Our PA-08 U.S. House rep was allowed to propagandize last Friday in our local conservative scandal sheet…again…on health care reform…again (here)…
I was sent to Washington to put our country back on the right track. As friends and neighbors expressed their feelings about the Affordable Care Act, it became abundantly clear that while all of us want to see more affordable and accessible health care, government-run, universal health care is the wrong direction. No matter how you feel about the decision, the Supreme Court has given us an opportunity to get health care right in America.
The Affordable Care Act, which should have been used as an opportunity to bring us together, unfortunately became one of the most divisive issues ever addressed in the House of Representatives for two reasons: the 2,700 page bill was railroaded through Congress with little time afforded for any legislator to truly understand the bill, and, few Americans believe government-run, universal health care is the solution to making medicine more accessible and affordable.
“Railroaded through Congress”? What planet is Mikey living on?
Do you remember the months of hearings and political “sausage-making” that went on particularly in the Senate while the Obama Administration tried to woo people like Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee considered interminable amendment after interminable amendment? As well as the whole “will Harry Reid use reconciliation to pass the bill or won’t he” kabuki that played out something like this?
I realize Mikey was out of Congress from 2006 to 2010, but that still doesn’t give him an excuse for playing fast and loose with the facts (and aside from his loss to Patrick Murphy, there was another reason why that matters very much in this discussion that I’ll note at the end).
Like most of us, I oppose a government-run health care system funded by mandatory taxes which puts bureaucrats, not patients and doctors, in charge of health care. It has been argued over the past 18 months that the Affordable Care Act did little to drive down the cost of health care and will be funded, devastatingly, on the backs of those who are already paying their fair share. In fulfilling my commitment to visit 100 businesses in 100 days this summer, employers explained that a Supreme Court decision upholding the costly mandate for families while imposing countless taxes would be the worst possible outcome for businesses to get our economy moving once again. To be clear, I believe failure to repeal the act will result in the largest tax increase in American history on middle-income families.
Actually, Mikey has it exactly backward, as usual – as noted here, repealing the “law” (it’s not really an “Act” any more at this point – and yes, I make that mistake too) would cost over $100 million, and the effort to repeal to this point has cost $50 million so far (here).
Without a full repeal, the government will continue to hold our economy hostage and middle-income families will be taxed out of recovery. However, we must ensure that the solid progress we have made on issues such as pre-existing conditions and covering dependents under 26 continues in whatever framework we develop.
I love the fact that Mikey says “solid progress” has been made on the very issues addressed by the Affordable Care Act, which he plainly detests. Also, as noted here, tax receipts in this country are at their lowest level in about 60 years (so much for being “taxed out” of recovery).
Even under the Affordable Care Act, 15 million people would have remained uninsured.
Actually, Mikey, the number is a lot higher than that, as noted here. And signing the so-called “public option” into law, or establishing “Medicare for all” (both of which were strenuously opposed by you and your party) would have lowered that number considerably.
Update 7/30/12: OK, so I was off too, on the jobless number anyway – but so was Mikey, still (here…h/t Atrios).
Taking a larger view, over 90 percent of privately insured Americans are covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan.
Note that Mikey didn’t say “90 percent of all employed Americans” (I honestly think the unemployed are invisible to our PA-08 rep, hence his touting earlier in his column about meeting “100 business people in 100 days,” or something – yes, meet with business people, but just because someone isn’t a “job creator,” that doesn’t mean that they don’t have health insurance coverage issues also…when Mikey makes an appearance at a job fair, I would appreciate it if he would let us know).
Tort reform is another critical component as frivolous lawsuits costs the health care industry between $70 billion and $126 billion annually by forcing doctors to recommend needless tests and procedures in a game to limit exposure to liability. Doctors continually cite this as a major problem that is not only costly, but, limits access to medical care.
I beg to differ with Mikey on tort reform – it was tried in Texas (referred to as “the breeding ground of bad government” by The Eternal Molly Ivins), and the predictable result is here (Mikey and his pals plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, but with what, they apparently don’t know, or possibly do know but are refusing to tell us, as noted here – more good stuff on this from Media Matters is here).
It’s particularly galling to hear Mikey whine and propagandize about this issue as opposed to other right-wing “hobby horses,” mainly because, though he managed to benefit from excellent care during his struggle with cancer a little while back, he would willingly sabotage the Affordable Care Law and thus deny others of potentially the same opportunity.
There are a few words that can be used to describe that type of an individual, but I’ll merely say that they have nothing to do with the religious faith he professes to believe and practice and leave it at that (and to do something about this, click here).
Update 8/2/12: Oh, and speaking of our congressman, it should be noted from here that he recently voted against extending those stinking George W. Bush tax cuts to anyone making less than $250 grand (I guess he thinks none of us are “job creators”).