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What will they do now, threaten to repeal a law that forces insurance companies to cover the sick?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 04:52 AM
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What will they do now, threaten to repeal a law that forces insurance companies to cover the sick? /

The Moderate Republican: An Endangered Species
By Robert Scheer

Boy, the Republicans know how to make Barack Obama look good. What are they going to do now, threaten to repeal a law that forces insurance companies to cover the sick? Or block the provision that allows you to keep your out-of-work kids on your policy until they are 26? Whatever the failings of the billand they are real, especially in the area of cost controlits proponents will clearly have an advantage over those left bemoaning the loss of the untenable status quo. Particularly so during the first years, when its very sensible restraints on the insurance industry go into effect.

The bill that the president signed into law is limited and hardly provocative, but it unquestionably gets us over the first huge hurdle, already surmounted by every other economically advanced nation, to finally regard health coverage as a societal obligation. We already do with the rules governing admittance to hospital emergency rooms, but now that obviously humane assurance carries the majesty of landmark law. For that achievement, Obama and the Democrats who supported him have secured their marker in the nations history, and the Republicans, without exception, should be remembered only as wannabe spoilers.


Watching those Republican state attorneys general pressing their states rights claim to overturn this bill, you had to wonder whether they were unaware that many of the 16 million now to be covered by an expanded Medicaid live in the states they claim to represent. Have they checked with hospital directors in the poverty centers of Florida and Louisiana to see if they truly dont want the feds to help cover the uninsured poor they are now legally required to treat?

The immediate impact of the law is that, from the moment of the presidents signing, state governments will be prevented from cutting their Medicaid and Childrens Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). Arizona just did the latter, resulting in a loss of insurance for 47,000 kids in low-income families. Since that states senior senator, John McCain, is so upset with this bills passage, will he now have the honesty to boast that Arizona may have gotten its version of health reform in under the wire before Obamacare could save insurance for his home states children?

For progressives, the preservation of existing Medicaid and CHIP rules until the new system is fully operational in 2014, as well as the expansion of Medicaid to an additional 16 million needy souls, should be sufficient to regard this new law as progress. Its a pity that not a single Republican in Congress could evince a similar pragmatism, despite the stunning victory of anti-choice forces in securing the presidents sweeping executive order. Of course, the smart but evidently elusive rational political course for Republicans would have been to crow over the new laws summary rejection of a public option and claim that as their own win.

As it is, however, the lock-step march of the Republicans in radical resistance to even the most modest proposals to heal a deeply ailing nation leaves the Democrats as the only party that matters. The Republicans are a party of incoherent rage, and while they might temporarily succeed as demagogues, they are now acknowledged strangers to fact and logicnot to mention compassion.
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