I had an early morning appointment with a massage therapist yesterday and on my way I heard Senator Dave Camp badgering the woman who is in charge of the Medicare website about why she cannot tell him how many people are signed up for Affordable Health Care. She kept telling him the figures would be available mid-November. What hypocrisy. The Republicans, YES, THE REPUBLICANS, have done everything in their power to make sure Obamacare wouldn’t work. They shut down the government and backlogged thousands of programs so, now it is okay to badger this employee?
Ted Cruz brags that he will do everything he can to stop Obamacare while he also boasts shutting down the government was a great idea and he will do it again?
No leeway for the fact that when the government asked for bids on a company to provide a website they had to include every possible eventuality in the specifications before it could be bid.
Last spring, when the senate finance committee asked for outreach funds to implement the Affordable care Act, the outreach, to educate and pay the Department of Health and Human Services to assist people to enroll and for the technology experts to navigate the complicated needs of the system for privacy, medical records on-line, etc. Funds allotted? NONE. ZERO. (Information from CNN)
The Public Relations part of the bill was required. When HHS director, Kathryn Sebillious asked the insurance companies who would benefit from this and non-profit organizations to donate to this, a very controversial move, Republicans were outraged. She got ZIP. No money. All of her requests for funds to implement the act was refused and blocked by Republicans.
When Sebelius tried to shift money from other areas to help do what needed to be done, she was attacked by Senate Republicans. At every step, Republicans fought measures to get money to put towards implementation.
Let’s remember that original versions of the bill called for one big national exchange. This would have been much easier to implement. But conservatives declared that insurance should be left to the states and kept out of the hands of the federal government. So as a compromise exchanges were made state-based instead of national.
As a precaution, the law stipulated that if states failed to do their duty and enact exchanges, the federal government would step in and pick up the slack. This was to prevent obstructionism from killing the law. Surprisingly, it was many of the same conservative states that demanded local control that refused to implement state-based exchanges, leaving the federal government to do it for them.
There have been books, webinars and meetings explaining how to sabotage the implementation of Obamacare. There have been campaigns trying to persuade young people from signing up for Obamacare. It is, therefore, somewhat ironic that many of the same people who have been part of all of this obstructionism seem so “upset” by the fact that people can’t easily use the exchanges.
(Information from Aaron E. Carroll is a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the director of its Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. He has supported a single-payer health system during the reform debate.)
But, wait, we do have a Republican who stated sincerely: “Now it is time to move forward again in a critical area. Health Care. Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial, and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care.”
That was President Nixon, who got impeached and resigned before he had a chance to follow through. Or, who knows, maybe he didn’t really mean it.