Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Republican Ruse to Destroy the ACA Failing Sadly

Last Sunday NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) discussed the bipartisan budget deal which will ensure that Republicans won’t shut down the government for the next 2 years. Naturally the subject turned to the ACA. Senator Murray said that as Americans experience the benefits of the ACA, and as the dust settles, it will become more and more popular. She cited the story of a mother with disabled 29 year old son who, for the first time in his life, can get proper medical attention. For the first time in her life she can sleep at night. 

Paul Ryan, on the other hand, had this to say: “...We also don’t want to have shutdown drama so we can focus on replacing Obamacare, so we can focus on showing better ideas and what this is coming in. Cause we don’t think people like this law and we don’t think it’s gonna get any more popular.” Interesting reason for not wanting to shut down the government.

He should know what Americans want. He was the unsuccessful 2012 presidential candidate. I wonder how a private conversation would go between him and House Speaker John Boehner, who signed up and has a great policy. Despite his support of the Tea Party’s blackmail that led to the government shut down. “We fought the good fight” he said, then promptly signed up, using the website. He was hoping to prove that he couldn't get a policy. Unfortunately - or fortunately, for him - his hopes were dashed.

The latest CBS News /New York Times Poll shows just how wrong Paul Ryan and his cohorts are.
  • Obamacare disapproval has dropped from 61% in November to 50% now;
  • Approval has risen from 31% in November to 39% now. 
  • President Obama’s job approval rating has risen from 37% in November to 42% now;
  • Disapproval has dropped from 57% in November to 50% now. 
That’s in one month. One wonders if Republicans will ever read the polls or take reality into account. They’ve made 40 attempts to repeal Obamacare and have failed every time. This isn’t a new fight for them either. They opposed Medicare, predicting that it would turn America into a socialized state. They said Americans didn’t want it. 

In 1961 Ronald Reagan released an LP calling for resistance to Medicare. His final words were: “If you don’t [do something about stopping Medicare], this program, I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until one day as Normal Thomas said we will wake to find that we have socialism, and if you don’t do this and I don’t do this, one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Republicans had a good run of scare-mongering and they managed to fool some of the people but not all of the people.President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Act, which included Medicare, into law in 1965 and Americans came to understand that it was a good thing. It has had 48 years of success. The dire predictions of Reagan et al about America becoming a socialist state haven’t come to pass. 

The glitches have been mostly fixed. And Americans are showing just how much they don’t want Obamacare by visiting the site by the millions. The US government recently released the following figures for November. SBM’s are State Based Marketplaces and FFM is Federally-faciliated Marketplace.

  • 258,497 enrolled in November. The figure for October was 106,185.  
  • From 1 October to 30 November, 39.1 million people visited SBMs and FFM websites and there were 5.2 million calls to the call centers. 
  • 1.8 million completed applications were submitted to SBMs and FFM and those applications represented 3.7 million people applying for Coverage. 
  • 2.3 million people were determined eligible to enroll in a Marketplace plan by the SBMs and FFM. 
  • 365,000 individuals have selected a plan through the SBMs and FFM. 
  • 1.9 million eligible people have not yet selected a Marketplace plan through the SBMs and FFM. 
  • 1.2 million people have selected a Marketplace plan or had a Medicaid/CHIP Determination or Assessment. 
  • 803,000 individuals have been determined or assessed to be eligible for Medicaid/CHIP by the SBMs and FFM.
The last word on this belongs to Senator Harry Reid who has carried around a newspaper clipping showing Republican scaremongering against Medicare. He tweeted it in October, saying this: “Been carrying this in my wallet a long time. It shows you how long Republicans have been wrong about health care. It's had 2072 retweets. If you can’t read the print in the image, these are the quotes:
"I was there, fighting the fight, one of twelve, voting against Medicare, because we knew it wouldn't work in 1965." - Sen. Bob Dole. [This was in 1996. What didn’t work was Dole’s run for Presidency.]
"Now we didn't get rid of it in round one because we didn't think it politically smart ... But we believe (Medicare) is going to wither on the vine." - House Speaker Newt Gingrich. [Yeah. Gingrich also lost in 2012.]
"Medicare has no place in a free world.  Social Security is a rotten trick ... I think we're going to have to bite the bullet on Social Security and phase it out over time." - House Majority Leader Dick Armey. [It's been going strong for 48 years now.]