Email letters, January 31, 2014

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Tom Kelley’s letter – “Rather than criticize, Tipton ought to offer clear solutions” – properly identifies our Congressman as a partisan parrot of Republican talking points.

Last Tuesday, the House passed H.R.7 – the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2014” – by a partisan vote of 227 to 188 (with Tipton absent due to a death in his family), a bill which prohibits private insurers offering federally subsidized coverage under the Affordable Care Act” (“ACA”) from covering abortions (a woman’s fundamental Constitutional right), which President Obama has promised to veto (if passed by the Senate), but about which Tipton was silent. 
Last Wednesday, Tipton issued a press release (from Cortez) criticizing the President’s State of the Union Address, parroting almost verbatim the “official” Republican response – replete with the same disingenuous misstatements of fact.  Thus:

First, Tipton accurately noted that “[t]he nation’s labor participation rate is the lowest it’s been in 36 years - more than 91 million unemployed Americans have given up on looking for work”, without also explaining that millions of those are retirement-eligible “Baby Boomers” still willing to work but displaced by the Republican Recession.  Meanwhile, Tipton cynically opposed extending unemployment benefits to the remainder.

Second, Tipton disingenuously claims that “[t]his Administration’s policies have killed jobs” when the facts are that the economy has created 8 million new jobs since President Obama’s policies took effect in mid-2009, and fails to explain why the Republican leadership has still not allowed the “American Jobs Act of 2011” to be brought-up for a vote – much less admit that the ACA will generate thousands of health sector jobs in the future.

Last Thursday, Tipton confirmed his support for the Farm Bill, which locks taxpayers into subsidizing his millionaire cronies and corporate “farmers” for another ten years—by cutting Food Stamps.

Kudos Mr. Tallarico.

I often wonder how much better off we would be if JFK had two full terms. I am a conservative, but JFK actually had good ideals that appealed to both sides of the fence.

Michael Higgins’ letter – “Contrary to what Pramenko espouses, alternatives to ACA do exist” – proves that Higgins is underqualified to critique Dr. Pramenko’s more-informed opinion, because Higgins can’t recognize “truth” when he encounters it.  Thus:

First, while acknowledging that “universal health care is a morally worthy goal”, Higgins ignores the fact that the most virulent oppenents of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) do not accept that premise – because of its implications for government involvement.

Second, contrary to Higgins’ bald assertion, most serious analysts of health care policy agree that our previous reliance on mostly for-profit health care providers did not deliver “universal health care” and instead contributed to unsustainable annual increases in both health care costs and health insurance premiums – necessitating government intervention.

Third, Higgins conveniently ignores health insurers’ chicanery in inducing trusting policy holders to abandon “grandfathered” coverage and issuing non-ACA-compliant policies—knowing that they would have to be cancelled (but without informing purchasers).

Fourth, Higgins overlooks last week’s PriceWaterhouse report that average premiums on ACA exchanges are lower than those of employer-sponsored health plans.

Fifth, Higgins distorts the truth of Dr. Pramenko’s column by falsely asserting that its “gist . . . was that the GOP had no alternatives to Obamacare”, when the column’s title clearly states that the GOP has offered no “good” – much less “better” – alternatives.

Sixth, Higgins then smugly exposes his sophistry by begging the very question Pramenko addressed:  Republicans have floated multiple “alternatives” regardless of merit – just to answer “replace with what?”.

However, if Higgins “would watch something other than” FoxNoise, he would know even the most recent “Republican alternative” fails to survive serious scrutiny.

The reason for the GOP’s failure to offer a better alternative is the simple truth that the ACA was and remains conservatives’ best-conceived alternative to the preferable “public option”.

Ref. to Mr. Tallarico’s letter:

I just heard on the national news that fighter jets will be patrolling the restricted airspace over Met Life stadium for the super-bowl. That’s fear, not freedom. Have the 9/11 terrorists actually won some semblance of victory?

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