Why Republicans Have No Business Being Upset About Obamacare

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This post first appeared on Robert Reich’s blog.


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia (left)  arrives for a meeting with House Republicans in the Capitol in Washington on October 16, 2013.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia (left) arrives for a meeting with House Republicans in the Capitol in Washington D.C., on October 16, 2013. (Associated Press)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Republicans will seek to delay a requirement of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that all Americans obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty. “With so many unanswered questions and the problems arising around this rollout, it doesn’t make any sense to impose this one percent mandate tax on the American people,” Cantor said last week.

While Republicans plot new ways to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, it’s easy to forget that for years they’ve been arguing that any comprehensive health insurance system be designed exactly like the one that officially began October 1st, glitches and all.

For as many years Democrats tried to graft healthcare onto Social Security and Medicare and pay for it through the payroll tax. But Republicans countered that any system must be based on private insurance and paid for with a combination of subsidies for low-income purchasers and a requirement that the younger and healthier sign up.

Not surprisingly, private health insurers cheered on the Republicans while doing whatever they could to block Democrats from creating a public insurance system.

In February 1974, Republican President Richard Nixon proposed, in essence, today’s Affordable Care Act. Under Nixon’s plan all but the smallest employers would provide insurance to their workers or pay a penalty, an expanded Medicaid-type program would insure the poor and subsidies would be provided to low-income individuals and small employers. Sound familiar?

Private insurers were delighted with the Nixon plan but Democrats preferred a system based on Social Security and Medicare and the two sides failed to agree.

Thirty years later a Republican governor, Mitt Romney, made Nixon’s plan the law in Massachusetts. Private insurers couldn’t have been happier although many Democrats in the state had hoped for a public system.

When today’s Republicans rage against the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, it’s useful to recall this was their idea as well.

In 1989, Stuart M. Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation came up with a plan that would “mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance.”

Insurance companies loved Butler’s plan so much it found its way into several bills introduced by Republican lawmakers in 1993. Among the supporters were Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA). Both now oppose the mandate under the Affordable Care Act. Newt Gingrich, who became Speaker of the House in 1995, was also a big proponent.

Romney’s heathcare plan in Massachusetts included the same mandate to purchase private insurance. “We got the idea of an individual mandate from [Newt Gingrich] and [Newt] got it from the Heritage Foundation,” said Romney, who thought the mandate “essential for bringing the health care costs down for everyone and getting everyone the health insurance they need.”

Now that the essential Republican plan for healthcare is being implemented nationally, health insurance companies are jubilant.

Last week, after the giant insurer Wellpoint raised its earnings estimates, CEO Joseph Swedish pointed to “the long-term membership growth opportunity through exchanges.” Other major health plans are equally bullish. “The emergence of public exchanges, private exchanges, Medicaid expansions … have the potential to create new opportunities for us to grow and serve in new ways,” UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen J. Hemsley effused.

So why are today’s Republicans so upset with an Act they designed and their patrons adore? Because it’s the signature achievement of the Obama administration.

There’s a deep irony to all this. Had Democrats stuck to the original Democratic vision and built comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare, it would have been cheaper, simpler and more widely accepted by the public. And Republicans would be hollering anyway.

Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century.
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  • Bob Sloan

    The Democrats should have pushed the public option but their campaign contributors/lobbyists convinced otherwise. So we learned from this lesson the Democrats are controlled by the same corporate puppeteers as the Republicans. Too bad, Obamacare will be their downfall. We must abolish the two party sham of a fixed political system. The bait and switch of Obamacare was meant to put the Republicans back in power.

  • @CamelotK

    Or not. POTUS wanted very much for the ACA to be bipartisan, and bent over backward to encourage Republicans to support the effort. Their whining about it being “passed in the dark” or “rammed through” is hypocritical garbage. ROMNEYcare was chosen as the model to begin with, in order to please Republicans. We’re learning. GOPers rot everything they touch, and they managed to contaminate this, just like everything else they are remotely involved in. After we take the House back in 2014; I pray we can move on and choose DEMOCRATIC options from now on, instead of trying to “compromise” with the GOP. In order to compromise, there has to be a credible Republican party representative with whom we can negotiate. HA! There is not one.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it is about Obama. Oh, the bigots do not like a democrat and especially not a black man in the White House and are hot to replace him with a greedy republican like themselves, so they can make millions from corporation bribes.
    They are upset because they never intended the ACA to be passed. They just wrote it to extort money from the medical community that did not want it passed either. “Pay us or we will pass national health care and like Medicare, where we control the costs, you won’t be able to charge the big bucks.”
    Remember when Obama was elected with the promise of national health care, the lobbyist in DC increased 5 times. It is more about greed and corruption.

