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Obamacare

Obamacare trutherism is a thing

by Eric Ferguson on April 18, 2014 · 3 comments

It's a conspiracy!Yes, Obamacare trutherism is a thing. Conservatives don’t believe it can possibly work, so all the good news is lie. There’s the national version, that the numbers are made up, and in Minnesota we have our own version, that MNSure was bailed out by the state.
 
Probably many reasonable people are also incredulous at the idea Obamacare worked, because the pundit class and the beltway media joined the conservative bubble in trumpeting everything that went wrong, except the Medicaid gap; they were happy to ignore that. Reasonable people, however, will eventually figure out there wasn’t a disaster (hopefully before election day). Conservatives are off in full-throated denial after their media and politicians spent years telling them Obamacare is a disaster, already failed, lost in a death spiral, blah de blah — and now turns out Obamacare failed to fail. Even Healthcare.gov works now. Bad enough the predictions of failure were wrong, but conservative media often announced it had failed, and how can anybody be so stupid as to not see that? So the numbers must be all fake!
 
Yeah, um, about that. Let’s see if I can help any conservatives browsing by (let’s play concern troll!), and who buy the notion that Obama’s numbers are so fake you’d think he was trying to sell an invasion of Iraq. How can you tell if the numbers are real? Regarding the Census Bureau changing some questions, you could send a journalist to actually ask them for details. Granted, that would require having some journalists, so that’s a tough one for conservatives. Still, then you could find out they’ve been working on these revisions since before Obamacare and testing for a few years, so comparisons will be apples to apples. Nothing hidden there.
 
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Happy Obamacare Schadenfreude Day!

by Eric Ferguson on April 1, 2014 · 2 comments

Bigtime Obamacare schadenfreude. You earned it, if you’re among those who helped politicians who supported health care reform try to get reelected; if you did your bit to make it work, if you swallowed hard when the ACA wasn’t what you wanted but it was all that could pass and it would help a lot of people. Go ahead and watch the whole thing and drink in the montage of always wrong and always certain conservatives announcing Obamacare’s “death spiral” over and over and … you get the point. Rachel Maddow was hilarious.
 
Obamacare will meet the original projection of seven million people signing up through the exchanges (to dash the hopes of anyone hoping the April 1 publishing date gives hope it’s false, this came out March 31st). The CBO lowered the projection to six million reasonably projecting that rollout problems made the original projection unreachable. Nobody expected seven million, and “nobody” means nobody; not the CBO, not the Obama administration, not reform advocates. Oh yeah, Republicans were off by about seven million. Their response, as with other things they don’t want to believe, as Maddow puts it with hands over her ears, “la la la la la”.
 
For a bonus, yesterday it turned out the likely number of previously uninsured people newly insured thanks to Obamacare is 9.5 million. It would have been millions more if the Supreme Court hadn’t stupidly permitted the Medicaid gap, and if Republican state governments hadn’t created it by cruelly denying the Medicaid expansion to their low income residents too poor for the health insurance subsidies.
 
Such stupidity and cruelty deserves no pity as you enjoy Rachel Maddow and her signage:
 

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(From December, 2013.)
 
I was scrolling through the various commentaries on offer at TownHall.com yesterday when I spied one written by Newt Gingrich’s daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman titled “Are We Sick of Him Yet?” Being all too familiar with the anti-liberal, anti-progressive and rabidly anti-Obama venue that TownHall has devolved into I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I opened the article to find just what I had suspected to be contained therein. In this stock and shop worn anti-Obama diatribe Ms. Cushman likens Obama’s decline in popularity of late to a story she once heard about a woman who wanted a divorce from her husband, not for any of the usual reasons, but because she had grown sick of him. So much for family values and the sanctity of marriage among conservatives.

 

Cushman went on to juxtapose from the marital to the political: “Relationships that begin bright and shiny can fade into dark and gloomy when events occur that change one’s interactions, perceptions and hope for the future. Hope was gone — the relationship could get no better.” She then went on to try to force fit this juxtaposition, derived from her friend’s failed marriage, into a broad brush analysis of Obama’s present public relations predicament: “He has fallen furthest among 18- to 29-year-olds — down 7 points within the last week to 42 percent. More telling than his 40 percent overall approval rating (Gallup), is his disapproval rating, which has reached 53 percent…the 53 percent disapproval rating marks a new high. Simply put: More people than ever before disapprove of the job that Obama is doing…What can’t be determined is if Obama can get back that loving feeling or if it’s just that finally we’re sick of him. Maybe we need a divorce.” Thus reading Ms. Cushman’s piece we are left to conclude that vast swaths of the American people have grown sick of Barack Obama and are desperately in need of relief from this most onerous, if not debilitating relationship. However, short of impeachment, which is thus far unlikely no matter how strong the flights of fancy on the right are about such a thing, there’s no divorcing Obama for the next three years so get over it.

