Posts Tagged ‘ObamaCare’

After years and years of claiming they were working on a plan to replace Obamacare–but never actually coming up with one–conservatives have finally come forth with their “plan.”

Actually, it took Donald Trump to finally articulated it. Leave it to Trump, the man who gets things done, to present a plan so concise that it embodies everything we love about the modern Republican party.

Yes, The Donald was on CNN today, where he declared, “It’s gotta go. Repeal and replace with something terrific.”

That’s the plan! Replace it with “something terrific”! It perfectly describes the Republican plan for, well, pretty much everything. No details, just an empty promise that it’ll be “something terrific.”

I can’t wait for the debate next week.

The Supreme Court affirms the right of same sex couples to marry, just like heterosexual couples. Conservatives pitch a hissy fit because they can no longer deny other people the same right that they enjoy. And for good measure, Justice Scalia once again demonstrates what an awful person he is.

The Supreme Court rejects the cynical argument that the Affordable Care Act was written in such a way as to destroy itself. The only reason this case was brought to court was to damage the Obama presidency. The plaintiffs didn’t really care about how it would affect them. As I said, cynical. But that’s conservatism in the twenty-first century.

Bristol Palin, paid abstinence spokesperson, is again pregnant out of wedlock. She doesn’t seem too happy about it, and asks that no one lecture her. If only she had taken her own advice instead of, well, spending years lecturing other people, she might find a more sympathetic audience. Instead, she’s just another conservative hypocrite.

Sarah Palin no longer has a job at Fox News. May we never hear from her again.

Donald Trump refuses to release his birth certificate. Another conservative hypocrite. Oh my God, though, the 2016 Republican presidential contest is going to be fun. Talk about a clown car! I think they all take turns driving it, though The Donald no doubt thinks he’s the only one who can possibly drive it correctly.

A black woman is arrested for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds.

May was the hottest May on record; 2015 on track to be hottest year on record. But nothing to see here.

Over at B4V, Cluster–our dear friend and former blogging colleague (until he couldn’t tolerate dissenting comments about his posts and retreated to a safe haven in which his views are never challenged)–writes in the comments that he is “FUCKING tired of tired of progressives and their penchant to use every damn issue under the sun to hate on white conservatives and divide this country.” He then uses as his sole example a New York Times article titled “White Terrorism Is as Old as America.” The article’s lede?

My grandmother used to speak of Klansmen riding through Louisiana at night, how she could see their white robes shimmering in the dark, how black people hid in bayous to escape them. Before her time, during Reconstruction, Ku Klux Klan members believed they could scare superstitious black people out of their newly won freedom. They wore terrifying costumes but were not exactly hiding — many former slaves recognized bosses and neighbors under their white sheets. They were haunting in masks, a seen yet unseen terror. In addition to killing and beating black people, they often claimed to be the ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers.

Yes, an article that describes the ugly history of terrorism perpetrated by white Americans–namely the Ku Klux Klan–upon Black Americans is equated by Cluster as “hating on conservatives.” Glad we got that one straight.

Did I miss anything else?

P.S. I have to say, it is a bit sad to see conservatives so unhinged that they can no longer even bring themselves to talk to people with whom they disagree. Oh, also, nothing but 107+ degree weather on Cluster’s porch for the foreseeable future. Better get the golfing in early, my friend!

As 2014 comes to an end, Republicans around the country should be rejoicing in the amazing track record of President Obama, who has accomplished the 2012 Republican presidential candidates’ agendas far faster than they themselves promised they would have!

From Steven Benen:

* The Romney Standard: Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans elect him, he’d get the unemployment rate down to 6% by 2016. Obama won anyway and the unemployment rate dropped below 6% two years faster.

* The Gingrich Standard: Newt Gingrich said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans re-elected the president, gas prices would reach $10 per gallon, while Gingrich would push gas down to $2.50 a gallon. As of this morning, the national average at the pump is a little under $2.38.

* The Pawlenty Standard: Tim Pawlenty said trillions of dollars in tax breaks would boost economic growth to 5% GDP. Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy and GDP growth reached 5% anyway.

Fantastic job, Mr. President!

Of course, sadly for Republicans, their own agenda was achieved via some, er, um, unorthodox methods (at least to them). I mean, President Obama and Congress allowed most of the Bush tax cuts to expire, and taxes even increased for the very richest among us.

Republican members of Congress spent much of the beginning of 1993 warning that raising taxes on the rich would destroy the economy.

“It will kill jobs, kill businesses, and yes, kill even the higher tax revenues that these suicidal tax increasers hope to gain,” Rep. Christopher Cox said.

And cut to the best job growth of the century — over 22 million jobs — and the first budget surplus in generations.

Of course, the nineties were an anomaly, with the end of the Cold War and the government’s decades-long investment in the internet suddenly paying off exponential returns. You can’t expect those kinds of returns again.

Cut to 2013, when President Obama’s re-election allowed most of the Bush tax breaks to expire with Republicans making similar warnings.

