary. Although there are some provisions to curb the worst abuses of the insurance companies, such as excluding people with preexisting conditions, there is nothing in the law that would stop insurers from raising premiums. A senior executive of the industry’s trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, told me privately that that’s exactly what the companies will do if regulations cut into their profits. Thus, costs under Obamacare will almost certainly rise even faster than at present. No reform can work well or very long if its costs are unsustainable.– Marcia Angell, M.D.: Did John Roberts Give Mitt Romney A Gift? (via azspot)
I agree totally. The law overall just pushes the corporatization of healthcare and keeps the corrupted system in place. A singke-payer system is what’s needed. As David McGraw noted, Obama courted the Business Roundtable which got their way with this bill. This means the bill isn’t in the people’s interest even with some good provisions.
October 27, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
We know that corporations and special interests that can afford $30,000 – $50,000 per month “access lobbyists” are getting their say in front of the supercommittee. According to Politico, lobbyists are receiving special readouts from closed-door supercommittee meetings and then scheduling one-on-ones with supercommittee members so their clients can protect their interests.
So, the wealthy and connected have a healthy, democratic feedback cycle going with the supercommittee, while the public, on the other hand, has been almost completely locked out. Today, during the first open meeting the supercommittee has held in over a month, a member of the 99% took advantage of the rare opportunity to offer her perspective on the committee’s work. Here’s how that went down:
UPDATE: HuffPo pieces together the message:
“The American people want to tax the rich and end the wars,” said a woman who stepped forward as committee member Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) wound down. “That’s how we fix the deficit. And all this obfuscation with percentages of GDP, this is just trying to confuse the issue.”
“We would have enough money for housing and health care and everything that we want if we stopped spending our money [on the] military machine,” she added before Capitol police escorted her away. “It’s very obvious. I speak for the 99 percent: End the wars and tax the rich.”
I liked Barack Obama when he was getting elected I have been disappointed. He has not delivered on what he said…Not creating an economic stimulus bill that serves the people…in 2009…Not entering healthcare debate fast enough, causing a weak bill in Congress that barely did anything, not explaining what the healthcare plan would do…Not improving coordination between U.S. intelligence agencies or U.S. security, almost leading to a plane exploding with an underwear bomber…Giving up on an energy bill that leads to alternative energy. Dealing with oil spill not until 30 days after the spill, being ‘too cool’ about the issue and not understanding people’s concern. Defending the government on WikiLeaks ‘leaking’; of government information, violating the 1st Amendment guarantee of the Freedom of Speech.– Some mistakes Obama made as I said 7 months ago are still valid today.
Courtesy of USA Today’s front cover of November 4, 2010
A lot of people have said that the Democrats losing 72 seats in the House and Republicans gaining them will bring down U.S. President Obama in the first term of his presidency. Hopefully he won’t become another ‘John Quincy Adams.’:http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_156306631069791&view=doc&id=156320467735074. But that’s not true.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Although Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has said he won’t compromise with Obama, he will have to at some point. He may say he wants Obama out in 2012, but how will he get anything done? In the U.S. senate, the Democrats barely have the majority. So, if a vote took place, they would have to gain Democratic support for anything to pass. Republicans have the majority in the House of Representatives but they would need Democratic support because 2/3 of every house of Congress is needed to pass a bill that is submitted to the President. So, Mitch McConnell would not be able to get his ideas implemented because he would need Democratic support no matter what. Back to Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama in a News conference on November 3rd
Mr. Obama said in a news conference on November 3rd, “We can’t spend the next two years mired in gridlock. Other countries like China aren’t standing still so we can’t stand still either. We’ve got to move forward.” He is right. If the Republicans block everything they won’t get anything done and will be possibly ‘punished’ by Democrats who won’t vote on Republican bills. Both parties, Democrats and Republicans will have to come to come agreement to satisfy their supporters. If the Republicans block everything then they will get hammered in 2012. The Republicans must remember Mr. Obama is “open to any idea, any proposal, any way we can get the economy growing faster so that people who need work can find it faster.” So if the Republicans could get some of their goals accomplished, while coming to agreement with the Democrats that would be great and prove that Washington isn’t broken. This will restore confidence in the federal legislature, which has been lost (20% of Americans support Congress according to certain polls). On issues like energy and defense, they could come to agreement. Many Republicans I have learned what to help preserve the environment (some in theory). The debate over healthcare could be resolved as well.
Protester of Obamacare
As the critics of so-called ‘OBAMACARE’ (officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Congress) want to repeal it. They made up all these lies about healthcare, making it sound bad to the American public by not highlighting what it did:
- As of September 23, 2010, insurers are required to pay the full cost of recommended preventive services, without charging a deductible, co-pay or co-insurance.
- The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program makes it possible for people who may have previously been denied coverage to purchase health insurance. More information on each State’s plan is available on HealthCare.gov
- As of August 2010, 1 million rebate checks had been mailed to American seniors who had reached the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, often called the ‘donut hole’
- Provisions in the Affordable Care Act are expected to save Medicare an estimated $8 billion in the next two years and almost $418 billion by 2019.
- Beginning on September 23, all insurance plans will be offering young adults up to age 26 options for being covered under their parents plan.
The Democrats did nothing to stop this hammering. Well more of those critics won office on Tuesday, seeming like a compromise was not possible. But a compromise is possible. Republicans had ideas that seemed good at the time, by they didn’t help in the process of the bill (they would argue otherwise). Either way, they didn’t get what they wanted. Now is the chance to not repeal the law, but to amend it with Republican ideas. Possibly make it faster that people will get healthcare, instead it being in 2019. There is so many good ideas that be in discussion. I’ll add on the note that despite what people think, the world is not ending with these Democratic defeats, I believe the legislature will get better at its job with these Republican victories.
By Burkely Hermann, Head Writer of HermannView
I liked Barack Obama when he was getting elected. I was soc excited. I said he was the best candidate. But, I have been disappointed. He has not delivered on what he said. Here’s 8 mistakes he has made since he has entered office
- Not creating an economic stimulus bill that serves the people (the first bill, not the new economic reform which I like) in 2009 shortly after he entered office.
- Not entering healthcare debate fast enough, causing a weak bill in Congress that barely did anything, not explaining what the healthcare plan would do, he had to make it so no federal money went to abortions, violating his campaign promise to them
- Not improving coordination between U.S. intelligence agencies or U.S. security, almost leading to a plane exploding with an underwear bomber.
- Giving up on an energy bill that leads to alternative energy
- Dealing with oil spill not until 30 days after the spill, being ‘too cool’ about the issue and not understanding people’s concern
- Defending the government on WikiLeaks ‘leaking’; of government information, violating the 1st Amendment guarantee of the Freedom of Speech
- Signing a horrible immigration bill that brought many problems to solving immigration as explained in my previous blog
- Not vigorously trying to get Don’t Ask Don’t Tell passed or any bill that benefits the LGBT community
Some of what I included was his bad positions, but there is more. I think that keeping troops in Afghanistan is a mistake. We should get out now. We also should get everyone out of Iraq, including the supposed 40,000+ ‘non-combat’ troops serving as ‘advisers.’ Also we should try to roll back the Patriot Act if possible, curb corporate spending and limit power of lobbyists. I could go on and on with positions of Obama’s that I don’t like.
On another note, you should check out my new show called “Burke’s How To What To Do It”.Its a video about basic guitar skills.