Tag Archives: Obamacare

Who to Vote Against in 2018

Every  Republican Congressman from Texas – with one exception – voted for the abomination that is the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Trumpcare) – and then celebrated with a beer afterwards.  They voted for a bill that they had not read, that didn’t have a score from the CBO and that was rammed through without any support from the Democrats and then were positively giddy.  Gee, that sounds familiar.  Who has been complaining about the similar passage of the ACA (aka Obamacare) for the last 7 years?  Oh yeah, the Republicans.  Except the ACA had a CBO score so we actually had a pretty good idea of what it what cost and what its effects would be.

The current crop of Republicans somehow managed to forget all of their past criticisms of the Democrats and the passage of the ACA after nearly a year of debate and work,  and rush to push out a bill that will punish the most vulnerable, possibly cause approximately 24 million people to lose coverage, eviscerate critical protections for average folks,  and provide a huge tax break for their fatcat donors.  And despite the claims that popular provisions of Obamacare (such as coverage for pre-existing conditions) are being protected – it’s a bald-faced lie people.  Red hasn’t read the 1800 pages of the ACHA (and is guessing that none of the Reps who voted for this have either), but reports are that under the ACHA, states will be able to opt out of coverage for pre-existing conditions.  No doubt, that will be high on Our Poor Idiot Governor’s list of things to accomplish in screwing over the average Texan (apparently his only goal in life).  So in Texas, it may soon be a pre-existing condition to have been raped, assaulted, pregnant, or have had a caesarian section, cancer or a host of other diseases, illnesses and problems.  Good luck getting affordable insurance then – all you Trump voters.

So who was the lone Texan GOP holdout?  By pure coincidence, it happens to be the only GOP congressman who had a competitive race in 2016.  That would be Will Hurd of San Antonio who beat Pete Gallego by less than 4000 votes out of about 225,000 cast.  Hurd managed to stand on his principles in not casting a vote that likely would have doomed his chances for re-election next year.  According to Hurd,

“Since the implementation of Obamacare, I’ve told my constituents that the only meaningful metric when it comes to healthcare is actual access to quality, affordable care – not just health insurance. While the goal of Obamacare was to make healthcare more accessible and more affordable, it has done just the opposite. Likewise, while the goal of the American Health Care Act was to combat the skyrocketing premiums and outrageous deductibles millions of Americans face, it too, falls short.”

It warms the cockles of Red’s heart, to hear such selfless sentiment delivered by a vulnerable Congressman who is devoted to the best interests of his constituents (which primarily include re-electing said Congressman).  Would that others had such courage.

Is Paul Ryan Stupid or a Liar?

Taking off his coat, rolling up his sleeves and getting down to work trying to sell the America people a bill of goods, Paul Ryan revealed that he either has no clue how insurance actually works or he is willing to say anything to make a case for  TRUMPcare in the post-fact era in which we live.

The fatal conceit of Obamacare is that ‘We’re just going to make everybody buy our health insurance at the federal government level; young and healthy people are going to go into the market and pay for the older, sicker people.’ So the young healthy person is going to be made to buy health care, and they’re going to pay for the person, you know, who gets breast cancer in her 40s. Or who gets heart disease in his 50s.

So take a look at this chart. The red slice here are what I would call people with preexisting conditions. People who have real health-care problems. The blue is the rest of the people in the individual market — that’s the market where people don’t get health insurance at their jobs where they buy it themselves. The whole idea of Obamacare is the people on the blue side pay for the people on the red side. The people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick.

It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.

Pay attention Mr. Speaker – that is exactly how all forms of insurance work.  Everyone covered pays premiums to spread out the risk and benefits are paid out to those who are unfortunate enough to be injured, lose property, get flooded or need medical care.  You can’t possibly be that stupid, so the only alternative is that you are following the leader of your party and have become willing to say anything with the expectation that there are no consequences for lying through your teeth.

Abbott Wants Fed Money for Healthcare

Gov. Greg Abbott has adamantly refused to expand Medicaid even though it would provide billions in federal dollars and provide health insurance for many of the millions of Texans who are still uninsured.  The negative economic impact on the Texas economy is estimated to be at least $66 billion in lost funding – money that would create jobs and keep workers and their families healthy.

