Republicans lie about Obamacare: Actually 59% of us love it!

The Republicans regularly attempt to repeal Obamacare, and now they're talking about defunding it. 

They claim that the majority of Americans oppose Obamacare, which is true, but they don't tell you the rest of the story. 

Mother Jones magazine did, though:

A majority of Americans still oppose the nation's new health care measure, three years after it became law, according to a new survey.

According to the poll, 43% of the public says it supports the health care law....Fifty-four percent of those questioned say they oppose the law, also relatively unchanged since 2010. The survey indicates that 35% oppose the health care law because it's too liberal, with 16% saying they oppose the measure because it isn't liberal enough.

Right. Let me rephrase this:

According to a recent poll, 59 percent of Americans support Obamacare, while 35 percent oppose it. Among supporters, 43 percent support the law as is, while 16 percent think it doesn't go far enough. (source)

Newt Gingrich, who I don't like much basically because he's Republican, is one of the party's few true intellectuals. He wants to save the party and knows that killing Obamacare will be added to the long list of reasons people will have for switching away from the GOP.

Suggesting the Republican Party should be a party of ideas rather than just attacks, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told a gathering of GOP operatives that lawmakers who criticize Obamacare but offer no alternatives will be left with “zero answer” for constituents who ask for a policy solution to the president’s health care reform law.

“I would bet for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks while your members of Congress are home and you look at them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ and they will have zero answer,” Gingrich told state party chairs, activists, and operatives at the Republican National Committee summer meeting. “We are caught up right now in a culture – and you see it every single day – where as long as we are negative, as long as we are vicious, as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don’t have to worry, so we don’t.

“This is a very deep problem,” he added. “I’m being totally candid with you.” (source)

The one great idea I hear some Republicans proposing is moving toward delinking health care from employment. When you lose your job, you don't lose your life insurance or auto insurance, why should you lose your health insurance.

Anyway, I hope this piece functions as an invitation to discuss Obamacare, whether it should be repealed or defunded or amended, and if eliminated, what, if anything, should take its place?

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As a progressive, I am hopeful that the republican party will turn itself around and begin to furnish its own ideas. We need both parties to be constructive. 

Disagree. Sure, multiple (and opposing) intelligent political parties are needed, but I would prefer that the know-nothing Tea Party continue to drag the Republican Party over the cliff on the Right. The US has a perfectly good center-right party - The Democratic Party. What is most sorely needed is for a new effective center-left party to coalesce around the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders - a party to represent a huge and growing liberal base. 

I like Bernie, he is one of our two Vermont Senators, the other being Pat Leahy - I like them both, but sadly for Vermont, they are both near to retirement.  we need younger leaders in their vein.

The one great idea I hear some Republicans proposing is moving toward delinking health care from employment. When you lose your job, you don't lose your life insurance or auto insurance, why should you lose your health insurance.

I would say that if this had been done decades ago we might not be looking at such a shitty system today; much of what has happened to it has been consequences of this policy.  And undoing this today might be more constructive in the long run than many of the things that are in Obamacare now.

Except that even when health care is delinked from employment, unless you find work again pretty quickly or have been able to set aside plenty of money, you're going to be without health insurance anyway. This is why we need something better than the emergency room for people who have an allergy attack, cut their toe, or are having prostate problems, not to mention people who get cancer or have a heart attack.

  • Rise in chronic diseases – Longer life spans and greater prevalence of chronic illnesses has placed tremendous demands on the health care system.  It is estimated that health care costs for chronic disease treatment account for over 75% of national health expenditures.  In particular, there has been tremendous focus on the rise in rates of overweight and obesity and their contribution to chronic illnesses and health care spending.  The changing nature of illness has sparked a renewed interest in the possible role for prevention to help control costs. 

 Health expenditures in the United States neared $2.6 trillion in 2010, over ten times the $256 billion spent in 1980.[1] The rate of growth in recent years has slowed relative to the late 1990s and early 2000s, but is still expected to grow faster than national income over the foreseeable future.

Economics professor Gerald Freidman, PhD breathes some welcome fresh air into the discussion over the high cost of healthcare, challenging some common assumptions, mostly promoted by Republicans. Here is the beginning of his article. You may want to read the rest:

America’s health care system is collapsing, and we can blame the Economics profession. Most economists approach health care in the wrong way, viewing it as a commodity like shoes or the laptop on which I write. Instead, health care is an idiosyncratic commodity, subject to uncertainty and “asymmetric information” leading to destructive behavior. Trying to force health care into a box, treating it like other commodities, economists have promoted cost sharing, market competition, and insurance oversight of health care providers that have inflated the administrative burden while denying ever more Americans access.

While other countries have controlled health care costs by restraining administrative expenses and drug prices, ballooning costs in the United States come from policies promoted by economists who have urged governments and providers to control costs by making consumers responsible for more of the costs even while raising administrative costs and ignoring monopolistic pricing of pharmaceuticals. Viewing the injured, sick, and disabled as “consumers,” economists see insurance as the source of rising costs because they are not responsible for the costs of care they receive and, therefore, overuse health care. Rising copayments and deductibles are intended to discourage “consumers” from “abusing” health care, as if the victims of auto accidents or cancer should shop around for cheaper, and competition among insurers while limiting provider services by providing more administrative supervision. Ignoring evidence that Americans are less likely to see doctors and other health providers than are residents of other affluent countries, these economists have blamed the high cost of our health care on insurance which, they assume, leads to wasteful over-practice and the provision of unnecessary health care services. Their solution is greater cost sharing, more regulation of providers, capitation, and even the end to insurance by substituting medical savings accounts for insurance. 

For 40 years, many economists’ have promoted increasing cost sharing through higher copayments and deductibles, the replacement of fee-for-service payment systems with capitation where providers are paid a fixed amount for patients as in Health Maintenance Organizations, and competition where multiple insurers offer a variety of plans catered to individual consumer’s interests and in competition with each other. Far from limiting health care cost increases, these practices have produced the worst of all worlds, rising costs along with restrictions on access. Costs have risen because these recommendations have inflated the administrative burden in health care, the costs of the billing and insurance activities within provider offices as well as the cost of the health insurance industry itself. While restricting access, limiting the benefit to Americans of some of the dramatic improvements in health care practice of the last decades, these practices have not bent the cost curve or slowed health care inflation even while denying more and more Americans access to affordable health care.


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