Code Blue Obamacare

If the Affordable Care Act is President Obama’s legacy, admit both to intensive care — at the hands of his own party. Fearful that the botched rollout, the millions of cancelled insurance policies and the late-night TV jokes threaten their chances in next year’s congressional elections, Democrats are at the very least sweating it out in the waiting room.

obamacare-toon-1_custom-b0ffd090d3bb71feaee20ae9d1d46d0cd4e5e1c8-s6-c30 Bill Clinton all but called for the heart paddles, pressuring Obama to make good on his oft-repeated promise that no one would lose their insurance under his plan: “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”

Despite Obama’s apology last week and vow to fix things, Democratic lawmakers are beside themselves that his White House is not helping them find a solution.

CA Senator Dianne Feinstein joined Democratic colleague Mary Landrieu of Louisiana in sponsoring legislation – so far not endorsed by the White House — to restore insurance coverage for those who’ve been cancelled.

Frightened House Democrats are prepared to join Republicans on a similar proposal to change Obamacare that the White House warns “will undermine the law.”

So far the Administration is refusing medication, not even the Feinstein/Landrieu fix the President seemed to be calling for last week.

We see that as throwing the baby out with the bath water.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney

50 thoughts on “Code Blue Obamacare

  1. restore insurance coverage for those who’ve been cancelled

    is that possible to mandate? so they rewrite the regs great grand fathering all those policies which got cancelled, declaring them re-instituted and big insho cancels them again anyway just cause of some policy fine print. what are they gonna do? throw insurance companies in jail for doing their business as usual?

    if they can do that (mandate the uncancelling) then they might as well nationalize healthcare system and expand medicare.

  2. Let them keep their crappy pseudo-insurance which covers nothing and gets cancelled anyway as soon as they get sick.

    Let them eat the green jello in the emergency room.

    Most men live lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.
    —some guy
    Post Google: (much as I hate quoting Thoreau—-it’s Thoreau.)

  3. I’m shocked… politicians playing politics…. I’m shocked I tell ya…

    BlueB… I’m with you at the end of the last thread. Methinks that most of the Dems players for 2016 haven’t popped up yet.

  4. Two Aztecs standing at the top of the pyramid waiting on the next head to roll, one says to the other, “I started out here on drum.”

  5. sturgeone,

    thanks for that apt musical commentary on our politicians revolving realities. what wiki says about ole friedrich the neech’s Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen theme

    The eternal recurrence is the idea that all events that have happened will happen again and again, infinitely.

  6. I’m shocked… politicians playing politics….

    Would it be asking too much for that playful politician to at least care about people, more than insurance companies profits?

  7. from the bbc’s wtf file

    The death of MI6 spy Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a padlocked sports bag, was probably an accident, police have said.

    so is this destined to be a movie starring matt damon or just another jon stewart skit?

  8. Now let me get this straight. Republicans are going to pass legislation to help restore millions of junk policies.

    Those cancelled policies are the best talking point republicans they have had in years. Their too little too late concern for the people who lost them is just white wash.

    What dream world are Feinstein and Landrieu living in?

  9. Yes, Obamacare is a mess, but the ENTIRE U.S. healthcare system is a mess.

    The only good thing to come out of this is that people are once again looking at the U.S. healthcare system and asking , “How can we fix it?”

    The only common sense answer is a Canadian style single-payer system, or “Medicare for all.”

  10. This whole debate about “fixing” Obamacare reminds me of a friend who had a 35 year old car. Not a lovingly restored “vintage” car; it was just an old piece of crap.

    Every few weeks it would break down. He would take it to a mechanic for expensive repairs.

    Finally, after a year of this, the mechanic told him, “This is stupid. You need to buy a new car.”

  11. The GOP health care plan:

    * get rid of Medicare & Medicaid.

    That’s it. They have nothing else.

  12. What would happen if everyone refused to buy health insurance and just got all the medical care they needed and refused to pay send the bills to Rick Perry (gov perry the glasses do not make you look smarter)

  13. from slate

    Since insurance companies now won’t be allowed to collect premiums while you’re healthy only to yank coverage when you get sick, they have no choice but to pre-emptively cancel plans that wouldn’t be financially beneficial to actually pay out.

