The Republicans are fighting as hard as they can to keep all American citizens from having affordable universal, guaranteed rights to purchase affordable health care insurance.
In one simple paragraph we can answer most of the objections to the Affordable Care Act. Here it is in summary. The ACA is not a government takeover of health care in any way shape or form and it does not create more taxes on individuals but will create markets for private health insurance and will help people get jobs rather than hurting employment because more people will have affordable health care that they cannot lose–and the cost of health insurance will come down while the access to good care will go up. That is a summary of the effects of the law, many of which are already in effect.
The Affordable Care Act…Obamacare…is already doing the following:
· guaranteed insurance for all children,
· lower drug prices for Seniors on Medicare,
· young men and women stay on parent’s policies to age 26,
· insurance firms forced to use 85% of premiums for care or rebate the difference to policy holders.
· businesses given large tax deductions to buy health insurance for employees
In 2013 and 2014 even more significant segments of the Affordable Health Care bill will be put into law. For example, while there are many, many aspects to it, such as 100,000 new health clinics to be built around the country so that virtually no one in the country will be far from some kind of medical facility.
Because preventative physical examinations and tests are now free, many elderly American lives have been saved and substantial costs to Medicare have been saved.
Already, over 360,000 small businesses have used the Health Care Tax Credit to insure over 2 million workers.
One day, Americans will look back on these early years of what will become universal health care and ask why Republicans could have even considered selling their political souls to the health industry lobbyists rather than helping their fellow citizens attain and retain the security of guaranteed affordable health insurance.
Now, one of the Republican Party’s biggest supporters in trying to kill universal health care for Americans, Grace Marie Turner has attacked the Affordable Care Act.
Here are the absolute lies being told by Grace Marie Turner and the Republicans about Obamacare:
1. The health insurance companies could not figure out how to “jump through Kathleen Sibelius’ current hoops.”
Fact: The “hoops” are simply the 85% of your premiums the health insurance industry is now obligated to spend on you, rather than on CEO salaries. The result is that health insurance companies—this year and beyond–will rebate about a billion dollars of overcharges to customers this year.
2. She says that the employer mandate is a “deterrent to job creation.”
Fact: This is the exact opposite of the truth. The new tax deductions are creating many more jobs and the provisions of the bill itself have begun the creation of 2 million more new jobs. So this is simply a misstatement of fact.
3. Grace Marie complains that preventative services, which all covered people will now get, will include abortion drugs, sterilization and contraception.
Fact: First of all, preventative services include such things as breast exams, tests for ovarian cancer, colonoscopy and other preventative tests. No one is going to be sterilized. The only one mentioning it is Grace Marie Turner. The Catholic Church somehow feels maligned because American women now have options that they do not want them to have. Fortunately, we have freedom from religion in our Constitution. Abortion rights and rights to use contraception are available to all citizens by law. If Catholics do not want to avail themselves of these provisions, then need not.
4. Grace Marie Turner says that there will be half a trillion dollars in new taxes in the bill.
Fact: There will be no new taxes on anyone who makes less than $200,000 per year. The total number of people taxed will be approximately 1%. But 5% of people will receive benefits. There will be some taxes, or penalties on those of any income who elect not to have health care at all. But the middle class of those people will pay a total of $64 billion over the same period (7 or 10 years) but that will make affordable $343 billion in subsidies and benefits for everyone. Once again, no one under $200,000 (single person) or $250,000 will see one penny of income tax increase. Only about 1.4% of the top people or companies eligible for tax breaks but deny health care will be taxed.
5. She refers to the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of medical administration experts as an “unelected” board of advisors with “huge power over Medicare.”
Fact: This is an appointed board of about a dozen and a half medical experts from places like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. It follows the lead of similar advisory boards in European countries where costs have been reduced to a third of what we pay in the U.S. Its detractors, in addition to Ms. Turner are obviously the big pharmaceutical companies, the AMA, and the big hospital chains who see their big profits and big bonuses going out the window.
6. Grace Marie Turner calls the state exchanges, which are at the very heart of the cost-cutting effort in the entire reform plan… “a huge government bureaucracy.”
Fact: States will set up the exchanges. So there is no federal bureaucracy setting them up, only advising them, and helping to set them up and coordinating information to make them more efficient and less costly. But they are state-run exchanges to provide a market to lower health insurance (another one of Grace Marie’s clients) premiums. These are the places where you will go to buy less expensive health insurance.
7. Grace Marie has said that the ACA will increase the deficit by as much as $3.5 trillion.
Fact: CBO says that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit—cut, rather than increase government costs by $124 billion over the next ten years. So what she says is, once again, a lie.
8. Grace Marie Turner says that the ACA is a “job killer” and will cost the country 2 million jobs.
Fact: Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, the country has created not only 4.2 million jobs, in a Depression, but has also created 631,000 jobs in the health care industry. The thing that Grace Marie has twisted into “job losses” is the CBO statement that as many as 800,000 people may simply stop working now that they don’t need it for employer insurance.
9. Grace Marie Turner says that 20 million Americans will lose their health care coverage.
Fact: CBO said that this was patently false. It comes from a ruling on a fantasy that the Republicans sent to the CBO for analysis. The CBO, in fact, criticized it and called totally unrealistic. But that did not stop the Republicans from repeatedly making the claim while leaving out the part about the CBO’s actual comments.
10. Finally, Grace Marie Turner says that (in addition to saying we will have a half-trillion dollar tax increase) we will have a half-trillion dollar cut in Medicare.
Fact: In the Bush era, when Bush was trying to privatize Medicare and introduce a prescription drug bill, he set up something called Medicare Advantage. People who got their prescription drugs through these Medicare Advantage insurance programs paid a little more and got more benefits. The problem is that these were private comapnies and Bush subsidized the plans by a government-paid 17%. That comes to $575 billion that American citizens are paying for people on Medicare Advantage. All those people can still get their same standard Medicare and buy a Medi-gap policy, but not the government subsidized Medicare Advantage policy.
Grace Marie Turner would love nothing better than to destroy health care reform. She is in favor of the Ryan plan, the one that keeps tax rates for those billionaires who now pay 40% of the taxes because they make 40% of all income.
Grace Marie Turner is in favor of the Ryan plan that shifts 68% of all current Medical costs not only from government to individual citizens but primarily to elderly taxpayers, like the Baby Boomers…the largest segment of the population.
Let’s be specific about the Ryan alternative to the Affordable Care Act, ACA, popularly known as Obamacare. Here’s what happens under Ryan and the Republicans. You turn 65 and retire. There is no Medicare. Instead, you receive a check for $8,000 to help you buy health insurance premiums.
Remember, there is no Medicaid and no Obamacare. So you get $8,000 to buy private insurance for an elderly person with no guarantee on the price of health insurance. So someone could have an $8,000 subsidy and an additional cost of $12,000 just based on today’s average health insurance costs.
And where did we get those costs? You guessed it. Grace Marie Turner.
The choice is very clear. The Republicans have clearly gone with a segment of the Middle Class that is not concerned about their fellow citizens, a segment of the upper class that similarly does not care about others, and the billionaire-corporate combination that is funding the propaganda that promotes that kind of selfish, narcissistic attitude.
If this is not your attitude, you need to promote solid health care reform, the Affordable Care Act.