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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 47,101

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Eugene Robinson: Plenty of Time to Fix Obamacare---So everyone can take a deep breath and calm down.

Plenty of Time to Fix Obamacare
Eugene Robinson
...........

The sense of urgency surrounding the program is palpable—and largely artificial. The Obama administration royally screwed up the launch, no question about it. But there’s time to get it right. Plenty of time.

The real deadline for creating a sleek, seamless, customer-friendly website allowing people to buy insurance through the federal exchanges isn’t three weeks or even three months. It’s three years and change—the time President Obama has left in office.

The Affordable Care Act will remain the law unless its opponents win veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress. With the GOP’s approval numbers essentially down to friends and family, a landslide victory in next year’s midterm election seems unlikely, to say the least. This means that as long as Obama is around, his eponymous health care reforms will be around, too.

So everyone can take a deep breath and calm down. The state exchanges are working fine. The first task with the federal website is to make sure the flow of information to and from insurance companies is reliable and accurate. This whole scheme doesn’t work unless insurers know whom they are insuring.


The Rest:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/plenty_of_time_to_fix_obamacare_20131101

"Crossfire"



Bill Moyers: Republicans stalked Obamacare ‘like Jack The Ripper’

The criticism surrounding the Affordable Care Act did not come out of nowhere, Bill Moyers argued in a commentary on Friday, nor is it without historical precedent.

“This happened back in the thirties, after Congress passed Social Security, but failed to sufficiently fund the board that was supposed to run it,” Moyers said on Moyers & Company on Friday. “Republican opponents of ObamaCare have gone further. After it passed they stalked it like Jack The Ripper. In the states, through the courts, all the way to the Supreme Court, which, uh-oh, ruled it constitutional. In last year’s election, when they lost again. But quit? Never. For Republicans, this has become their Alamo.”

And it was House Republicans, Moyers said, who refused to provide enough funding to maximize the efficiency of the law’s implementation, giving them the opportunity to complain about its performance since.


But he also criticized President Barack Obama for backing away from the single-payer option he endorsed as a candidate under a filibuster threat from Senate Democrats, specifically Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT).


.......................
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/01/bill-moyers-republicans-stalked-obamacare-like-jack-the-ripper/

Another Republican Switches To The Democratic Party

A Republican congressional candidate is renouncing his party and switching his affiliation to Democrat.

Jason Thigpen, who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Walter Jones in the 3rd Congressional District, wrote a blistering assessment of his former party, saying his shift was precipitated by the tea party push for a government shutdown.

“I simply cannot stand with a party where its most extreme element promote hate and division amongst people,” Thigpen said in a statement posted to his campaign website Thursday. “Nothing about my platform has, nor will it change. The government shutdown was simply the straw that broke the camels back. I guess being an American just isn’t good enough anymore and I refuse to be part of an extremist movement in the GOP that only appears to thrive on fear and hate mongering of anyone and everyone who doesn’t walk their line.”

Thigpen is a six-year Army veteran who received a Purple Heart, according to his website. He graduated from UNC-Wilmington in May and started a nonprofit group called Student Veterans Advocacy Group. The 36-year-old lives in Holly Ridge with his wife and four children.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/31/3329326/gop-extremist-movement-prompts.html#storylink=cpy
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/02/1252488/-Another-Republican-Switches-To-The-Democratic-Party

Republicans are their own worst enemy on Obamacare. Here’s proof.

The standoff over the budget and debt ceiling that culminated in a government shutdown amounted to a political disaster for Republicans. One of the main reasons why has nothing to do with what happened and everything to do with what didn’t.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Friday explains it. Forty-four percent of Americans say they paid very close attention to the fight over the short-term budget and the debt limit, while only half as many say the same thing about the glitches that have plagued the rollout of the health-care law’s online exchanges or marketplaces. Just 24 percent say they paid scant attention to the shutdown and debt showdown, compared to 46 percent who say the same thing about the troubled health-care rollout



So, while Republicans were dominating the headlines with their fight against Obamacare in the budget debate, the real-world problems with the law were going overlooked by the public for much of last month. In short, Republicans couldn’t get out of their own way.


MORE:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/01/republicans-are-their-own-worst-enemy-on-obamacare-heres-proof/

.............................


and just for fun, another chart:

'Winners And Losers From Obamacare'




University of Michigan professor and senior Brookings fellow Justin Wolfers on Thursday created a chart depicting the "winners and losers" under the Affordable Care Act, sourced to a Ryan Lizza article that used estimates from M.I.T. economist Jon Gruber, a former adviser to Mitt Romney.

