David Frum And The GOP Have The ACA Facts Backwards

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David Frum, the former speech writer for President George W. Bush, and sometimes critic of GOP and Conservative positions, has the facts on the design of the Affordable Healthcare Act backwards.

Yesterday, writing for The Daily Beast, Frum said that the:

ACA was ingeniously designed to deliver benefits to Democratic constituencies and impose costs on Republican ones.

Mr. Frum provided no sources and no evidence for his conclusions other than his own personal experience which he claims will cost him and his family an extra $2,400 annually. This “anecdotal evidence”,  that which comes from a small sampling from personal experience, is not reliable, not representative, and often purposely ignores the real facts in order to make a political point.

This is much like the tactics by the entire right wing in fighting the rollout of the ACA.

Redsate.com has been asking readers to send in, “Your personal Obamacare horror stories.” There are blogs posting lists such as, “The Definitive Guide to How Obamacare is Destroying American Lives.”

Many GOP Representatives went back to their districts during the August Congressional recess hoping to solicit Obamacare horror stories at Town Hall style meetings.  This was the mission:

Prior to going on a five week hiatus because House Republicans have toiled a grueling 87 days since the 113th session of Congress began in January, the House Republican Caucus laid out plans to go to their home districts and garner support to continue fighting against the American people; particularly to defund the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, with valuable assistance from their conservative belief tanks, have spent every day of their vacation following their plan to the letter seeking horror stories about the not-yet-implemented ACA, but they have not had the success they planned.

Even John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, has written a letter to his constituents which included a request to send in their horror stories. It is rather difficult to find stories of American lives ruined in August when the claims of ruination cannot possibly begin to take effect until the following January, at the earliest.

These “stories” are being posted un-sourced and without any apparent verification as to if they are accurate and representative of actual experiences, of real people who have an interest in finding available medical insurance at a price that they can afford.  They cannot be trusted.  And none of these alleged horror stories, including the claims made yesterday by David Frum, include the steps taken by the alleged story tellers made to find cheaper and better coverage on the newly created exchange system or otherwise on the open market.

Perhaps these alleged horror stories do not include the steps to replace the, to be canceled, policies as the stories predate the time the exchange system went live, or that the, to be canceled, policies have been replaced with better coverage. But if the story tellers have not been able to replace policies that are substandard providing little or nothing to the consumer referred to by many as substandard coverage, perhaps they can blame the Republican leadership in their own States, where Medicaid subsidies have been refused and where the State has refused to engage with the Federal Government in setting up the exchange systems.

Here are facts we do know. As of January 1, 2014, the ACA imposes new requirements and enhanced coverage’s that all medical insurance policies must have included.  If they do not already include those enhanced and needed coverage’s, insurers must provide at least 90 days’ notice of cancelation AND options for any policies offered by the insurer which would comply with the ACA.

There is much talk about President Obama not being forthcoming when he said that:

If you like your plan, you can keep it.

Some of the roughly 14 million individuals without employer provided coverage, which will be getting these cancelation notices, which do not find coverage elsewhere through the new exchange system or otherwise through the open market, might get their existing policies canceled.  While some will end up paying more, they will be exchanging one policy, which provides little and costs a lot if you happen to get sick, for a different policy that will cover just about everything and cost much less in the event that you do get sick. And let’s face it, unless you get catastrophically ill, no one really likes their health insurance plan as insurance is something that people don’t like to pay for until they really need it.

As Presidential Press Secretary, Jay Carney, has said, people can’t keep the same plans that do not meet, “Minimum standards.”

Obamcare is now more popular than ever. One poll has 56% of respondents wanting it to be implemented and fixed.

The real truth is that “Obamacare” was designed by the far right wing Heritage Foundation.  The cornerstone is the individual mandate requiring everyone to purchase health insurance, so as not to shift the cost to the public through Medicaid and unto those consumers already paying higher health insurance premiums.

Republicans introduced a Senate bill to establish an individual mandate back in 1993.  The 1996, Republican candidate for President, Senator Bob Dole, ran on the individual mandate, and the individual mandate was enacted into law in 2006 by Republican Governor and 2012 failed candidate, Mitt Romney, which is virtually the same program as Obamacare.

Here is the Heritage Foundation document which is the blueprint for the individual mandate, circa 1989, cornerstone of what is now the ACA.

Many Progressives have been unhappy with Obamcare as enacted, for not going far enough preventing the creation of a single payer healthcare system which would essentially eliminate insurance companies form the delivery of healthcare, giving us a single payer healthcare system or Medicare for all.

The ACA was always a system that protected the interest of medical insurance companies, a system that rejected a Government run option. The bill was always a legislative compromise including 160 Republican Amendments before being passed from the Senate to the House for consideration.

Now, the Heritage Foundation and Conservative writers, such as David Frum, are trying to rewrite history and blame President Obama for the ACA as being a giveaway to his Democratic constituency and an intentional soaking of the rich.  These writers tell us how evil the law is, while disassociating themselves from the very thing that they had sought for almost 25 years.

Clearly, the concessions given to the Medical Insurance Industry, to the Pharmaceutical Industry, and to Republicans in Congress were compromises to the interests of the rich and the powerful, the constituency of the GOP/Teabully Party, and not to the vast majority of regular Americans who are the constituency of the Democratic Party.

This is why we, the voting public, must put an end to the hypocrisy and duplicity that we have seen over and over again coming from the GOP/Teabully Party and those voices from the right.

2014, it can’t come soon enough.

Edited by SS

 

 

 

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