Printed letters, December 8, 2013
Republicans are having such a gleeful time over Obamacare that they and the press seem to be missing a few things.
Certainly the rollout was flubbed terribly. Leave it to a bunch of baby-boomer bureaucrats to mess up technology. President Obama should have handed the task to his campaign people. They can connect everyone with everyone.
What’s most confusing is the “You can keep your plan” debacle. NPR had a report that the “grandfather clause” allowed many of these plans to continue through 2014 and Obama has extended them through 2015. So, why is everyone thinking the plans end this year, 2013?
Maybe insurance companies wanted to scare people. After all, part of the Affordable Care Act directs insurance companies to put more of their earnings into patients rather than CEOs. Many people say control should be returned to patients and their doctors. But patients and doctors haven’t had control of health care since the time when insurance paid everything — around 1970.
Another puzzle is the argument about women’s coverage and contraception. Have people ever looked into what electives their insurer will pay? I didn’t know until a few years ago, before Obamacare, that some companies cover abortions. Not only that — most will cover surgical contraception for both men and women and will probably cover part of contraceptive pills.
Some self-insured companies may not cover these things, at least if they asked not to cover them in the past. I’d be willing to bet most companies never asked, at least before Obamacare.
Obama administration may be manipulating populace
Standardized testing shows that American students keep falling further behind, especially in mathematics. The Obamacare debacle and the American public’s apparent surprise at its implications illustrate the lack of basic math skills by the bulk of the electorate.
President Barack Obama said we needed Obamacare to cover the 40 million uninsured, yet he now says the target for coverage is 9 million. What about the other 31 million?
Obama sold the program saying premiums would go down by $2,500 per year, yet the program requires additional coverage (pre-existing conditions and children until age 26 to name two). That is mathematically impossible.
He said if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, yet Obamacare requires certain minimum coverage that some existing plans don’t have. Impossible.
Apparently the education system has failed to teach basic civics, as well. When the realities of implementation of the program began to hurt Obama politically, he changed the law by executive fiat, which is unconstitutional. The Affordable Care Act, passed by a dubious maneuver in the Democratic Congress, is the law of the land and cannot be changed by executive proclamation. It must be repaired or replaced through the legislative process.
This administration is either incompetent or purposely manipulating the electorate to seize executive powers it does not have. Hopefully, the American public will realize the dangers of an out-of-control executive branch and restore government by constitutional rule.
Republicans once thought nuclear option was a fine idea
After reading a letter to the editor about godless Democrats invoking the “nuclear option” to appoint judges who will bring destruction and hellfire on our country, I thought a trip down memory lane would be appropriate.
Below is a small sampling of comments by conservative pundits during George W. Bush’s presidency, when Democrats invoked the filibuster on some of his appointments. Those were the days when conservatives couldn’t wait to invoke the “nuclear option.”
On Dec 24, 2004, Rush Limbaugh stated, “This filibuster, as you know, they’re filibustering these nominations which requires essentially 60 votes for a judge to be confirmed. The Constitution says nothing about this. The Constitution says simple majority, 51 votes.”
During a 2005 edition of Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes,” Sean Hannity stated, “There are seven specific instances in the Constitution where they call for a supermajority. I believe it’s unconstitutional to filibuster. It is not about advice and consent now to ask for a supermajority on judicial nominations. I believe that is not constitutional.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial approving the use of the nuclear option in May 2005. Part of the editorial stated, “Barring a surprise last-minute deal, this week Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will ask for a ruling from the chair — Vice President Dick Cheney presiding — that ending debate on a judicial nominee requires a vote of a simple majority of 51 Senators, not a super-majority of 60. The nuclear option — aka the “constitutional option” — will have been detonated. Judicial filibusters, R.I.P.”
Currently 76 presidential appointments have moved through committees and are awaiting a vote. Seventeen are judges; the rest are ambassadors and high officials from other agencies. Historically that’s a large number the Republicans are obstructing. No wonder the “nuclear option” was invoked.