  • Anonymous

    “Bipartisan” is an excuse. They never wanted ACA passed at all. Obama really threw a wrench into their well oiled money machine.

  • Becca

    I have spent the better part of the day being chastised by two ACA candidates about how miserable this program is, how expensive it will be, how none of their local hospitals will accept ACA policies and how the whole world is coming to an end before they have actually got the insurance and it is in effect.

    Then mr right wing friend does nothing but carp about the expense (he that has employer based coverage) .

    If this program is so good and if it is such an improvement, then why is it being so completely rejected? Sorry, but these folks are not generally unreasonable. However they’re experience with ACA is just a disaster.

  • Anonymous

    you lost everyone with that fat race card you pulled out in the first sentence

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reverbnation.com%2Fc.%2Fa4%2F2341885%2F993458%2FArtist%2F0%2FUser%2Flink&h=b7354 Jeffrey William Lynch

    Let’s be honest here. The Affordable Care Act is a grand illusion. The motives for this plan is not to provide affordable health insurance for every American. (This is a noble cover story and key talking point.) As this article demonstrates, it has been in the works for a while now, conceived, constructed and now forced on the American public by members of both parties.

    The true motive of this plan is to increase the profit margins of the Insurance Industry, which is already one of the most profitable legalized Ponzi scheme operations overall operating in our country. Their profit margins are incredibly high, while most Americans that are being forced by law to contribute and support their scams are hurting financially.

    Personally, I think every suit and tie wearing lying politician, (of both parties), are white collar criminals. They portray themselves as respectable in their high offices, talking all about concerns for the common class. However if you look at who’s doing well, it is the leaders in business and industry like all the executives on Wall Street and their peers running the multinational corporations in the Insurance and Pharmaceutical industries. These are the only people that are realistically rewarded while the rest of us suffer and are forced to contribute to their motives of corporate greed and government mandated bailouts and Ponzi schemes.

    The President lied and continues to lie. The Republicans are even worse. All of them are there for one purpose: To serve the interests of the Elite. Period!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Well said!

  • ajb1953

    What a crock! Not ONE Republican voted for this disastrous legislation. Not ONE! And now the liberals are all looking for ways to blame Republicans.

    Democrats own this mess. There’s no way around it. Well, except the liberal way . . . lie, lie and lie some more.

  • ajb1953

    Blame, blame, blame. This Obamacare disaster will not work, and it was never intended to work. It’s simply designed to fail and is an intermediate step toward single-payer system.

    I suppose you don’t mind that you’ve been and are being lied to by your president?

    Let’s talk about greed and corruption for a second. This failed website costs us taxpayers $600 million+. And that went to a Canadian company whose top executive is Michelle Obama’s friend and supporter. An actual working website could have been designed by an actual American company for a tiny fraction of that amount of money. Talk about greed and corruption.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, dude, what’s wrong with a single-payer system? It is the system we should have had to begin with! Hopefully, the ACA will need such an upgrade that the insurance industry finally gets its comeuppance, the Republican Party has a coniption, the Democratic Party wakes the hell up, and ALL U.S. citizens and residents get the best health care insurance system…single-payer, universal.

  • John Bocskay

    That’s extremely cynical.

  • John Bocskay

    What paranoid cynicism!

  • Anonymous

    I have a very simple question for you ajb. Since the facts mentioned in the article are all a matter of public record, how is it that you can feel justified to start whining again about lies?

  • KC614

    Democrats of course never change their minds over the course of 20 years or so. Stupid article

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reverbnation.com%2Fc.%2Fa4%2F2341885%2F993458%2FArtist%2F0%2FUser%2Flink&h=b7354 Jeffrey William Lynch

    Cynical? It is reality. 700 BILLION dollars plus to bail out the Wall Street Fat Cats, and they keep their positions and multi-million dollar salaries and strut around the U.S. Capital like everyone should thank them for legally “stealing” the money that was handed to them. They should be in jail!

