Following the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“the Act”), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment…The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014…The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program. Existing law prohibits these centers from using Federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), as a result of both the Hyde Amendment and longstanding regulations containing the Hyde language.– Remember this? Its when Obama betrayed Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights.So don’t expect to get money for abortions under Obama’s healthcare law. It won’t happen. Its otherwise known as Executive Order 13535. I guess this makes sense since the law was the “Affordable Corporatist Act”
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]!
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.