It is time for the GOP to get honest about the ACA

It has been a good 8 years for the GOP.  They’ve had a boogey man in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and have gotten lots of miles out of demonizing.  They won elections claiming that the Affordable Care Act was evil incarnate.

Now they’ve got all the marbles and are realizing their calls of repeal are a lot harder than they wish that it was.

Frankly it is time for every GOP elected official to come clean and admit that they’ve been lying and miss-characterizing the Affordable Care Act, and instead of being obstructionists admit that they’ve found religion and repent for their sins.

The Affordable Care Act was never about death panels, or eliminating the sacred bond between you and your doctor, or any of the billions of other lies they’ve fed us over the years.

The primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to tell the millions of uninsured people in this country that we, the insurance holding portion of the population, were sick and tired of paying for emergency room care.

See in this country we have a number of laws that say that if you are sick, and show up to a hospital, they have to take care of you no matter what.  And in pre-ACA America this is exactly how it worked.

The problem with this scenario is that those of us who have insurance policies were paying for this coverage through higher premiums and tax dollars used to reimburse hospitals for uncovered care.  It is the exact same principle as the portion of your auto-insurance that goes to cover uninsured drivers.

Emergency room care is the most expensive care out there.  The cost of a single emergency room visit dwarfs the cost of dozens of regular office visits.  Instead of treating a possibly life threatening disease, an early preventive visit with inexpensive treatment keeps all of our costs lower.

The ACA drew a line in the sand and said no more.  Quit using the emergency room as your primary care physician.  We are sick and tired of paying for the most expensive care out there.  Go buy an insurance policy and see a regular doctor once in awhile.  And we’re going to take all the money that we are already spending and subsidize those policies so that you can afford them.  And look if you are super duper poor we’re going to expand Medicaid so that everyone has a chance to go to a doctor.

But the GOP had other plans.  They’ve been lying to us.  Instead they obstructed Medicaid expansion to create a gap of people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too poor to get the subsidies.  This was done to continue the false narrative that “government doesn’t work see others are getting help and you aren’t.”

Now they are in a bind.  For a majority of Americans things are actually better.  For a small segment of America, things suck badly.  Things in the health insurance space are screwed up.  We have varying degrees of coverage and gaps in availability.  But (repeat after me) “THIS IS ALL THE GOP’S FAULT“.  The Affordable Care marketplaces suck because nobody in the GOP was willing to have an honest discussion on how to the make improvements.

For the better part of six years the GOP introduced bill after bill trying to simply gut the law rather than coming up with proposals that would address the coverage gaps.

And now things are bad.  They have a mess on their hands, that they’ve made.  If they repeal, we’re back to where we were in 2007 when for many Americans the emergency room was their only option.

I’ve been trolling my congressman John Moolenaar over the past few weeks specifically over these issues.  While he hasn’t replied directly to me he did write an op-ed calling for civil discussion.  I have never once threatened him, but I have called into question his honesty.

So John, here’s my attempt at civil discourse.  I am making the claim that you have been dishonest about the Affordable Care Act and by voting for a repeal before a single piece of legislation discussing the replacement you are endangering the health and lives of the 20,000 people in our district that use the market places.  I am also making the claim that by voting for a repeal without a single piece of replacement legislation is available your are threatening to increase the premiums that I pay by rolling us back to an insurance market that mirrors the early 2000’s.  Prior to the ACA my employer sponsored plan was increasing every year by huge amounts.  Since 2010 though, these premiums have been fairly flat.

So John I look forward to your response.  Explain to me how voting for a repeal without a replacement is a good thing.  Explain to me and the tens of thousands of other residence you represent how things are going to get better.

I am civilly making the claim that you can’t.

Are Donald Trump’s Facebook Followers All Fake

[Update]

I should remember to do a Google search for my own damn topic.  Read a Business Insider article from 2015.

[Original]

So we apparently now live in a world where official communication from the White House is now done via a Tweet to a Facebook post. My do we live in interesting times. I stupidly followed the link simply to see what line of BS was being slung at us and actually found something rather interesting. Take a look at the first comment on both this post

and this one.