 

But as novel an approach to dealing with Barack Obama as Ms. Cushman’s might be seen to be, she has stumbled pathetically in her analysis of our collective gastrointestinal maladies by failing to examine the extent to which the American people have grown sick of Obama’s critics on the right. A simple examination of polling numbers from Real Clear Politics or Polling Report.com on the public approval of Congress shows that while Obama’s popularity has fallen the popularity of the Republicans on Capitol Hill remains stuck near historic lows at 21% and that 73% disapprove of how they are handling their job. While those numbers are off the absolute lows, its only by a few points and that with all of the problems besetting Obamacare already factored into the latest numbers. These results for Congressional Republicans are consistent throughout all of the recent polling, even that of the right leaning Fox News Network. And when it comes to the popularity of the regularly reliable anti-Obama movement that is the Tea Party the results are pretty much where they’ve been for quite some time, at the historic lows in terms of both popularity with the American people and those who consider themselves members of the movement.

 
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bachmann18Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News yesterday. She’s joined up with several other Republicans to push a bill that would prevent taxpayer funded bailouts of health insurance companies.
 
Why would they be going under? Let’s let her explain:
 

Congress should pass the anti-bailout bills currently in Congress to prevent health insurance companies from profiting at the expense of taxpayers, says U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
 
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Wednesday, Bachmann, R-Minn., said Americans don’t want to see “bailout fever” in Washington.
 
Bills by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., call for the government not to aid the insurance industry in the event that its profits fall below projections because too few young, healthy people sign up for heath coverage.

Just to bring a little reality to the situation. The health insurance industry wants Obamacare. The health insurance industry is going to make vast profits from Obamacare.
 
Young people currently make up 25% of enrollees. The industry would like to see 40%. Sane people anticipate that the percentage will rise.
 

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Kurt Daudt would repeal health care reform

by The Big E on December 17, 2013 · 3 comments

kurt-daudtHouse Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) is one of those far right wing politicians who swept into office in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Moderation, cooperation and bipartisanship are anathema to Tea Party Republicans like Daudt. So it’s no surprise he would repeal Obamacare.
 
Not that he can do much in the State Legislature controlled by the DFL, but, you know, a right wing lunatic can dream, can’t he?
 

But the MNGOP has done what it can in Minnesota to make sure that our implementation, http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2013/12/gop-leaders-dayton-representative-spar-over-mnsure-performance-criticisms, wouldn’t go well. Mainly through neglect. They did nothing when they ran the legislature.
 
When reporters pushed the Republicans on their role in the exchange’s missteps, they demurred. The GOP blocked or ignored exchange legislation during their time in the majority, when Dayton pushed ahead on his own.
 
“Would I love to repeal this? In a heartbeat,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said, noting that the federal regulatory atmosphere made such a move unlikely.
 
Dayton called the exchange’s performance “unacceptable” last week. On Monday, his administration was critical of the new GOP attacks.
 
“No one has ever gotten health care via press conference, so it is unsurprising that today’s round of GOP rhetoric was so unproductive,” Dayton administration Spokesman Matt Swenson said in a press release.
(MinnPost)

So remember this during the 2014 legislative session when Daudt complains that the DFL majority won’t work with him. Work with him on what exactly? Repealing Obamacare? Preventing the DFL majorities from doing anything? That’s the only compromise he’s interested in.
 
Photo: MinnPost

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bachmanneyesThe logic-defying insanity continues …
 
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will not give up her quest to stop Obamacare. Her latest tactic is unique; she’s going to sue President Obama.
 
You probably recall how Obama promised that we could all keep our health insurance plans under Obamacare. Many are getting canceled because they suck so bad. Either because co-pays are too high or they cover too little. NPR reports that many of these people who are getting their insurance canceled are finding much better plans under Obamacare.
 
You probably also recall that Obama reversed this by executive order so that Americans can keep their crap plan.
 
But that won’t stop Bachmann:
 

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann may be readying a new line of attack on the federal health care overhaul by filing suit against President Barack Obama for his reversal on letting some Americans keep their health coverage.
 
Politico reported last week that Bachmann, R-Stillwater, is talking with other, unnamed lawmakers about the move. The report was based on Bachmann’s remarks at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
(St. Cloud Times)

Let me get this straight. Bachmann is going to sue Obama because he tried to appease Republicans like Bachmann who shrieked about Americans losing their insurance. If she wins, then Americans are forced to lose their crap insurance plan … something that Bachmann said was bad? Have I got her logic right?
 
I think I just gave myself a headache.
 

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Bachmann17Rep. Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus is, according to Michele, not well. Apparently, he’s got several conditions that need attention. She claims they will be without insurance because of Obamacare.
 
Republicans made sure that all Representatives and Senators must enroll in Obamacare. So is she concerned that Obamacare will literally kill them or is she just playing politics in her latest cable TV appearance? To what depth is she willing to plunge to score a political points?
 

 
Apparently, she’s no longer scared that Obamacare will kill her and Marcus.
 

“Are you kidding? I’m not going to waste an hour on that thing,” the Minnesota Republican said when Wolf Blitzer asked her on CNN on Thursday if she’d signed up on the exchange website. “I lost my health insurance under Obamacare. And so now I’m forced to go into the D.C. health exchange. I’m waiting until they fix this thing. I’m not going to sit there and frustrate myself for hours and hours.”