    That’s the story of Obamacare “victims” such as Lee Hammack and JoEllen Brothers, loyal Democrats aged 60 and 59 who enjoyed miraculously low premiums until the ACA ruined the party. Hammack and Brothers are certainly entitled to feel miffed about losing their apparently sweet deal. But they ought to reflect on the overwhelming likelihood that their pre-ACA circumstances were a happy illusion. They were both, by their own admission, quite healthy and thus profitable to insure. Had one of them actually fallen ill, the plan would have become a loss center for the insurer and canceled as swiftly as a pretext could be found. It’s being canceled now because under the new rules it’s now or never for the insurer. Charging premiums only to yank the policy retroactively is no longer on the table.

  14. from forbes another shoe drops

    …while many in Congress and the mainstream media have focused on problems with the Healthcare.gov website and the cancellation of policies that do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, another critical development has attracted considerably less attention: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s announcement, in an October 30, 2013 letter to Representative Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), that insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act’s new health insurance exchanges do not constitute “Federal health care programs” and thus are not within the scope of the federal anti-kickback statute.

    The significance of Secretary Sebelius’s decision is underscored by the critical role that the anti-kickback statute has long played in the government’s ability to impose significant penalties and obtain massive recoveries in the health care industry. Under the anti-kickback statute, any person or entity who receives, pays, offers or solicits anything of value in order to induce or reward the ordering or referral of products and services covered by federal health care programs is guilty of a felony, faces civil monetary penalties of up to $50,000 per violation, and may be the subject of a claim for treble damages under the False Claims Act. The broad scope of the anti-kickback statute has been limited only by its required nexus to federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the power of the anti-kickback statute has been widely used against corporations and individuals alike.
    [....]
    Although the precise logic behind Secretary Sebelius’s decision is not yet clear, further light may soon be shed on the issue. In a letter dated November 7, 2013, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to Secretary Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder, referred to Secretary Sebelius’s letter to Representative McDermott, and expressed “alarm” that the Affordable Care Act may be “exempt . . . from certain federal anti-fraud provisions.” Senator Grassley went on to argue that insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act are indeed “Federal health care programs,” ….

  15. The solution is not to go backward but to find a way to fund the new policies for people who are unhappy with the cancellation.

    And really why don’t heads explode — The Koch Bros have been funding a series of ads and public drunken brawls to convince college age students not to sign up for insurance.
    The Feds have responded with some silly ads aimed at college age children

    Faux is criticizing the feds — leaving out the disgusting Koch Bros ads….Steve Douche must be on some serious drugs

    Elizabeth Hasslebeck I give her less than a year

    Brian Killmeade is the living example of the Peter Principle

  16. rawstory re fox faux docs

    “These guys seem less like doctors and more like the shady expert witnesses paid by the defense to say, ‘That bullet hole exit wound, I don’t know, maybe that’s a third nipple,’” Stewart explained. “These guys — I’m not a doctor, but these guys are sort of crazy. They need help. What Fox really needs is an in-house psychiatrist.”

    Unfortunately for Stewart, he realized that they do: Keith Ablow, who once predicted children would “turn transgender” after watching Chaz Bono on Dancing With The Stars.

    “This isn’t gonna work out well,” Stewart said.

    The “A-Team’s” purpose, Stewart argued, was less about providing medical device than about parroting the network’s talking points, like Marc Siegel’s argument that “there’s too much health insurance” in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.

    “Congratulations, I’ve never heard that before” Stewart said, spreading his arms in disbelief before mocking Siegel’s tone. “Here’s the problem with health care — too many people have it, and food and shelter. It just doesn’t feel special if everyone has it.”

  17. The Koch bros are spending as much as possible to undermine our system of government and our sense of community.

    The Koch-roaches may be the most destructive force in American politics today because of the size of their wallets

  18. Sturg, this is how Martin Demmler describes the piece:
    “The themes presented in the first sections are developed episodically, like variations, and intensified during large-scale developmental passages. Later they appear frequently in a different form, and the restatement is not merely a repetition of the themes presented at the beginning, but introduces new material. At times profound, at times satirical or even humorous, the music captures Nietzsche’s ideas and images, for example, the sunrise in the familiar opening bars over a thundering pedal point and the subsequent nature motif with its alternation between major and minor. Using quotations from the Gregorian Credo and the Magnificat, Strauss depicts Die Hinterwäldler (The Back World Dwellers) as people whose narrow-minded thinking is characterised by religious zealotry.”

    http://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/concert/2885/dudamel-kavakos-ravel-korngold-strauss

  19. Health Care, smealth care. It’s politics. Let’s talk of things that matter -- LP made 1st team all-state in soccer and was named the WV Player of the Year in A-AA by the WV Soccer Coaches Ass’n. :!: Mrs. P & I are stunned -- and proud as punch.