    The Pharmaceutical industry is making record profits from pushing drugs like Hydrocodone, which is the most commonly prescribed narcotic pain medication, (America’s #1 selling drug), and millions are suffering and dying from the super addictive nature of this drug. The destruction is at epidemic levels, causing much more harm to the masses than all the other illegal drugs combined. Yet, this is a business, so therefore it is honorable and promoted.

    The Insurance industry is just as profitable and even worse in my opinion, since most people are led to believe that we have to have insurance to help us out in the critical times of need.

    Take time to listen to many people who had insurance and had their lives swept away last year on Long Island due to Hurricane Sandy and are still fighting with the government and Insurance adjusters, waiting to be paid. This is reality!

    More and more Americans are being cancelled from their existing Health Care coverage due to ObamaCare, and the site is not even up and running yet. President Obama lied. He told us that if we wanted to stay with our existing plans, that we could keep them.

    It looks like he didn’t consult the Insurance Industry leaders before hand to make sure that his promise would be a reality.

    Perhaps you’re right. Maybe I am a little cynical. Let’s focus together on helping the public, rather than contributing to padding the profits of the elite.

  • ajb1953

    “While Republicans plot new ways to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, it’s easy to forget that for years they’ve been arguing that any comprehensive health insurance system be designed exactly like the one that officially began October 1st, glitches and all.”

    Okay, we can start with this one. Provide for me the evidence that this statement is a fact. Links to your sources will do fine.

    I have a very simple question for you. WHICH Republican voted for this legislation? That’s a matter of public record, too.

  • ajb1953

    “What was possible at the time . . . ” perfect example of liberal idiocy run amok.

    Plenty of options were possible at the time. The Democrats insisted on ramming this down our throats. Nothing else would do. And now they own it, and every single lie they’ve told about it.

  • ajb1953

    You like single-payer? Move to a country that has it and live with it for a while. It costs more in taxes, the care is inferior, the wait times are outrageous. You’ve apparently been watching too many Michael Moore movies.

  • ajb1953

    Your “paranoid cynicism” is the world’s “truth.” Can’t handle it, can you?

  • John Bocskay

    Right, then. Explain what set of facts led you to the conclusion that the ACA was
    1) designed to fail
    2) just a step to a single payer system

    Can you handle that?

  • Rita M Nicholson

    One could start with the fact the majority of Red held states with the exception of Kentucky (who has a Democrat as governor) did not set up their own health care exchanges, that those red states denied expanding medicaid, and have voted 41 times to dismantle the “Law.” I suggest you put on your big boy/girl pants and do your own research as to how else they have tried to “sabotage the law.”

  • ajb1953

    Whose history did he give, tlh? Where is the evidence?

    Can you provide any “history” on the actual alternatives offered by the Republicans before this nightmare was passed? It will require you do a little research, and it’ll be quite difficult to find if you rely solely on your liberal resources because they’re invested in keeping it secret. Good luck to ya.

  • ajb1953

    Perhaps you’d be so kind as to google what your own Senate leader, Dirty Harry Reid said about Obamacare being the first step to single-payer? Are you being intentionally obtuse, or is it simply ignorance?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the premise was flawed from the get-go. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together could tell everything Obama was saying about it was bald-faced lies. There were so many lies presented to support this debacle it would take me hours to outline them for you. I doubt you’d be able to comprehend them even if I did take the time because, apparently, you’re still attempting to defend this nightmare even as Obama and his own people are admitting that it’s a disaster.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you can provide such history. President Nixon supported a similar plan, a rightist “think tank” supported a similar plan, and a Republican governor supported a similar plan. And what would the current Republican plan be?

  • Anonymous

    One hopes that after the Rs settle down, it will succeed in moving us toward single payer. The provision allowing states to develop their own plans beginning in 2017 is rich with some promise. So are the tax credits (subsidies). At that time, Democrats will own it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure if I gave you links, you would just start whining about media bias, so I’ll give you a quote from Nixon, since he was the first to propose the insurance companies be involved in implementing a national health program. I have no interest in doing your work for you by looking up all the times republicans supported a national health program. However, it was always with the stipulation that insurance companies be a part of the program — which democrats did not want. President Obama realized that the only way to get the affordable health program passed was to include a way for insurance companies to be involved in the program. Nixon stated in his 1974 State of the Union Address that “The time is at hand this year to bring comprehensive, high quality health care within the reach of every American.” Do you deny that the present ACA act was designed on the pattern of the health care plan which was initiated in Massachusetts under a Republican by the name of Romney? Also, you might want to look up the type of health care program supported by Newt in the 90′s. Of course you won’t find these facts mentioned in your right-wing media — which has done a great propaganda job on you and your ilk. It is a fact that they would rather ignore.