Abbott, who must be seen doing everything he can to oppose “Obamacare”, hasn’t been shy about attempting to hang onto another source of critical funding for Texas hospitals.  The federal government provides a huge amount of money to Texas hospitals through the uncompensated care pool. For four years, the feds have reimbursed Texas’ safety-net hospitals for care they provide to people who cannot afford to pay because Texas refuses to embrace Medicaid expansion.  Now that the feds are threatening to cut off this funding, Abbott is up in arms and has his administration attacking those who are arguing for Medicaid expansion.  The Texas Tribune has the whole sordid story of Abbott’s duplicity, his attempt to smear his opponents and his refusal to turn over the emails that show his role.

Make up your mind, Gov. Abbott.  Either you are for or against the federal government funding health care in Texas.

Rick’s Legacy of Failure in Healthcare

Thanks largely to flailing presidential candidate and former governor Rick Perry, Texas has the worst healthcare record in the entire nation.  The Dallas Observer reports that Texas is the only state that still has more than 20% of its population without healthcare coverage and ranks only ahead of Oklahoma and Louisiana in the quality of healthcare provided to its citizens.  All so Rick could score points in his futile attempt to grab the presidency and presumably work to ruin the healthcare system of the rest of the nation.

The state comes in third to last in the overall ranking, ahead of only Louisiana and Oklahoma, which is the rough equivalent of beating a couple of asthmatic 4-year-olds in a foot race. Similarly, Texas falls significantly below the national average in such categories as patient safety, healthy living, HIV/AIDS, nursing homes, etc. Not only that, in many cases it has fallen further below the national average than it was in the past, which either means that care has gotten worse (unlikely but possible) or that other states have gotten better faster (more probable).

So, what specifically are Texas’ biggest failures? Of the 200-odd categories, Texas fares worst in “New AIDS cases per 100,000 population age 13 and over” (489 percent below the national average); “Hospital admissions for uncontrolled diabetes without complications per 100,000 population, adults” (383 percent); and “Avoidable admissions for hypertension per 100,000 population age 18 and over” (332 percent).

Ted Cruz Speaks – Red Translates

Cruz was nearly apoplectic in the face of the Supreme Court’s latest upholding of the Affordable Care Act.

“Our government was designed to be one of laws [only those made by Republicans of course], not of men [screw the women],” Sen. Cruz said. “And this transparent distortion is disgraceful [contrary to what I believe]. These justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes[unless they are following the Tea Party agenda and I approve]. They have joined a team [the Communist, Socialist Liberal Democrats], and it is a team that is hurting Americans across this country[Despite the undisputed evidence of reasonable economic and job growth after my party damn near killed the economy]. Obamacare [never call it by its real name] is the biggest job killer in America [if I say so] Millions of Americans have lost their jobs [please don’t ask for evidence – just trust me here], have been forced into part-time work [largely because they wanted to be able to work part-time and still have health insurance – but those are inconvenient facts that you should obviously ignore because I do], have lost their health insurance [and got better insurance –  again ignore], have lost their doctors [I mean literally lost them – they have simply disappeared and cannot be found]. Millions of Americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket [and by that I mean they have increased at a much lower rate than before the ACA but I can’t really say that now can I?], and it is a direct result of President Obama [that Muslim Kenyan Socialist terrorist sympathizer], of Democrats [latter-day Communists] in the United States Congress, and of lawless judges [except for the authority granted to them by the US Constitution which I claim to revere except when inconveniently at odds with the facts] at the United States Supreme Court who have joined the team  [those Commies again] of the Obama administration [as opposed to my team of Tea Party wingnuts who wanted to destroy our healthcare system so that we could embarrass that Muslim Kenyan]. If those justices [I really dissed them by using lower case] want to become legislators [like me], I invite them to resign and run for office [preferably in Texas]. That’s the appropriate place to write laws [something I am to busy grandstanding to do]: on this floor [we keep the carpet reasonably clean], not from that courtroom.”

Texas Tea Partisans Would Rather Lose Billions than Cave on Obamacare

Texas health care providers are urging Texas lawmakers to expand Medicaid in order to receive billions to help the working poor obtain health coverage.  Texas still has the largest percentage of residents without primary health care coverage in the nation.  Is the Texas Tea Party likely to do anything about that?  Probably not, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

With billions of dollars in hospital aid at stake, health care officials are anxious for state leaders to resolve the federal government’s concerns about extending a program that helps cover the staggering cost of caring for uninsured and needy Texans.

The federal government wants Texas and other states to expand Medicaid to cover more residents — rather than relying on federal matching money to pay hospitals back for taking care of uninsured patients. Texas officials have refused, and now many are worried the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, known as CMS, might end the hospital payments when the current program expires Sept. 30, 2016.