Thursday, November 13, 2014

so soon? Another rant so soon? How can it be!

A rant again so soon? So it appears and I am putting it here to stay out of trouble in Facebook where the post that inspired it led to writing this before I decided posting it here was wiser. It is down to the same thing as the last rant. How can right and left see things so differently? Is it location? Astrology? Parenting? What can it be?

After yesterday listening to Rush Limbaugh feed the flames of hate and resentment on his talk radio program, it's hard to not speak my mind-- okay, impossible. Amazing how so many who claim never to listen to him parrot what he says. Yesterday he was in total glee over the story of Jonathan Gruber and comments he made last year but which only recently showed up online-- just in time for the Supremes to do what they can to gut ACA.

Gruber is not denying he said Americans were stupid. He said he misspoke but he didn't deny he thought it because he most likely did. Humans so often look for the short term and not the long term. I think though ignorant is a better word-- often a chosen ignorance. What he said is nothing I have not heard right wingers say about Americans every time they vote in a way that to them seems wrong. 

The place I nearly put this on Facebook claimed Gruber is a liberal leader. Give me a break. Only policy wonks had probably ever heard of him. I had not. He has not been elected to anything. He was though instrumental in the design of the ACA because it followed the bill he also designed (or helped design) for Romney in Massachusetts. And pretty much the approach Dole had earlier when he took on this problem of the working poor who cannot afford health care, can't qualify for Medicaid, and become ill or injured. As well as the issue of rising health care costs which are making even those with insurance having a tough time paying (more on insurance below).

I get it that Limbaugh and his dittoheads are making this about Gruber and him saying Americans had to be lied to or they'd not have gone for it. As Forbes said, ACA transfers money from the young to the old. That, of course, is not quite true since the truly old are on Medicare. It transfers money from the young, who are betting they won't have an accident or get sick, to the middle aged who are more likely to have illnesses. It forces people to buy insurance as a way to avoid ER visits and those who will have to have everybody else cover their accident-- or die.

What I think righties miss is that lefties didn't want it this way either. It protects the profits of insurance companies, who have been very profitable middlemen who actually contribute nothing to real health care but only take money from the system. We can look at countries with basically Medicare for all and see how their costs are much lower for the same treatments.

Calling Gruber a liberal leader is a stretch. He's a professor. He has not been elected to anything. To call him arrogant (which he probably is) as though that explains all Democrats is a bigger stretch. The shock is that he admitted he lied. No rightie ever admits that to get elected. Compassionate Conservative anyone? No plans to attack Iraq? How about ignore my personal beliefs about personhood or marriage amendment as they won't impact my governing? Etc. etc.

In my opinion, one of Obama’s big mistakes was to make profiting insurance corporations an important part of ACA; but if he had gone for Medicare for all, probably the blue dog dems (who might mostly be gone by now) wouldn’t have voted for it. I admit I am getting some satisfaction out of seeing those dems go down, who ran denying they supported ACA (even if they had), who tried to pretend they don't know Obama. Run as who you are, damnitall, but then Repub don't do that either... back to the ignorant or stupid issue again...  

Yes, it is possible that a non-story could lead to gutting ACA and destroying health coverage for the working poor-- you know the people who didn't bother to vote. The Supreme Court could do it. The fact, that the Congress is totally in the hands of those who only want to protect the wealthy, could do it. One man could obliterate health care for all. Of course, it's not one man-- well, maybe it is. It's not the egotistical Gruber though who didn't know when to shut up and loved to talk too much. Nah, it's another talker.

Yesterday Limbaugh, in once again trying to incite his base, repeated all the things I get accused of whenever I speak my mind, you know me, the ‘low information voter,’ when I am not being called a liar or destroyer.  Feeding these kinds of stories and making them seem huge is what he does and why he gets paid the big bucks. For those who say they don't listen to him-- they are getting his talking points somewhere. 

This story is not one to anybody but a rightie, who evidently find themselves shocked to find out the other side lies, when they know their own never do. Wait, it was that they admitted they lied that was the shock. I can see why they'd be so amazed since their own politicians are above lying about anything to get their bills passed... 

And none of this was about what anybody should do about any real problem. That’s the usual game—avoid what to do--and just attack. I'll respect a rightie leader when they address this, but they won't. Insurance corporations, big hospitals, and pharmaceutical corps donate way too much money to their campaigns-- both sides!


Rain Trueax said...

On this subject, I just read Andrew Sullivan's opinion and he's good as always-- Gruberism and our democracy.

Ingineer66 said...

Covered California, which was considered one of the biggest success stories of the ACA announced this week that only 50 percent of last years enrollees are reenrolling this year.

Rain Trueax said...