  • carrie

    I am amazed by all the rhetoric against the horrors of single payer systems or socialist medicine. etc. So what is VA health Care or Medicare? I wonder how many of the pundits posting comments have this kind of insurance coverage?? As long as I have mine..the rest of you can go to hades?

  • Terence Francis

    No, you move! You have become a predicable, myopic ranter.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a stupid comment.

  • Anonymous

    False equivalence.

  • Anonymous

    You’ll be eating those word in a year, and in a decade you’ll be screaming, “Keep yer gummint hands off my Obamacare!”

  • Anonymous

    And if Romney had won, he’d have proposed the same thing as the ACA (since it’s basically his plan), and you’d have supported it.

  • Anonymous

    False equivalence.

  • Anonymous

    ajb1953, in fact I have lived and worked in Latin America and Europe, in countries with universal, single-payer systems, and that is why I like the idea and think it is time the U.S. economy avails itself of it.

    (1) In those countries, enough in taxes are paid towards supporting the system.

    (2) Everyone gets top-grade complex medical care for free, while paying a modicum for prescription medicines; ER is only for real, life-and-limb ER cases.

    (3) Waiting times for family doctor appointments are necessarily longer than for specialist visits because there aren’t enough general practitioners to cover those common, frequent needs, which means that…

    (4) Private insurance policies covering general practitioner visits are available to anyone willing to pay extra, and the extra is decently priced.

    (5) Residents and other transients pay the higher private-insurance prices for all care, including medicines, but even those prices are generally not as high as here in the U.S.

    In other words, in many other countries health care is not treated as a 100% commodity, as it is in these United States. It is a 50/50, 60/40, even a 70/30 proposition: human right / money-making endeavor.

    But anyway, if back in the early 1990s the Heritage Foundation thought the market-oriented approach workable and Mitt Romney persuaded the Massachusetts legislature to implement it when he was governor, and Obama convinced the pre-2011 Democratic Party Congressional majorities to pass virtually the same plan for the entire nation, why not give it a test drive?

    If it does not work, it would mean that the only path left to try is universal single-payer health care insurance. It would be a “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” kind of situation, for all intents and purposes.

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans are the Outer Party; it is their job to make Americans think they have a choice.

  • Elaine Steskal

    Several years ago, I spoke with an Insurance salesman, he worked for Prudential. I asked him about Health Ins. He actually said, we should have something similar to Europe, where the government pays for hospitalizations, major medical, and everybody is required to buy supplemental for Dr visits,etc. He said he could sell more private ins to more people at a lower cost

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reverbnation.com%2Fc.%2Fa4%2F2341885%2F993458%2FArtist%2F0%2FUser%2Flink&h=b7354 Jeffrey William Lynch

    So what do you consider “false”: The notion that the President lied while promoting this thing, or the Wall Street Bankers are great American citizens that would never do anything unethical such as lying, cheating or stealing from the American people?

  • Anonymous

    Americans are perfectly justified in being cynical about their elected officials (with a few notable exceptions, like the Honorable Bernie Sanders)..

  • oddjob

    The crock is your willful refusal to acknowledge the historical public record.

    Your behavior vividly demonstrates why today’s American reactionaries are so problematic for the future of this country.

  • JonThomas

    I personally hate the ACA. I think some of it’s provisions are excellent, but over-all I agree with Mr Reich’s last paragraph.

    It would indeed have been better to go with a Single Payer, or ‘Universal’ system.

    However, your point about the ACA being “never intended to work. It’s simply designed to fail…” is, at best, an overreach.

    Unfortunately, after seeing your comment so peppered with derogatory statements I must add… disingenuous… as a descriptor.

    I am replying to you only as a correction of your misquote.

    Your insulting comments (“Dirty”…” Are you being intentionally obtuse, or is it simply ignorance?”…”I doubt you’d be able to comprehend them”…”Anyone with two brain cells to rub together could tell everything”) really show that at this point, you are not actually willing to conduct yourself in a civil manner. Such uncivil demeanor does not merit engagement.

    What Senator Reid ACTUALLY said was that the ACA was a “step in the right direction.”