  20. Decades ago I was fixing dinner in the kitchen when NPR started broadcasting an interview with the soldier who ‘captured’ Richard Strauss towards the end of WW-2. I think, when he answered the knock on his door, he introduced himself as, “I’m Richard Strauss, I write music.”

    Fortunately the soldier recognized the name and left a detail to protect him until he and his papers could be properly secured.

  21. Pogo, may I share your pride vicariously? Now, stay out of the punch until after 1700-hrs! :lol:

  22. Pogo…. Congrats!…. that’s one special kid you and Mrs. P have…

    Craig…. it would be fun if this administration called bluff on the GOP on anything.

    BTW… thought of you last night as we watched TCM… they played 2 Peter Sellers back to back… The Party & Dr. Strangelove.

  23. Remember ACORN? Same thing happened with the office at the local Urban League; recorded trying to get people to lie on applications to get lower insurance rates.

    This will be his empty-suited legacy.

    Sad, since we finally had an opening to get healthcare opened up to everyone.

    Teddy Kennedy shoulda been here for this.

  24. I did chuckle when I heard Bill Clinton. Ah, revenge really is a dish best served cold…6 years cold. :)

  25. Well, let’s see what we can charge the people in Obama Distress. How about their normal social security Medicare paycheck deduction plus-50%, plus the current over-65 monthly charge for Medicare Part B.

    In return, they’ll receive Medicare Parts A & B for themselves.

    For each child, coverage will be added for 1/2 of the current monthly Medicare Part B rate.

    Medicaid may be used to cover these billings as appropriate.

  26. chloe,

    besides, I think Clinton actually cares about people. Call me deluded if you want.

    I feel the same way..

  27. blueINdallas: Teddy Kennedy shoulda been here for this

    If people really do turn over in their graves, you can bet Ted is on his belly by now.

    Good to see you back, Blue.

  28. Tonyb: … the political perception the failed roll out has created has now trumped everything.

    Taylor is right on, as usual, Tony… and what’s important is that she see’s a political solution. Who wants to be the president who lied? Fix it!

    Champ, Get back here! You finally start ‘really’ talking again, and then you decide to leave? Say what?

  29. pogo: LP made 1st team all-state in soccer and was named the WV Player of the Year in A-AA by the WV Soccer Coaches Ass’n.

    Congrats to the Pogo family! A star is born!!

  30. chloe,

    Yep, fix it like yesterday.. I was driving listening to Ed Schultz bluster today, ugh what a blowhard.. For the President and some Dems to feel that they shouldn’t have to honor what was verbally promised is wrong.. The President and Dems made a choice to go with a Republican healthcare plan and now were stuck with it.. I do remember the President according to the NYT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/ny-times-reporter-confirm_b_500999.html, selling us and the public option out! ACA needs to be fixed, yes and Republican’s are doing everything they can to sabotage the ACA.. Listening to some on the right bitch that folks can’t keep their policies is so fake, they could care less as they offer nothing to fix the healthcare mess.. Dems need to get their act together and make this work for Americans..

  31. patd,

    Pat,

    The ACA did not cancel a single policy. The insurance companies had every single policy they offered grandfathered. They could have not changed a thing. Instead they used the opportunity to cancel a whole bunch of cheap policies that they knew would not measure up against the new ACA policies and use those cancellations to upsell the policy holders into more expensive instruments before they had a real chance to shop around among competitor.

    The way the media is telling this story not to mention the way the White House is failing to tell the story is almost criminal. All I can think is that all sides don’t want to offend the Insurance corporations as that might affect campaign donations.

    These long time corporate crooks have just been handed a huge number of new policy holders, monthly payments and a government gravy train but that wasn’t enough to fill their greedy coffers.

  32. Nash,

    You have to stop talking good sense. Someone might hear you and do something … or do something to you.

    Nash 2.5:
    Yes, Obamacare is a mess, but the ENTIRE U.S. healthcare system is a mess.

    The only good thing to come out of this is that people are once again looking at the U.S. healthcare system and asking , “How can we fix it?”

    The only common sense answer is a Canadian style single-payer system, or “Medicare for all.”