The result? Well, it wasn’t the best job creation of the century – yet. The 2,331,000 jobs created in 2013 was shy of 2005’s 2,506,000, which was fueled by the tens of billions of dollars the Bush Administrations flushed into defense and Homeland Security. I’d argue that 2013’s job growth could have beaten 2005 if not for Congress allowing a payroll tax to expire as the sequester went into effect. And don’t forget the how the GOP shut down the government for no discernible purpose.

In 2014, taxes again went up on those in the top percentiles to fund the Affordable Care Act. And with that money we were able to help 10 million Americans gain health insurance.

The result? According to the Labor Department, 2014 has already surpassed 2005 as the best year of job growth this century with 2,650,000 jobs projected to have been created through November.

Democratic policies that ask the rich to invest in our economy is the only way we ever created middle class jobs and it pays off for the rich.

“The U.S. economy not only grows faster, according to real GDP and other measures, during Democratic versus Republican presidencies, it also produces more jobs, lowers the unemployment rate, generates higher corporate profits and investment, and turns in higher stock market returns,” Princeton University professors Mark W. Watson and Alan Blinder have found. “Indeed, it outperforms under almost all standard macroeconomic metrics.”

Then there’s the terrible reality that the economy is growing despite the fact that millions of Americans are obtaining health care for the first time. In fact, I have conservative relatives who hate ObamaCare so much that they complain about the bureaucratic hoops they had to jump through to obtain the subsidies that allowed them to actually afford health care. The horror!

And let’s not even get started with all those “job killing” regulations that Americans are swimming in. Yes, we would all have been better off letting the Republican president slow things down in the name of ideology.

UPDATE

And let’s not forget the stock market. The Dow passed 18,000 a few days ago, which brings to mind the words of former George W. Bush adviser Michael Boskin, who on Mar. 6, 2009 penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow.” As Matt O’Brian writes in the Washington Post:

Boskin, though, didn’t think that this once-in-three-generations financial crisis was to blame for the market meltdown. Instead, he blamed it on Obama for … talking about raising taxes? “It’s hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street,” Boskin philosophized, “as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president’s policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy.” What followed was the usual conservative jeremiad against higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the poor, and deficit spending. Obama’s trying to turn us into Europe, and that’s why markets are pricing in the possibility of a Great Depression—not the dying economy he inherited.

Stocks bottomed on March 9, three days after the op-ed, as the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying and the Treasury’s stress tests restored confidence in the financial system. Then the stimulus started to kick in, putting enough of a floor under the economy that it began growing again that summer. It’s been a nasty, brutish, and long recovery, but unemployment is finally back under 6 percent and the economy is now growing at its fastest pace in over a decade.

Add it all up, and Obama’s radicalism has killed the Dow to the tune of a 171 percent return since Boskin’s op-ed.

Let’s Try This Again… Tweet Of The Day

Posted: October 24, 2014 by watsonthethird in Health Care, Tweet Of The Day
Tags: ,

There. That’s more like it.

Honestly, do conservatives take delight in trying to out-stupid each other? Good grief.

This just in: House Republicans are still working on a plan to replace ObamaCare. Just thought you’d want to know.

Four years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans still haven’t come up with their plan to replace it, despite unceasing opposition to the bill. Today, House Speaker John Boehner said, “You know, the discussions about Obamacare and what the replacement bill would look like continue. We’re trying to build consensus around one plan. Not there yet.”

Continue? That’s all they do: Continue to talk. (Actually, I’m pretty sure they’re not even doing that, but just saying so in order to put the best face on a group that doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, I admit that this is not particularly newsworthy because he’s been saying pretty much the same thing since 2010. Are House Republicans the most incompetent lot of Congressmen we’ve ever seen? I mean, they detest ObamaCare with every fiber of their body and yet they can’t figure out what they would do in its place. Of course, two days ago Boehner said the law is “completely unworkable” and “It cannot be fixed.” Meanwhile, millions of American are, you know, using the law to get health care. Republicans just hate that. You’d really think that he’d have a ready answer for this. But he doesn’t. Because House Republicans are incapable of governing. Because the only thing they agree on is that Obama is bad. Oh, and Benghazi.

The nerve of these people, I tell ya. I mean, can you imagine the audacity of millions of previously uninsured Americans now become eligible for health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act — and actually following through?! Don’t they have any consideration for how their actions might affect the rest of us who already had health care? Sheesh.

In the latest example of their outrage, courtesy Hot Air, conservatives are citing a USA Today article about how doctors are having a hard time balancing profits and patients. To conservatives, this is just another negative consequence of ObamaCare. Our dear conservative friend Cluster called it just another example of the “unintended consequences of big government.”

What’s the problem again? Oh yeah, millions of Americans are getting access to health care that didn’t have it before. You might ask, this is really a problem? Well, apparently it is if you’re a conservative who already had health care, and therefore couldn’t care less whether other people have it.

Yes, this is really the issue with these people. Conservatives are afraid that their own doctors will spend less time with them because they will have to spend time with those undeserving ObamaCare patients. An outrage, indeed.