    He added that he feels we are “far from having something that will work…”

    Just so that you can correct yourself, stop twisting his words, and include the actual statements, here is the link…

    When the interviewer asked if *eventually*, “we will work beyond [the] insurance [system]…” Mr. Reid answered “Yes, absolutely, yes.”

    These statements were made after a short conversation about Single Payer, and some discussion on why a public option was not included in the final version.

    Nowhere in that discussion did Senator Reid say it was the “first step to single payer.”

    When the actual discussion is viewed, Your statement… “it was never intended to work. It’s simply designed to fail…” is exposed as extremely disingenuous.

    As Mr. Reich pointed out… “When today’s Republicans rage against the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, it’s useful to recall this was their idea as well.”

    The ACA, like most, if not all, legislative comprises contains both good and bad elements.

    What existed before was definitely not working. The ACA was a legislative action undertaken to improve the Nation’s Healthcare system. Is it perfect? NO! It may be though, just as Senator Reid said… “a step in the right direction.”

  • JonThomas

    “Liberal idiocy?” I am flagging this comment. There’s no reason for such prejudiced insults.

  • Anonymous

    No one is accusing Republicans of intelligence, self-reflection nor Reaganism although they trot his effigy out whenever they need moral support.

  • Anonymous

    Paul Ryan in a nutshell.

  • Guido Sansoni

    were did you get your data?
    global health care cost in the US are 13% of GDP, while Europe has an average of 9%. Make your math.

  • Anonymous

    The ACA cuts the Net Negative Value middleman skim operation in half and removes them permanently from having to be in the middle of the doctor/ patient relationship due to the 80/20 rule.

    Thank God for the Dems and President Obama!

  • Anonymous

    “This failed website costs us taxpayers $600 million+”

    No it didn’t.
    Why would you want to spread the lies?

  • Anonymous

    Baseless Assertions.
    It’s all you have.

  • Betsy Gingerich

    Actually, my family lived in Wales (the U.K.) in 1977-78 and experienced the NHS. While none of us required surgery, all four of my children had at least one illness or mishap that required medical attention. We found the waiting time in the doctor’s office and the ER to be about 15 minutes long; paid only for medication and the medication for the kids was subsidized; were not required to pay for anything at the ER when my son fell off a skateboard and injured his elbow and that included xrays. We were very pleased with it. Oh, yes, they even made house calls if they were called by 10 am as we discovered when our eldest daughter had mono. We were told that since we were paying rent we were paying taxes and of course, we were paying the VAT on things we bought so that it was unnecessary for us to pay for the healthcare.

  • Jeffrey McFadden

    Oh. Surprise. Question: Why does the US have the highest health care costs in the world? Answer: Obscene health insurance company profits. Nothing in the ACA even pretends to fix this.

  • blah blah

    Paul Ryan is great!!

  • Anonymous

    Exactly! Let the States manage their own! Keep the Feds and the IRS out of my Health Care!

  • Anonymous

    Why is it if you disagree with Obama you are a bigot? We are all suppose to blindly accept all his policies or we are racist? What past POTUS has enjoyed that luxury?

  • Anonymous

    Everyone should read this
    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba649

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, right, Obamacare is the plan the Republicans supported. Then why did NOT ONE Republican vote for it?

    The answer is that 2600 or more of the 2700 pages of the plan was an abomination to them and far from what anyone wanted.

  • Whalewriter

    The Republican way: make Americans pay for this and pay for that, while someone else enjoys the profits. Sad, and sick. The “American Way” is really what needs fixing.

  • Anonymous

    Who did he work with? Republicans were not even allowed to join the committee’s when this monstrosity was put together. Not a single republican voted for this mess. Now all the dems are trying to find ways to blame republicans when it turned out to be the abject failure the republicans said it would be. Funny how the dems now want to delay for a year the individual mandate, when the republicans offered that 4 weeks ago, the dems said no and the government shutdown commenced. You guys are idiots.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, yes, it is a disaster.

  • Anonymous

    The red states do not have to be involved in the process, that is the law. It is not sabatoge. The red states choose not to involve themselves in a process that will initially be funded by the Feds, then dumped on the states without funding. Voting 41 times to repeal a law is not sabotage, it is consistant with the will of the people. The people who are most in favor of this law are the ones who benefit financially from it, either by gaining free health care, or by having a financial interest in an insurance company.