  33. Okay you and Nash are in trouble now. A “Public Option” that actually takes care of people. What a novel construct.

    Craig.Crawford:
    wouldn’t it be fun if Prez called bluff on GOP “concern” for the cancelled and says OK if you’re so worried pass a public option they can use

  34. Teddy has become a whirling dervish

    chloe: If people really do turn over in their graves, you can bet Ted is on his belly by now.

    Good to see you back, Blue.

  35. Elizabeth Warren just by doing her job may become the inevitable choice

    She sure looked good today taking the Senate to task for not confirming judges

  36. “Get back here! You finally start ‘really’ talking again, and then you decide to leave? Say what?” -Chloe

    I’ve got a bad case of the flu, and sometimes it hurts to look at a screen. I’ve been suffering in relatively quiet desperation (apologies to sturge), though, and haven’t burdened our healthcare system with it.

    Anyway, the ACA is so unpopular, random strangers I encounter along my day just start complaining about it, unprompted (I don’t start political conversations in public). It’s going to have to be repealed or seriously overhauled, or there will be rioting in the streets, not to mention a lot of Democrats ousted, which is pathetic, considering how idiotically Republicans conduct themselves.

    It’s not “insurance” if you are guaranteed to use it. Everybody is stupid. There, I said it.

    …and healthcare is no more a “right” than immortality is. I’m sorry that’s the way it is, but that’s the way it is.

    Let’s give everyone a free Ferrari! Oh wait, we can’t make the numbers work, must be those rascally Republicans!

    …and I double-dog dare anyone to try to explain to me how wonderful some European universal healthcare models are. Make sure you include their macroeconomic data and mortality/life expectancy rates.

    In order for GOOD Universal healthcare to be economically feasible, in a country of this size, things will need to be banned, like all tobacco products, added sugars, red meat, industrial chemicals, gasoline, etc.., as well as bumping up the tax-rate to European levels (%70, or higher).

    Unfortunately, you’ve just undermined all sorts of industries that create jobs and contribute to the GDP, so we’ll all have to get used to living in squalor.

    I’ll repeat: there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Once again, it would be nice if there was, I’m with you on that.

    Don’t worry, as soon as we, as a species, master interstellar travel, we can destroy alien civilizations and steal their resources. There will be plenty of work for everyone, and all our problems will be solved.

    (They should make that into a movie)

    Ok, pardon me.

    (EDIT: I consolidated my rant. Pretty classy, eh?)

  37. I’d be the first to agree that costs are U.S. healthcare costs are inflated, Jack. I’ve been positing that as the primary problem since this national discussion began. I’d share personal anecdotes, but such are worthless in a pseudo-academic debate. Thanks for the links.

    (the “PBS Newshour” article is you linked [the second "Here"] is very worthwhile, Jack- anyone discussing this topic should read it)

  38. Flatus,
    thanks for this quote: “…Die Hinterwäldler (The Back World Dwellers) as people whose narrow-minded thinking is characterised by religious zealotry.”

    Jamie,
    and amen to your “The way the media is telling this story not to mention the way the White House is failing to tell the story is almost criminal.”

  39. It’s going to have to be repealed or seriously overhauled, or there will be rioting in the streets, not to mention a lot of Democrats ousted, which is pathetic, considering how idiotically Republicans conduct themselves.

    Ignex,
    actually, they could get by with the old-fashioned legislative cure: change the name and sprinkle some magic moola on it.

    btw, a “there, there” and “poor baby, have some of this chicken soup I made specially for you”

  40. pogo:
    Health Care, smealth care.It’s politics.Let’s talk of things that matter — LP made 1st team all-state in soccer and was named the WV Player of the Year in A-AA by the WV Soccer Coaches Ass’n. Mrs. P & I are stunned — and proud as punch.

    lp is undoubtedly far from just being the common man, but a fanfare for him anyway!

  41. You’re right, KGC! It’s not something I think about, until it’s too late. The strain I got this year is friggin’ brutal- I didn’t even have the energy to whine, and I am a championship whiner, probably top ten in my age-bracket, nationally.

    Sorry about my rant, above, community. I will leave it there to remind everyone of the magnitude of my idiocy.

    Have a good day.

    (Oh, yeah, Pogo- Jr. doesn’t need my congrats, but as I said before, it seems he might have pro-potential, and at a great time, too: NFL is peaking [I think people are getting tired of the Incognito-culture and watching players get maimed on TV], and soccer will probably supplant the NBA, in terms of popularity in this country, within 5 years.)

Comments are closed.