Obamacare “Failure” Is Looking More And More Like A Success.

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 President Obama announced that more than 8 million people have signed up for Obamacare through the federal exchange. Another 1.9 million have signed up through state-run exchanges. Those numbers don’t even include the 3 million young adults who were able to stay on their parents’ plans and the 3 million additional people who have been able to enroll in the expanded Medicaid program.

All of this means that more than 16 million people have been able to take advantage of Obamacare.

Further, states that embraced the bill have seen their uninsured rates decline 3 times faster than states that didn’t. For example, New York’s enrollment has exceeded projections by 60 percent and its insurance premiums have been cut in half! Imagine how many more people would have access to insurance if Teapublican governors and Teapublican legislatures had voted to expand Medicaid in their states and operate their own state health care exchanges. If every state would have embraced the law, we would be well on our way to joining the rest of the industrialized world with near universal access to health care.

It has also been proven that the Affordable Care Act has lowered the cost of health care. Yet Teapublicans refuse to admit that the program has been a success. They call it a “massive failure.” They falsely claim that it is costing jobs. They claim that it is unaffordable, despite studies by the Congressional Budget Office that show it is saving money. Nevertheless, most Teapublican candidates are basing their 2014 election campaigns on their opposition to the ACA. They are promising to repeal the ACA. And, backed by billions of Koch brothers’ money, shadowy front groups are running commercials that repeat lies and attack incumbent Democrats. Yet, according to polls by Gallup, even the resistance to the bill by rank and file Republicans is rapidly disappearing. In February, 72 percent of Republicans said the bill would make them worse off. In April, that number has dropped to just 51 percent!

So go ahead, Teapublicans, base all of your election campaigns on promising to repeal Obamacare. Let the approximately 16 million additional Americans who have gained access to health care know that you want to take that away from them.

Why “Obamacare” Won’t Be Repealed.

As of last week, more than 6 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges and that number is expected to grow to as many as 7 million by the end of today. Roughly one-third of those people were previously uninsured. Another 4.5 million people have gained health insurance as the result of the expansion of Medicaid (tens of millions more would be eligible if Republican governors had not blocked Medicaid expansion in 24 states). 3 million young adults under age 26 have been added to their parents’ health insurance plans. And millions more have benefited from the ACA provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, there have been few negatives.

Contrary to GOP claims, millions of Americans did not lose insurance when their insurance companies chose to cancel their policies rather than make them comply with the ACA. Indeed, many more Americans now have insurance as a result of the law. According to a survey by the Rand Corporation, the number of adults aged 18 to 64 without health insurance has declined from nearly 21 percent in late 2013 to 16.6 percent as of March 22. And contrary to the GOP, “Obamacare” is not a job-killer. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that it will actually create jobs.

In reality, millions of Americans have already benefited from the law and millions more will. Thanks to the ACA, there are fewer Americans who will have to rely on the Emergency Room for basic health care services and pass the costs along to those who do have insurance. Thanks to the ACA, there are no lifetime caps on the amount insurance companies will pay for an individual’s care. Thanks to the ACA, millions of Americans will no longer be facing financial ruin as the result of catastrophic illness.

Yet Teapublicans are still trying to stop “Obamacare.” The GOP-led House has voted to repeal or change the ACA more than 50 times. And Teapublican candidates are making “Obamacare” the central issue of their campaigns. They claim that the law will bankrupt the nation despite a CBO analysis that found the law will save billions of dollars. They claim that, if elected, they will repeal and replace the law. Yet they offer no replacement. They simply want us to trust them that they will come up with something better – better than the idea that they once promoted before President Obama embraced it.

The only thing the GOP has to offer is going back to what we had – a broken system that left more than 50 million Americans uninsured; a system that was the primary cause of personal bankruptcies in America; a system that led to double-digit inflation of health care costs; a system that encouraged US companies to send American jobs offshore.

But, trust me, no matter what happens in this Fall’s elections, we’re not going back. The millions of Americans who have already benefited from the ACA simply won’t permit it.

The Sovereign State Of Arizona?

The State of Arizona has always been home to a somewhat contentious sort of people. Settled by prospectors and ranchers, many of whom were escaping the rules of civilization, it has never had a warm relationship with Washington. Yet, it has long sought to benefit from federal largess.

Prior to 1912, the people of Arizona Territory begged the US for statehood in order to receive the benefits and protection that would come with it. However, they didn’t want to give up any power to the nation they hoped to join. The territory wanted to claim sovereignty over all of the land within its borders, despite the fact that the Grand Canyon and surrounding lands had been named a National Park by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The Territory also wanted to maintain control over federal judges.

At the time, most Americans were opposed to Arizona statehood. It was felt that the Territory was a lawless frontier. But, eventually, Americans were convinced to offer Arizona statehood based on its deposits of valuable minerals. So in 1912, Arizona became the 48th state in the Union.