  • Anonymous

    It can easily be fixed for you and your kind. Move to any other country that supports your beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    The idea of a healthy America has been promoted by both Republicans and Democrats, and Independants for that matter. The disagreements have been about what is the best way to produce that outcome. The Nixon plan had things in it that the ACA has drawn from, but the parts of it that are not in the ACA are the facts that it is Affordable, that it is Voluntary, and that it requires NO NEW FEDERAL TAX to support it. The Dems plan, it is the Dems plan because not a single Republican was included in the planning process or voted for it, makes it mandatory, unaffordable to many, and includes several new taxes to prop it up. Here is Nixon’s plan. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2009/september/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

  • Bob Sloan

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Without the Public Option, the American people DID NOT WANT IT! This is what really matters, and not what a group of paid off politicians on both sides want. They will find voter wrath at election time and no amount of insurance corporate propaganda will help. Obama is the worst president next to Bush and Clinton I have ever seen. Nixon would have looked fantastic compared to these paid off public servants.

  • Guest

    “Obscene health insurance profits” -while easy to proclaim- *cannot* explain the U.S.’s twice-the-healthcare-spending of any other nation. Back to the blackboard, sir.

  • Guest

    all 2,700 pages of it?

  • Guest

    All single payer promises is a one-way valve through which money will gush. Single-payer doesn’t offer any cost-control you would be willing to accept; that’s what insurance companies have provided.

  • Guest

    “Their profit margins are incredibly high”

    Easier to claim than to prove. Please cite some profit margins for insurers.

  • Guest

    “700 BILLION dollars plus to bail out the Wall Street Fat Cats”

    And I believe every single dime of it has been paid back. So where’s your beef?

  • Guest

    “hot to replace him with a greedy republican like themselves, so they can make millions from corporation bribes”

    No — so they can prevent greedy democrats and Friends of Obama from making the same millions. See story about Michelle’s Princeton classmate Toni Townes-Whitley, Sr. VP of CGI-Federal, the contractor for the Healthcare.gov website.

  • Eric Schusterman

    Well it was also put together by the guy that did RomneyCare.C’mon guys the Heritage Foundation created the mandate and Repubs Grassley and Hatch pushed it for years.

  • Eric Schusterman

    Well the plan was put together by the guys that put RomneyCare together.And Heritage created the individual mandate and Repubs Grassley and Hatch pushed it for years.Just like Cap and Trade another Republican idea.

  • Eric Schusterman

    The Heritage Foundation created the mandate-Repubs Grassley and Hatch pushed it as their centerpiece for years.The guys that did the ACA were the ones that wrote RomneyCare.Yes over the years it had some Repub idea/some Teddy Kennedy ideas which coalesced into RomneyCare which is now the ACA.To me it’s a first step that was needed but eventually we’ll have single payer.I’d be fine with that.The system was broken the Ins Cos were killing us the costs too high basically for the public HC was rising at an untenable cost.

  • cgmcle

    John McCain, among others, would disagree with your observation that “not a single Republican was included in the planning process.” In late September 2013 McCain spoke about the process, including extensive debate and Republican involvement (youtube, “McCain defends Obamacare”).

  • http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reverbnation.com%2Fc.%2Fa4%2F2341885%2F993458%2FArtist%2F0%2FUser%2Flink&h=b7354 Jeffrey William Lynch

    It’s all over the internet and printed in the press.

    “Insurers, meanwhile, are already seeing impressive profits. UnitedHealth, for instance, “had a particularly strong past year, with net income of $5.1 billion, up by 11% from the previous year” and Aetna is similarly beating
    revenue expectations. A July 2010 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers
    concluded that the law’s state-based health care exchanges provide
    private insurers with a lucrative new market in which they stand to gain up to $200 billion in revenue by 2019.” http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/03/22/1761011/health-insurers-threaten-to-increase-premiums-even-as-profits-soar/
    Search: Insurance Industry profits, NYT, Washington Post, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Forbes, etc., the list is huge…

  • Melwoolf

    How dumb. Moving country so one person and his family might be able to get affordable health care? How stupid. Why would anyone want to do that? By the way, all the other “civilized” Western countries have some form of public health care as a necessity and right – unlike the “right” to carry guns and kill people- it is considered inhumane and uncivilized NOT to be able to have one’s health looked after (insurance companies and their pre-existing conditions is really wonderful, yes?) Sadly, the congressmen and women, senators etc. all have “public” healthcare. But you obviously think your fellow Americans should not have this right. Oh, and the military and elderly too have this – but moderately and poorer people not on Medicaire don’t have this right. Think – or does that hurt too much?