Now maybe Mr. Bolton and Mr. Decaj are equally passionate about their views on Mr. Trump they share a psychic link, or more likely, they don’t exist.
I’m not an investigative journalist, but I decided to do a quick Google search on Mr. Leo Decaj figuring his name was far less common that Jim Bolton. The only links that come up are six random images and links to comment threads on right wing conspiracy sites. Prior to October of 2016 though it is just the feed of an Albanian 20 something with a fascination for Eminem. Now why an Albanian 20 something would suddenly switch over to English and take an fascination in US politics is beyond me, but I have a theory, Leo doesn’t care about Donald Trump. Instead someone offered him up some cash for his Facebook profile and it became part of the zombie hoards “supporting” our new President.
This is why Donald wants to bypass the “traditional media”, he can control the messaging and has an army of commenters bought and paid for that give the appearance of actual support.

All Heil The Great Orange One

Well there it is. It is official. The Great Orange One is going to be given the keys to the kingdom.

So the other day I listened to Obama’s press conference where he promised that there’d be swift retaliation against the Russians for the apparent hacking of our election.

It got me thinking that in order to keep tensions from escalating he’d employ the B or the C team to do the hacking and give him the results in his daily security briefing.

So I present to you America’s Least Capable Spy Agency.

America Did Not Just Endorse Trump

“Oh God, oh God, we’re all going to die?” — Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburn

The results are in, and while I personally am disappointed, I am trying to take a pragmatic view of things.

“Let’s do the numbers” — Kai Ryssdal

I’m going to start here. Fact: America does not love Trump or his views. How do I know this? He got 1,215,065 fewer votes than Mitt Romney. If this country was massively and enthusiastically endorsing Trump you would expect to have seen him out perform Mitt. Instead even members of his own party weren’t buying what he was selling, just like his steaks.

After the loss in 2012 the Republican Party commissioned the autopsy report to try and figure out what went wrong. With their 2016 candidate receiving 1.2 million fewer votes than last time either the report was wrong, or they didn’t read it. My advice to the Democrats, write your own report and read it.

Here’s the next number: 5,853,014

This is the number of people who who voted for Barack Obama who did not vote for Hillary Clinton. This election was not an endorsement of Trump, but a repudiation of Hillary. She and her campaign were well aware of this lack of enthusiasm but guilty of taking 5.8 million voters for granted. There will be countless political science doctoral thesis written about this number for years to come.

But the long and short of it, people don’t like her. Whether it’s deserved or not I’m not going to speculate at this time. It just goes to show that she and the DNC are just as out of touch with this country as the RNC.

This brings me to the next number: 46%

This is the rough approximation of the population who chose to abstain from the choices they were given.

When given the choice between slaughtering a million puppies or drowning a million kittens, the abstainers are the ones in the back of the room saying “Why the fuck do we need to kill anything?”

Read more here.

So, why do I support a liberal progressive agenda and the downfall of society as we know it?

Because I firmly believe that this country is built on generations of shared sacrifice. The generations before us built great institutions and solved massive problems and it is our duty to maintain and preserve their work and continue to build new institutions and solve new problems.

Typhoid, cholera, dysentery are words that are absent from modern America because our great-grandparents generation decided that they were tired of seeing people die and built sewer systems and clean water projects. Flint Michigan is the prime example of what happens when we forget this sacrifice.

The United States by most measures has the largest and strongest economy on the planet. The reason is that our grandparents generation felt that it was important to build the largest damn interstate highway system ever to lower as many barriers to free commerce as possible. The potholes you avoid are the example of what happens when we forget this sacrifice.

It is our duty to maintain and enhance these institutions as they are gifts to us. We then have a responsibility to our children to pick a new problem to solve and give the solution to the next generation. To me universal health care is that cause to fight for. When people have access to health care they are more productive and by extension the economy improves and businesses prosper.

“…government of the people, by the people, for the people…” — Abraham Lincoln

There is a tendency to speak about “the government” as an abstraction, this nebulous boogieman in the background that is the root of all evil. I hate to disappoint you, but we are the government.

The government that sent men to the moon, defeated fascism, and eliminated smallpox.

The same government that irradiated its population, listens to your phone calls, and infects people with diseases. Which is why we cannot sit on the sidelines and not participate.

We (the government) must be held accountable and laser focused on what our shared goals are. Focusing on issues such as whom we share a bed with are simply distractions that allow those in positions of power to ignore the shared goals and focus on their personal goals.

For those of you disappointed in the election remember this, in the last 24 years the platform and policies proposed by the conservatives have won the popular vote once. This means there are more of you who share an alternative view of where our shared priorities need to be.

For those of you excited about the election results, remember this, you now have all the marbles. You are being handed an unemployment rate below 5%, low inflation, rising wages, and (by some miracle) all three branches of government. Once the euphoria of the victory wears of, you have a job to do and for at least a little while, there is nobody else left to blame.

Numbers and statistics from here.