In Part I of this article, a few of the major myths and fabrications about Obamacare were debunked. In addition to exposing additional lies, myths and fabrications about Obamacare, I will provide some of the major benefits of this historic legislation.
Tea Party Republican Louie Gohmert from Texas told a big lie on ABC’s “This Week” when he said a “poor guy out there making $14,000″ is “going to pay extra income tax if he cannot afford to pay the several thousand dollars for an Obamacare policy.” In fact, that “poor guy” will be eligible for Medicaid coverage or heavily subsidized private insurance, depending on where he lives, without fear of being penalized if he cannot afford insurance. Under the new law, an individual earning $14,000, which is currently 122 percent of the federal poverty level, would be eligible to receive:
- Medicaid if he lives in a state that expands Medicaid to include coverage for individuals and families earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. A provision of the Affordable Care Act funds the Medicaid expansion, at the state’s discretion.
- A significant federal subsidy to help pay for private insurance, if he doesn’t live in a state that expands Medicaid. But he doesn’t have to buy insurance, because he is also eligible for a “hardship exemption” that would exempt him from any tax penalties.
It is unfortunate that many Americans especially the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, apparently obtain most of their “news” from Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly or Hannity and have been so misinformed about ObamaCare that they haven’t bothered to consider possible benefits to them. In 2009, a study by the University of Maryland found that Fox News viewers were more likely to believe false information about politics compared to other news organizations. This study judged how likely consumers of various news outlets and publications were to believe misinformation about a wide range of political issues. Overall, 90% of respondents said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were “significantly more likely” to believe the lies, fabrications and distortions from Fox News.
What Congressional Republicans, Fox News and others fail to report are the benefits and positive effects of ObamaCare. Up to now, the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats have done a poor job in educating consumers on the benefits of ObamaCare. For example, the new health care law actually builds on what works in our health care system. It fixes what’s broken by making improvements in several key areas. It protects us from the worst insurance company abuses, makes health care more affordable, and provides better access to care.
Here are some of the major benefits of ObamaCare:
Ending Insurance Company Abuses: Thanks to ObamaCare, insurers can no longer put a lifetime cap on how much care they will pay for if you get sick or cancel your coverage when you make a mistake on your paperwork. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from charging you more because you are a woman.
More Affordable Care: Today, according to the new 80/20 rule, insurance companies must spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on your health care or improvements to care. And insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more, and States have more power to block them.
Coverage for Young Adults: Under ObamaCare, young adults under age 26 can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26 – a change that has already allowed 3.1 million young adults to get health coverage and given their families peace of mind.
Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions: The pre-existing conditions insurance plan in every state offers an option to people who have been lockout out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition like cancer or heart disease. Under the new law, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition like asthma and diabetes. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from discriminating against anyone due to pre-existing conditions.
Preventive Benefits: All new health plans must now cover preventive services ranging from mammograms to FDA-approved birth control to vaccinations for your child, without making you pay a co-pay or deductible.
Better Coordinated Care: Many doctors, hospitals and other providers are taking advantage of new options to help them work better as teams to provide us the highest quality care possible. They are working to get us the care we need at the time we need it.
Fighting Fraud: ObamaCare builds on the efforts to combat fraud and abuse. These efforts are saving billions of dollars in money that was being stolen from people with Medicare. Thanks to these efforts and other reforms, the Medicare Trust fund has been extended.
Based on the myriad of facts about the benefits of ObamaCare, why are Republicans so terrified of its successful implementation? Could it be that they truly do not want 31 million Americans to enjoy the same quality of health care that they have? I don’t believe ObamaCare has anything to do with their health care attacks, but rather, an orchestrated and comprehensive assault to de-legitimize this presidency. We all recall that as a result of that unprecedented election in 2008, the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, announced publicly that the Republican Party’s top priority was to deny President Obama a second term. McConnell’s plan was immediately placed into operation and the “destroy President Obama” scheme was preceding full-steam ahead. In July 2009, Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint, said that, “If we’re able to stop Obama on [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him and we will show that we can, along with the American people, begin to push those freedom solutions that work in every area of our society.” Fortunately the Democratic Party was able to pass health care reform despite Republican obstructionism.
On May 17, 2012, we learned that the New York Times obtained a leaked copy of a proposal given to conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts for an ad campaign aimed at tarring President Obama with the most outrageous things said by his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright. This ad campaign was drawn up by Fred Davis who became famous for his viral campaign commercials like Demon Sheep. It also came with an explosive memo in which Davis slams McCain for not using this material in 2008, and outlines strategies for using it without being labeled a racist. This plan would have used an “extremely literate conservative African-American” as a spokesman to argue that Obama is not the “metrosexual, Black Abe Lincoln” he allegedly made himself out to be in 2008. In addition to buying television advertising, the campaign called for a plan to “jolt” the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, at summer’s end with newspaper and outdoor ads and aerial banners over the convention site one afternoon. In spite of these efforts, President Obama won reelection in a landslide victory.
If you are an opponent of ObamaCare, don’t accept the myths and distortions by the right-wing component of the Republican Party, or even supportive comments by people on the left, check it out for yourself like I did. Do your own research and make your own evaluation of what the health care law provides and what it doesn’t.
ObamaCare is the “law of the Land” and efforts to repeal it will continue to fail. Here is a link to more detailed factual information about ObamaCare http://www.obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-facts.php.