Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lale Davidson on Healthcare

Local professor at ACC, Lale Davidson, writes one of the best histories I've seen of the healthcare mess. I read a lot of them and look right here in my back yard.

They were supposed to be looking for solutions, working on compromises, and being proactive. That’s what governing means. When we pointed out that they were being obstructionist, they said, “No, you are,” like irritating little brothers. But Friday, Ryan wasn’t even embarrassed to admit they had been simply opposing Dems for the last eight years. He was only embarrassed that they didn’t yet know how to govern, as if it was a new requirement that only comes with being a majority.

The sooner they go back to being a minority party the better. Hopefully that starts today. C'mon Kansas and Georgia. Send a big, fat message. 

So, for the last eight years, the GOP–the opposition party–been focused on opposing everything Obama and the Dems did, and they just admitted it. What they didn’t admit was that they have been busy sabotaging the ACA so they could justifiably say how broken it is.

I hope she likes my latest letter as much as my buddy Al will. 

As far as I can glean from Talking Points Memand the New York Times, the creators of the ACA knew that there would be start-up costs and shortfalls in insurance profits as the program was implemented. The sickest people would sign up first, and this would be hard on insurance companies. The tax penalty on people not signing up was meant to offset that and speed up the growth process. In order not to freak people out and give them time to adjust, the penalties started low, and were intended to increase over time, so that we’d get buy-in from everyone, eventually. To combat these growing  pains, the  ACA had a provision to use government funds to cover some of the insurance cost shortfalls until everyone got signed up. Then, the idea was, costs could be mitigated by the funds from healthy people.

Yeah I know, it's funny, a government program that's not perfect right out of the blocks. 

Now we know who’s responsible for the hike: not the ACA; Republican obstructionism with the intent to destroy the ACA.

And that’s another thing that burns me up. The Republicans have been saying that this bill is “wealth redistribution,” and that it’s so unfair, because healthy people’s premiums are being used to pay for the sick.

Um…that’s how insurance works (never mind the fact that health insurance CEOs are paid ridiculous amounts of money not because they are worth it, but because they can get away with it). But I digress.

When was the last time you used your house insurance or your car insurance? And what happened when you used it? Probably you were given the run around, and then, you basically had to pay it back in the form of higher premiums. But when disaster strikes, you get back far more than you paid in. 

The only way that’s possible is because of all the people who don’t use their insurance. The GOP likes to pretend they never heard of this concept before the ACA.

And on single-payer.

I’m just not sure how. Michael Moore, on MSNBC on Friday, said we need to dog the insurance companies like we’ve been dogging our representatives. But he also said we should call our reps and insist on a single payer system.

I’m not so sure that’s a productive route, unless Republicans are willing to caucus Democrats. So far, they’ve shown themselves to be completely unwilling to work on even moderate change. So I just don’t know.

One way or another, a lot of work still needs to be done, and as Ryan said Friday, “Are we willing to say yes to the good even if it’s not perfect?”
That’s what we’ve been saying all along.

I agree that the insurance companies are going to have to be allowed to enrich themselves for awhile longer. This was the thing that drove me insane with Funiciello's nonsense about the Dems being as bad as the Reps because Obama didn't get us single-payer. He must have believed he was as magical as Rush Limbaugh did. The Right was only calling ACA socialism, I wonder what they would have called that. 


  1. C'mon Kansas and Georgia. Send a big, fat message.

    Well, we didn't quite make in Kansas -- but a margin as small as 6 points in such a red state does send something of a message.

  2. Thx, you saved me going and looking. What is the matter w Kansas anyway. Gives me a great deal of hope for my own district in a year and a half. My rep won't even hold a real town hall. What do I know but that doesn't seem politically astute.