So what is the answer? Let people die who can't afford the premiums? I heard of one case where $1000 a month insurance cost and an illness led to $800 copay and a prescription that would have cost $352. If someone cannot afford insurance but they work, what is the solution?

All I hear from the right politically is they want to kill it. If it doesn't work, what would?

What about children who have a catastrophic chronic illness that would use up their lifetime allotment of insurance (the old system) by the time they are teens?

I don't know about California, but the enrollment starts November 15, isn't it a bit early to say what they are doing as it lasts two months, I think.

Rain Trueax said...

It is, of course, a transfer of wealth, which is what Limbaugh was decrying. Except so is any insurance. We buy it hoping we won't use it and someone else is at the doctor every time they turn around for a chronic condition. We hope it won't be us. All taxes are a transfer of wealth but sometimes from us to the billionaires like oil subsidies for those making huge profits. Transfer of wealth seems the latest key phrase but of course it is. When we looked at someone with say cancer or needing major heart surgery, we hope it won't be us, don't we? But our premiums helped pay for their needed procedures.

Ingineer66 said...

I saw that enrollment Is just starting, but It was a news story from the State so it must be based on what people are telling them they are going to do or not do.
The Republicans are saying they want to replace Obamacare not just repeal it. Most people like some aspects of the law but we have spent billions of dollars to give a few people health insurance.

Rain Trueax said...

One of the ACA's problems is trying to maintain high profits for insurance corporations to benefit the stock market. Gotta keep the upper economic levels happy.

Many states, with Republican governors have tried to keep from having this work. They did not set up their own programs as Obama expected. I mean don't states want to control their own region? Well, they did not and many of those states had the most working poor who needed help to pay for premiums, they had the most uninsured.

I asked our daughter how it was working for their small business. They had paid 100% of their employees insurance before this came along. They have been rewarded for doing this under ACA by getting at tax credit. She said she has not gotten the new standards but in the past she has been happy with how it has benefited their small business. This while we hear the media telling us what a bad thing it is for small business. And even considering small businesses weren't forced into it anyway.

Part of how people see this and a lot of other things is purely what they are told to think ie the media. They are told it's a failure and they panic and believe the sky is falling-- regardless of whether they can look up and see it is not.

Obama has said he'd be open to improvements but so far I have not heard any coming from Republicans. We shall see with the new Congress

Ingineer66 said...

The working poor do not pay anything. They were added to the Medicaid roles, so they are purely on the dole now. Just like they always were when they went to the ER.

Rain Trueax said...

They also do not get health care like we expect with tests ahead of disasters. That is what it was before this attempt to change it.

You also aren't addressing how this forced insurance companies to keep people on the rolls and not dump them when they have had too many dollars in claims. What about a grandchild who is born with a serious illness and quickly uses up a lifetime allotment.

ER is not a good place to get medical care. It's the last resort of those who don't have the right help all along the way.

Rain Trueax said...

If we don't bring down the cost of medical care and that means taking insurance companies out of the loop, this won't get better-- ACA or not.

Ingineer66 said...

Some tort reform would help as well, but the trial lawyers seem to own the politicians so that will be unlikely.

Rain Trueax said...

Yeah and unfortunately on both sides. They end up owing so much to get a chance to run that they sell out to the highest bidder. It's not going to change, I agree. Not unless we find it totally collapses and Americans decide which way they want it to go. As long as Americans like gridlock, they are paying a lot of money to go nowhere!

Rain Trueax said...

One thing about tort reform. There has to be accountability. If the big money interests know it does not cost much to ignore something that kills or harms people, they will do nothing about it. Lawsuits should relate to the damage done, make sure it was not just human error but deliberate, that it covers the actual cost, and when it was purposeful negligence, that it has a penalty which often only happens in civil suits. I do not think that's where the big bucks are going though. Look at the profits in the insurance industry, pharmaceuticals, and hospitals. Profit should be a reasonable percentage, not go sky high at the expense of other people's inability to be treated.

Some of the high costs, of course, are the possible tests which we never used to have possible. I remember when you'd go to a doctor and an x-ray or blood test were about all they could offer. Now the tests are complex and often catch diseases before they take over the body. There is a cost for that kind of diagnosis.

Ingineer66 said...

Same thing for drugs. People complain about high cost of drugs, but if you get an old fashioned anti biotic or pain killer it is just a few dollars. The fancy new ones are the expensive stuff.

Rain Trueax said...

Yep, we are lucky we live when we do for what is possible. I'd have most likely died in my 50s had I been born in the 1800s.

I read though that the drug companies are trying to push up the price of generic drugs to be not that different from the newer ones. Bernie Sanders had a hearing on it and the drug companies refused to attend to answer questions. We shall see what happens with that but it does require government to block monopolies. Too bad they have forgotten to do it!