It’s all about the inconvenience?
 
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Bachmann predicts Obamacare will never work

by The Big E on November 1, 2013 · 0 comments

bachmann-teabag480Labels Obamacare creators geniuses
 
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News Tuesday to talk about the implementation of Obamacare. She trumpeted it’s failings and failed to mention how Congressional Republicans did all they could to sabotage it and mess up the implementation.
 
Bachmann, a self-proclaimed constitutional scholar, economist, historian, foreign affairs expert and conspiracy theorist is also an expert on the psychology of young Americans and can predict the future. Wow, is this woman talented.
 

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said ObamaCare was never going to work from the get-go, and dubbed lawmakers who’ve supported it “geniuses.”
 
“The system was never going to work and these geniuses here in Washington, D.C., who decided ObamaCare was a great deal, they didn’t figure on something called human nature,” Bachmann said on Fox News’ “On the Record” Tuesday night.
 
During the interview, Bachmann was asked if young Americans were faced with the choice of an iPhone versus health insurance, which would they select.
 
“You buy the iPhone … are you kidding me? Of course they will,” she replied.
 
Asked if Bachmann knows anyone who’d buy the insurance instead, she said, “Who in their right mind would buy it? OK well flip a coin. I could pay a $95 penalty or get my iPhone? I’m getting my iPhone because I don’t think they see the reality of paying a penalty anyway if they are ever going to have to do it.”
 
Young people would rather go to Fort Lauderdale over spring break, buy the iPhone and have Internet access and a frappe at Starbucks, she said.
(The Hill)

And if the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, Bachmann is going to be wrong.
 

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GOP went after TriCare during shutdown

by Eric Ferguson on October 28, 2013 · 2 comments

obamaDuring negotiations on reopening the government, Republicans wanted cuts to the Tricare program, which provides health insurance to service members and veterans:

 

Later that night, in staff-level discussions, the sides began considering a trade. In exchange for further means-testing of Medicare benefits, as well as reform of federal workers’ pensions and Tricare health benefits for veterans, House Republicans would give Democrats $100 billion in sequestration relief over two years and open the government that Monday.

 

That Huffington Post article is lengthy look at how Democrats handled the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. There are several interesting insidery bits, and remarkably much of it is on the record. Some things had come out before, like Pres. Obama and Sen. Reid agreeing before the crisis came that they were going to hang tough and not negotiate over keeping the government open and avoiding default. However, at the risk it’s just me that missed it, this is the first report that Republicans wanted to include Tricare cuts. Generally republican support for veterans starts and stops with trying to turn current service members into combat veterans, but even when they’ve felt brave enough to go after entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, they’ve left Tricare alone.

 

Seems like their willingness to after it should be a bigger story. Especially if Tricare is how you cover your medical bills.

 

That’s just the bit that stood out in a long article with plenty to interest news junkies and political activists. The core was right at the top, where Obama and Reid had a long heart to heart, having followed separate strategies and cut separate deals with Republicans like a many of us guessed. Reid seems to have been as angry as us in the base over Obama’s caves in the prior crises manufactured by Republicans, and Obama learned from the debacle of 2011, though he hadn’t learned enough — yet. He finally figured out this year that modern Republicans have no interest in governing, no interest in a “grand bargain”, and the search for something they’d like and would agree to was pretty pointless. Reid, for all the criticism of weakness from much of the base (mostly unfair IMHO), did have the opposition figured out much earlier than Obama. This time though, they got on the same page and, when the crisis hit, stuck to the plan:
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Sin-free Bachmann throws stones at Sebelius

by The Big E on October 25, 2013 · 2 comments

bachmannpraysRep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has been saved by her Lord, Jesus Christ. This is significant. In the deranged mindset of the evangelical christianists, it means that she can no longer sin.
 
So slandering Democrats in Congress (and specifically then Sen. Obama) in 2008 as having “Anti-American” views wasn’t a sin. Slandering Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN), accusing them of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, couldn’t have been a sin either.
 
Her utter disregard for the truth (I’ve sometimes referred to it as unrepentant lying) can’t be a sin.
 
Nor could all of the improprieties several federal agencies are investigating in relation to her presidential campaign.
 
It’s pretty awesome to be a saved evangelical christianist … because it allows you to throw the first stone (so to speak):
 

Rep. Michele Bachmann and 31 other U.S. House Republicans signed a letter Thursday calling on President Obama to request Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resign over the technical problems plaguing the federal health care exchange website.
 
Obama acknowledged the website’s issues earlier this week and appointed an administration official to try fixing them. Republicans have attacked the rollout of the exchange site and a group of conservatives said Thursday that Sebelius should take the fall for the problems.

And doesn’t her concern that the Obamacare roll-out seem so sincere? Especially after all she’s done to help get it up and running smoothly?
 
Is insincerity a sin? Oh wait. Doesn’t matter with her.
 

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