Two conditions of statehood were that the federal government would control the National Parks and National Forests and that Arizona would give up the recall of judges. Almost immediately after its statehood was ratified, Arizona reasserted its authority to recall judges. More recently, the Republican and Tea Party-dominated State Legislature has been trying to undo the other condition for statehood by repeatedly calling for sovereignty over all the lands within Arizona’s borders, and calling for nullification of any federal laws or orders the Arizona Legislature considers unconstitutional.

In other words, Arizona wants to be a state, but only on its own terms. Indeed, this attitude was clearly on display when Governor Brewer wagged her finger in the face of President Obama.

Yet, despite its distaste for the federal government, the state relies heavily on federal funds. The state receives nearly $2,000 more per citizen in federal funds than it pays in taxes. It receives subsidies for its roads and its schools, as well as supplemental food and other economic assistance for much of its population.

Recently, Arizona went cowboy hat in hand seeking billions more in federal expenditures for Luke Air Force Base to receive a new F-35 fighter wing. The state also requested (more accurately, demanded) billions more in federal aid for a costly border fence and thousands of US Border Patrol agents.

More than 100 years after receiving statehood, the State of Arizona is still relatively lawless thanks to the nation’s most lax gun laws. Much of it is still a wasteland…only now it’s home to millions living in denial that they can continue to drain the rivers and aquifers in order to golf on lush, green fairways without consequences. And its Tea Party Parasites and politicians still think they should be able to dictate terms to the federal government while enjoying all the benefits of federal taxpayer money.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope that the state may eventually embrace its statehood. The few moderate Republicans in the Arizona Legislature actually voted with Democrats to expand the state’s Medicaid program as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That’s great for Arizona’s poor and uninsured. On the other hand, it means that Arizona will soon receive billions more in federal funds.

What a state…er…nation…whatever…

How Would You Pay For Uninsured Healthcare?

Conservatives in Arizona and other states are mouth-frothing mad over the expansion of Medicaid for those who can’t afford health insurance. They claim that it’s a matter of personal responsibility; that the current system is fine; that people should simply go without healthcare if they can’t afford it.


The people saying that consist mostly of the Bible-thumping, church-going crowd. You know, the good “Christians” who claim to follow the guy who once said something like, “What you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.”

What these people don’t understand, in addition to the Bible they claim to study, is that even people without money deserve healthcare. In fact, our federal government came to that realization years ago. That’s why hospitals are mandated to treat those in need, even if they can’t afford to pay for the treatment. As a result, most of the working poor (people below or near the poverty line are already eligible for Medicaid) delay medical care as long as possible. When their conditions have reached a point where they are more difficult to treat, they go to the Emergency Room where treatment costs many times more than care at a doctor’s office.

Who pays for their treatment? The very people who are whining and bitching about expanding Medicaid to cover more of the working poor. As a result, the whiners pay considerably more than they would if everyone had health insurance…even government-paid health insurance.

So the question is this: How would you like to pay for your brothers’ and sisters’ healthcare? Through the efficiently-run Medicaid system? Or through the many times more expensive E.R.?

Sore Losers.

Following the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona, which was pushed by a very conservative governor and passed by a bipartisan coalition of both Republican and Democratic legislators, the so-called “patriots” of the Tea Party are trying every trick in the book to overturn majority rule.

They are threatening to collect enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot in 2014. Even if voters refuse to overturn it, the expansion would be delayed nearly a year after it’s supposed to take effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the very conservative Goldwater Institute and the ultra conservative Center for Arizona Policy are threatening to sue the state if the bill is implemented. That, too, could hold up the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona.

The irony of all this is that, not six months ago, our “scorpion-eating” Governor Brewer was idolized by the Tea Party Parasites of Arizona. Now these people are crying foul. They claim that they were bullied and ignored…in the same way they’ve treated Democrats in the legislature.

Truth is, all these people really care about is their own narrow ideology. They could care less about democracy and the founding principles they claim to hold so dear. They could care less about the people of Arizona.

They’ve been exposed as the spoiled bullies they really are.

Arizona Turned Upside-Down.

Mark it down. On Thursday, June 13, 2013, the Earth stood still! The clouds parted. The impossible became possible. Red turned blue. Blue turned red. Tempers cooled, even if the temperatures didn’t.

In a brief moment of clarity and political sanity, moderate Republicans joined Democrats at the behest of our finger-wagging Governor Brewer to pass a state budget that includes an expansion of Medicaid. It was a victory for bipartisanship, responsible government and “Obamacare.”

As a result, tens of thousands more Arizonans will have healthcare insurance.

Of course, the Teapublican legislators are apoplectic. For hours, extending through the evening and into the early morning, they railed against Obamacare and the federal government. They labeled the moderate Republicans and Governor Brewer as traitors. They said they were betrayed; bullied; treated as a minority. Hmmm…as the old saying goes, it seems these Tea Party Parasites finally got a taste of their own medicine. (Pun intended.)

Thank you Governor Brewer and moderate Republicans. Your display of bipartisanship and common sense was great! Unfortunately, I fear the attitude won’t last.