Archive for September, 2013

Obamacare and the Politics of Ignorance, Hate, and Fear

September 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Everyone knows that the current healthcare system is broken, unsustainable, and is bankrupting the country (while providing inadequate access to what has become substandard healthcare).  Nevertheless, Republicans remain focused on repealing the only meaningful piece of healthcare reform legislation passed in years.  Obamacare is not perfect, and politicians should be working to improve it.

But they’re not.

So, let’s just be honest.

The fight against Obamacare is nothing about healthcare.  Any one with any knowledge of Obamacare knows it, because there is nothing about Obamacare that explains the rabid Republican-led reaction against it.  Instead, the fight is about a deep hate and fear of the President, of the poor, of the foreign, and of the non-white.  This hatred, this racism is obvious and clear.

Granted that there may be a “principled” argument to be made  against the individual mandate, but, really, is that what is upsetting people?

The misinformed public has no understanding of the benefits of Obamacare.  They are victims of the purposely false and deceitful campaign of misinformation waged by Republican leaders, who never mention that Obamacare makes health insurance available and affordable, it eliminate lifetime caps and preexisting conditions, it fights healthcare fraud, and it moves to less expensive preventive care.  There are no death panels, there are no governmental bureaucrats making healthcare decisions.

Unfortunately, logic and reason are no match against ignorance, racism, and hate.  Patriotism seems to have lost out also.

Florida Cares About Healthcare … Not

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment

I have been very remiss about posting for the last several weeks.

Being a Floridian is very depressing.  Florida’s elected and administrative leaders have done everything they can to misinform Floridians about Obamacare, to keep the needy from accessing care, to prevent the uninsured from being able to purchase affordable health insurance, and to force healthcare providers to provide unreimbursed care.

Earlier today, Health News Florida reported on how politics over healthcare reform has become more important than either healthcare or meaningful reform.

  • The New York Times reported on Tuesday that “Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-dominated [Florida] Legislature have made it more difficult for Floridians to obtain the cheapest insurance rates under the exchange and to get help from specially trained outreach counselors.”
  • The Miami Herald reported also on Tuesday that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, stated that Florida officials are “keeping information from people” in a political effort to foil the effort to enroll Floridians for health insurance.
  • Florida AG Pam Bondi and CFO Jeff Atwater have also joined in the campaign of misinformation and deceit.

The list of wasted Florida tax dollars and loss of Federal funding in trying to impede Obamacare was reported by Health News Florida earlier this week.  Florida’s list of shame includes the following:

  • Leading the court challenge on the constitutionality of Obamacare in 2010 soon after it was signed into law.   Attorney General Pam Bondi made it one of her high-profile issues, becoming a regular guest on Fox News to attack it.
  • After the Supreme Court ruled the law was constitutional, the Florida Legislature told state agencies not to implement it because lawmakers felt sure the Republican party Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, would win the election in 2012 and repeal the law.
  • After Romney lost the election, governor and legislature pressured the agencies not to apply for grants related to the law; some agencies had to give back grants they had already been awarded.
  • The Legislature this year voted against Florida having its own electronic marketplace for health-plan shopping, even though the state had already spent five years and several million dollars building an online shopping site, Florida Health Choices, that has yet to be used.
  • After months of hearings and negotiations, the Florida Senate came up with a compromise plan on Medicaid expansion that would accomplish several things — reduce the number of uninsured Floridians by about 1 million by using federal funds,  save millions of state dollars now being spent on the uninsured, and continue privatization of the Medicaid program, already well under way.  But the House said no.
  • The Legislature voted to strip the Insurance Commissioner’s authority to regulate health premiums for two years.
  • Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty issued a report that predicted health premiums in Florida’s  individual market would soar 30 to 40 percent, thereby producing scandalous headlines. Later, others would note that the figure failed to make adjustments for the tax credits most of those shopping in that market would qualify for. He also failed to mention that the sector he was describing accounts for only 5 percent of policies.

It’s all really quite pathetic and disgusting.  It’s time to vote the bastards out.

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