The chart portrays the degree to which Republicans and critics of Obamacare have amplified the media's coverage around the relatively small percentage of Americans who have received cancellation notices for stripped-down individual market plans that failed to meet the benefit requirements of the ACA.

https://twitter.com/JustinWolfers/status/395982657814667264/photo/1
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chart-winners-and-losers-from-obamacare

Hagel blasts states on same-sex benefits policy

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon by refusing to allow National Guard facilities to issue ID cards that enable same-sex spouses of military members to claim benefits.

“This is wrong,” Hagel said in remarks prepared for delivery in New York.

“Not only does this violate the states’ obligation under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to,” he said.

Hagel said these states’ policies are unfair. He said he ordered the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, to “take immediate action to remedy this situation.”




http://www.armytimes.com/article/20131031/NEWS05/310310041/Hagel-blasts-states-same-sex-benefits-policy

Krugman gets it : it's "A War on the Poor"

A War on the Poor
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else — and only willfully blind observers can fail to see that reality.

The big question is why. But, first, let’s talk a bit more about what’s eating the right.

I still sometimes see pundits claiming that the Tea Party movement is basically driven by concerns about budget deficits. That’s delusional. Read the founding rant by Rick Santelli of CNBC: There’s nary a mention of deficits. Instead, it’s a tirade against the possibility that the government might help “losers” avoid foreclosure. Or read transcripts from Rush Limbaugh or other right-wing talk radio hosts. There’s not much about fiscal responsibility, but there’s a lot about how the government is rewarding the lazy and undeserving.

Republicans in leadership positions try to modulate their language a bit, but it’s a matter more of tone than substance. They’re still clearly passionate about making sure that the poor and unlucky get as little help as possible, that — as Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, put it — the safety net is becoming “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.” And Mr. Ryan’s budget proposals involve savage cuts in safety-net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

...............

In a much-cited recent memo, Democracy Corps, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research organization, reported on the results of focus groups held with members of various Republican factions. They found the Republican base “very conscious of being white in a country that is increasingly minority” — and seeing the social safety net both as something that helps Those People, not people like themselves, and binds the rising nonwhite population to the Democratic Party. And, yes, the Medicaid expansion many states are rejecting would disproportionately have helped poor blacks.

MORE:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/opinion/krugman-a-war-on-the-poor.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131101&_r=1&
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/11/01/1252248/-Krugman-gets-it-it-s-A-War-on-the-Poor

John Stossel/FOX: Women’s insurance should cost more because ‘maybe they’re hypochondriacs’

During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Stossel asserted to host Steve Doocy that President Barack Obama’s health care reform law “just kills the market” by mandating that women can no longer be charged more than men for insurance.

“The competition of the market is the only thing that makes things better,” he explained. “Yesterday, President Obama stood in front of a bunch of women in Massachusetts and said, ‘No longer will those evil insurance companies be able to charge you women more.’”

“Women go to the doctor much more often than men! Maybe they’re smarter or maybe they’re hypochondriacs,” Stossel continued. “They live longer. Who knows? But if it’s insurance, you ought to be able to charge people who use the services more, more.”

“But, John, you’re not paying attention,” Doocy said sarcastically. “This administration, this president wants to make everything fair. It’s not fair if you pay less than she does… And as a number of Republicans have made the argument, why should I pay for — I’m in my 60s, why should I pay for your maternity coverage?”

MORE:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/31/john-stossel-womens-insurance-should-cost-more-because-maybe-theyre-hypochondriacs/

Robert Reich: Obama Should Have Gone With a Comprehensive Public Insurance Plan

Robert Reich: Obama Should Have Gone With a Comprehensive Public Insurance Plan
Not surprisingly, private health insurers cheered on the Republicans while doing whatever they could to block Democrats from creating a public insurance system.


..................

Now that the essential Republican plan for healthcare is being implemented nationally, health insurance companies are jubilant.

Last week, after the giant insurer Wellpoint raised its earnings estimates, CEO Joseph Swedish pointed to “the long-term membership growth opportunity through exchanges.” Other major health plans are equally bullish. “The emergence of public exchanges, private exchanges, Medicaid expansions … have the potential to create new opportunities for us to grow and serve in new ways,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen J. Hemsley effused.

So why are today’s Republicans so upset with an Act they designed and their patrons adore? Because it’s the signature achievement of the Obama administration.

There’s a deep irony to all this. Had Democrats stuck to the original Democratic vision and built comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare, it would have been cheaper, simpler, and more widely accepted by the public. And Republicans would be hollering anyway.

MORE:
http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18283-robert-reich-l-obama-should-have-gone-with-a-comprehensive-public-insurance-plan

"Protecting Life"

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