  • Anonymous

    Obama is a Good GOP Guy!

  • Anonymous

    My comment was directed toward the posting, “The American Way” needs fixing. Meaning, the poster does not believe in America or the way America does things. In my opinion, that person, and their family, and anyone else who feels that way should be removed from the country. You on the other hand, appear to just be stupid.

  • Anonymous

    In that video, Mccain merely admits defeat on repealling obamacare and bemoans Ted Cruz for calling him a Neville Chamberlain. Not the same thing is sitting in the room during the planning stages of the ACA. Nice try!

  • cgmcle

    Here’s one quote from McCain: “… the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the
    Affordable Care Act by 13-10 after a month-long debate. 500 amendments
    were considered, more than 160 Republican amendments were accepted.” He also talks about 25 straight days of debate, including weekends, between Thanksgiving and Christmas: “… frankly, the other side of the aisle allowed that debate to take place. … the record is very clear of one of the most hard-fought, fair, in my
    view, debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate in the
    time I’ve been here.”

    The canard of Republicans being completely shut out of the process doesn’t jibe with the facts.

  • SouthOhioGipper

    Stop it! You have no right to call us racist and you need to be severely punished for believing that.

  • SouthOhioGipper

    Where do people like you live so I can get called a rethuglican to my face and stomp someone? I’m tired of crap talking on the internet. I want a real fight.

  • FHO

    Amen brother ,you got that right

  • Anonymous

    good!

  • Anonymous

    good!

  • Anonymous

    racism is when whites offend “minorities”.

  • Biytor .

    Trial Lawyers…

  • steve tate

    The underlying contempt that I feel for Obama comes from the promises (read lies) that he told re Obamacare in order to get reelected. What does that have to do with his color? If he was green and had 8 arms and 10 legs I would feel the same. Now that you have made your incorrect assumption about me, my guy for President was…….Herman Cain.

  • steve tate

    OK, I’ll think……I think that healthcare is not a ‘right’. It’s just a service that you don’t want to pay for.

  • steve tate

    You left out the part where the Dems cancelled their town hall meetings during the congressional breaks because THEY WERE AFRAID OF THE AMERICANS that would have showed up and asked questions.

  • steve tate

    So, where do the subsidies come from?

  • steve tate

    How about this? You are responsible for your own health. If you choose, you can join other like-minded people and pay into a ‘pool’ that will payout to the people who have paid into the ‘pool’ if you experience the situation that you are insured for. This is known as ‘health insurance.’ Enough Americans now believe that the feral gummint should pay for whatever the populace doesn’t want to pay for. Hence the impossible term ‘free healthcare’. There is no such thing.

  • steve tate

    Obama never invited any Repubs to discuss Obamacare. “The GOP rots everything they touch”? How about “The Great Society” destroying the nuclear black family? That’s not rot? That’s not Democrat?

  • Paul

    Republicans political arguments almost always remind me of The Ramones song, “I’m Against It.” It really doesn’t matter what it is, even if they originally proposed it. Their political position is simply negative. They don’t offer alternatives, just criticism. If Obama cured cancer, they’d complain that he wasn’t doing anything about diabetes. And curing cancer would be a bad thing. Socialist, perhaps.

  • Melwoolf

    You are right. People who cannot afford health insurance (or who have pre-existing conditions) should simply be left to their own problems. No concern about such consequences to the families or the individual. Let us suppose for a moment that some people cannot actually afford health insurance – so what? Let them die, get sick – sicker etc. Oh, that’s right then they go to Emergency when the tumor is so bad there is only pain of such magnitude that there is no longer a choice. What kind of human being are you?

    If you had your way, there would never have been healthcare like Medicaid or Medicare – just every man for himself. Darwin at his best. No, something is dark and worrying about the selfish nature of many Americans: I earned it and I keep it – no taxes should be increased regardless of wealth. No our congress has abandoned the normal American and made Obamacare as difficult to administer as possible. But who cares? Especially if you are comfortable with what YOU have. Have you seen Breaking Bad? A lesson there for our lovely country and the way we “help each other”.