But let’s cut the sarcasm for a moment. Honestly, what kind of morality sees your friends, relatives and neighbors gaining access to health care as an inherently bad thing? These are Americans who were previously shut out of the health care system because they are sick (and therefore unprofitable), were once sick (and therefore potentially unprofitable), or simply don’t have the money to afford health care (and therefore obviously unprofitable).

There’s a telling paragraph in that USA Today article:

Physicians don’t like to be rushed either, but for primary care physicians, time is, quite literally, money. Unlike specialists, they don’t do procedures like biopsies or colonoscopies, which generate revenue. Instead, most are still paid per visit, with only minor adjustments for those that go longer.

Ah, there’s the real issue. The more patients these doctors see, the more money they make. And we’re surprised that medical offices are telling their doctors to shorten up the visits so that can see more patients and make more money? It’s just capitalism at work. Conservatives should rejoice.

And speaking of capitalism, it has always been true, and is still true, that the more money you have, the better health care you can get. I mean, if you have enough money, you can hire your own personal physician. So what’s the problem, conservatives? If you don’t like sharing your doctors, the way to fix that is to spend more of your money. Everyone wins. The doctor wins, you win, and the economy wins. Pretty simple, really.

Of course, the converse to having lots of money is being poor. And incredibly, the poorest 40% of American women — almost half of all American women — are seeing their life expectancies actually decline compared to the generation before them. What a country — the one with the greatest health care system in the world. Right? Right?!

As though anyone seriously thought the Republicans would do the right thing.

I posted a bunch of tweets yesterday regarding the White House announcement that eight million Americans have signed up for insurance via the Affordable Care Act exchanges. (Of course, all told, a lot more than eight million Americans have obtained health care via the ACA — this is just the number of obtained private insurance via the exchanges.)

Earlier in the day, President Obama held a half-hour press conference to talk about it. (Once again, conservatives experienced shock as President Obama spoke extemporaneously without a teleprompter, answering unscripted questions.)

One question and answer stood out. Tamara Keith of NPR asked, “Now that, as you say, it’s here to stay, there are so many people that signed up, in this environment, is it possible to do the kind of corrections that — that the business community and many others would like to see, sort of small, technical corrections?”

President Obama:

It is absolutely possible, but it will require a change in attitude on the part of the Republicans. I have always said from the outset that on any large piece of legislation like this, there are going to be things that need to be improved, need to be tweaked. I said that, I think, the day I signed the bill.

And I don’t think there’s been any hesitation on our part to consider ideas that would actually improve the legislation. The challenge we have is, is that if you have certain members in the Republican Party whose view is making it work better is a concession to me, then it’s hard in that environment to actually get it done.

And I recognize that their party is going through, you know, the stages of grief, right? Anger and denial and all that stuff. And we’re not at acceptance yet. But at some point, my assumption is, is that there will be an interest to figure out, how do we make this work in the best way possible?

We have 8 million people signed up through the exchanges. That doesn’t include the 3 million young people who are able to stay on their parent’s plan. It doesn’t include the 3 million people who benefited from expansions in Medicaid. So if my math is correct, that’s 14 million right there. You’ve got another 5 million people who signed up outside of the marketplaces, but are part of the same insurance pool. So we’ve got a sizable part of the U.S. population now that are in the first — for the first time, in many cases, in a position to enjoy the financial security of health insurance.

And I’m meeting them as I’m on the road. Met with — saw a woman yesterday, a young woman, maybe 34, with her mom and her dad, she’s got two small kids, and a self-employed husband, and was — was diagnosed with breast cancer. And this isn’t an abstraction to her. She is saving her home. She is saving her business. She is saving her parents’ home, potentially, because she’s got health insurance, which she just could not afford.

And the question now becomes, if, in fact, this is working for a lot of people, but there are still improvements to make, why are we still having a conversation about repealing the whole thing? And why are we having folks say that any efforts to improve it are somehow handing Obama a victory? This isn’t about me.

And my hope is, is that we start moving beyond that. My suspicion is that probably will not happen until after November, because it seems as if this is the primary agenda item in the Republican political platform.

But here’s what I know: The American people would much rather see us talk about jobs, would much rather see us talk about high college costs, would much rather see us discussing how we can rebuild our roads and our bridges and our infrastructure and put people back to work. They’d much rather see us talk about how we boost wages and boost incomes and, you know, improve their individual family bottom lines.

And if the Republicans want to spend the entire next six months or a year talking about repealing a bill that provides millions of people health insurance without providing any meaningful alternative, instead of wanting to talk about jobs and the economic situation of families all across the country, that’s their prerogative. At some point, I think they’ll make the transition. That’s my hope, anyway. If not, we’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing, which is making — making it work for people all across the country.

I’m sorry. I’m going to say one last thing about this… (LAUGHTER) … just because this — this does frustrate me, states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now, at no cost to these states — zero cost to these states — other than ideological reasons, they have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That’s wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.

Obama asked (rhetorically because, you know, Republicans), Why are we still having a conversation about repealing the whole thing? He answered his own question, of course: “Certain members of Congress” worry that “making it work better is a concession to me.”

For Republicans, that’s what this has always been about, and that’s what it’s still about.

It was a rich day in Twitter-land, and I couldn’t restrict myself to just one. Enjoy!