    The US is the ONLY country in Western civilization that has not managed to cover all its citizens. I know they are ALL socialized countries (joke!) but no one goes without some help if needed. What difference does it make if you pay insurance to a private company or the government (by the way, Medicare is the most cost efficient health insurance – it negotiates all kinds of pricing so that there is very little extortionate costs). Oh, and why do insurance companies stop the cover for a particular problem (pre-existing)? Logically, if you had the entire population paying in to a health insurance – like insurance companies, the greater the numbers, the less the premium. The vast majority pay for those who do get sick! Exactly the same premise. But this is too logical.

    Why do we Americans have such a neurotic and stupid hangup about government health insurance? Ask the retired if they want their Medicare coverage stopped. I suppose you go to church too…..but of course, like Paul Ryan and Romney, you think the poor are not worth considering nor the lower income people. Nice. Real nice. I do hope you meet your maker one day and he directs you to where you belong.

  • Anonymous

    How is that different from the Democrats mantra of “I’m arrogant and I know what’s best for you”. Both parties are evil and should be replaced in November.

  • Anonymous

    That’s funny, you got anymore funny jokes?

  • Anonymous

    The ACA was very loosely based on those plans, the final regulations are very different, but don’t let lies and deception cloud your judgment.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone in Europe that can pays for their health insurance through their government, the government does not “give” anyone health insurance unless they can not afford it. Once they pay for their government issued insurance, they can purchase supplemental healthcare insurance.

  • Anonymous

    Eric, you really don’t have a clue what you are writing about.

  • Sara

    I do want to pay for health care. Right now, I pay my insurance premiums, as a way of pre-paying for healthcare. Under a single-payer system, a portion of my taxes would be spent on my healthcare. Either way, you’re paying for it. I spent four years without health insurance, though, and do you know what I did when I got sick? Nothing. I had four part-time jobs, but I couldn’t afford to see a doctor. I have arthritis, fibromyalgia and sciatica. I would have given anything I had then for relief from the pain, but what I had wasn’t enough. That’s the point of healthcare reform- not to make it free for some and expensive for others, but to allow people to pay what they can afford to pay for the medications and procedures they need. To deny a person the opportunity to seek medical care is cruel.

  • Steve Brown

    good lord, it’s so f**king orwellian you want to scream

  • Tigers Ruledude

    Columns like this one would make a whole lot more sense if they read like the writer had actually LOOKED AT AND READ the heritage plan.

    Yeah…its got an individual mandate. And that is right around where the comparisons between it and the ACA would have to end. The Heritage plan was this:

    1. Treat all employer provided healthcare as taxable income for the employee. This would be replaced with “a 20 percent credit would be provided for all insurance purchases that met basic requirements (such as covering catastrophic health costs). In addition, a steeply rising credit would be available for out-of-pocket health care spending by a f amily. This credit is related to health care costs as a percentage of family income. Ile higher expenditures were as a percentage of family income, the higher the percentage credit.”

    Notice the only insurance they are worried about…catastrophic care. This is bare minimum insurance and nothing more.

    2. Individual Mandate. Now it is important to give details that the hack writing the piece purposely left out. That detail is of course…WHAT WERE THEY EXACTLY MANDATING? Well…here it is: “Mandate all households to obtain adequate insurance. Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seatbelts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.”

    Again…catastrophic care. Quite a bit different then the ACA i am afraid.

    3. Provide help for those who cannot afford protection (the catastrophic kind…remember). This is done through refundable tax credits so that the poor can shop for the best insurance for them and even keep the difference if they buy cheaper than the credit…so even those with subsidies are making insurance companies compete.

    Those with high risk…dealt with that too. “Nevertheless, there are certain families for whom even this assistance is not sufficient. Families with a very long history of health problems, for instance, may find insurance prohibitively expensive, even with generous tax benefits. In these cases, the Heritage plan envisions an expansion of subsidized risk pools operated through the states. Many states have these plans, in which high-risk individuals are pooled together, and then insurers are invited to compete to cover the pool with rates subsidized by the government.

    Now i bet there are some of you that will still say…”Thats the same thing as ACA.” Well …Heritage would disagree. They even predict the current issues regarding ACA and are firmly against it:

    “An alternative strategy – mandating insurance coverage without regard to risk – is attractive to some analysts, but it has the defect of pushing up rates for all insured individuals. Plus the cost of protecting the high-risk group is shouldered equally by all insured families. This is far more regressive than using the general tax code to cover these individuals.”

    So like i said…it would be nice if folks who wrote these articles actually READ THE THINGS THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. Of course that would destroy the whole basis of the piece. Maybe he likes the lie better.