Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Sunday, October 23, 2016

About 3,000 more Vermonters will be eligible for Medicaid coverage beginning in 2014 .

And 1.8 million additional Texans could receive the same benefit, but probably won’t.

Why? Politics, of course.

As a part of the Affordable Care Act, federal government will pay for nearly all the costs of expanding each state’s Medicaid program to cover the uninsured. The Kaiser Family Foundation predicts that 21.3 million Americans would be covered by Medicaid by 2022, if all the states accept the expansion.

But thanks to the Supreme Court, states have the option of turning down the expansion.

Nine have said no. Seventeen have said yes. As you probably guessed, all the states that have said yes are Democratic and the states that have said no swing the other way.

A few Republicans are trying to buck their party to cover the insured but the issue has become another Republican litmus test, where loyalty to the party is more important than accepting federal aid that will literally save lives.

About 26,000 Americans die each year for lack of insurance. Hundreds of thousands more go bankrupt because they cannot afford their medical bills.

The problem is that the states that are currently most desperately in need of Medicaid expansion are also run by Republicans. Take a look at the map below. The darker the state, the higher the number of the uninsured.

By rejecting Medicaid expansion, state Republicans are sabotaging the effectiveness of the program and passing the costs on to taxpayers who will still have to absorb the costs when the uninsured cannot pay their emergency room bills or end up on Medicare or Medicaid in ill health.

Many red states also lead the nation in obesity, the nation’s leading preventable health care cost.

Democratic states have long subsidized the red states and that trend will continue under Obamacare.

But instead of funding health insurance in a way that maximizes coverage and allows us to reap the benefits of preventive care, state Republicans will keep the same broken system that makes American health care the most expensive and least efficient in the world.


Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • amarquez647

    Once I had to worked with Japanese investors for a company I worked for. In small talk with one of the Japanese businessman he told me that Americans hated their children. I was shocked by his state and I asked him to explain. His reply was as fallows, ‘you chase your children away as soon as they are of age. You encumber them with incredible dept for their education and if they are hurt or become ill, there is no medical coverage for them.” He said we did not do much better for our elders. The elders are supposed to make due with social security that keeps them under the poverty level and their medical insurance cost over 15% of their income.
    I asked him how the Japanese faired. His answerer was simple. He sent me to Google health care in Japan
    Japanese businessmen are shrewd, hard bargainer and real capitalist.

    • It’s really hard to argue with that assessment but it’s awfully easy to add more examples to what the Japanese businessman gave. I can think of several more to add.

      • TZToronto

        One doesn’t have to look across the Pacific to see a better system. Just look to the north. Granted, Canada’s system isn’t perfect, and, in all honesty, has some gaps in coverage. However, everybody is covered, and people rarely go bankrupt due to medical bills. It is even sometimes the case that patients with specific, serious medical conditions that are either not treatable in Canada or not treatable immediately in Canada get sent to the U.S.–and still paid for by the government. Canada’s system is not national.

        • dtgraham

          I know what you mean about the gaps in coverage. Glasses and dental work aren’t generally covered unless it’s dental surgery done in a hospital.

          I’m puzzled though about the “rarely go bankrupt due to medical bills” part of your sentence. You may have more information than I have but I don’t know how it would be possible to have a medical bankruptcy, rare or otherwise. You can go bankrupt for sure but it wouldn’t be attributable to medical bills because there aren’t any.

          About 15% of Canadians give ‘medical’ as a reason for their bankruptcy but they’re referring to a medical condition preventing them from working for a long period of time. A big drop in income in other words. The actual care wouldn’t have been a factor. It seems pretty unlikely to me that what little falls outside the Canada Health Act would cause a medical bankruptcy. I can’t imagine what it would be.

          True, it’s not a national system like Britain’s NHS, but the CHA addressed that in the four fundamentals of comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility. The standards are evenly applied everywhere.

  • There is no surprise within this article. Of course these Red States are the ones who need the help the most. They’ve been voting against their own self-interest for far too long. Perhaps the voters in those regions of the country will wake up and realize they’ve been had by those they put into office. It could happen, right?????

    • Replying to Lynda –

      Yes, it could happen. And likely will the first time the sun rises in the west.

  • The most fascinating part of this issue is that the states that stand to gain the most from the Affordable Care Act, who happen to be Red States, are the ones that refuse assistance and prefer to condemn large segments of their population to abject poverty if that is what it takes to preserve their ideological purity.

    • Which is quite similar to what happened in the Civil War, where the poor were cajoled into going to war for the aristocracy. The red states aren’t getting any smarter.

      • BigTurd

        Nor do they learn from those past mistakes. That’s why they’re going to down the “tubes of irrelevancy” what a shame.

    • Dominick, there you go again spewing logic.

    • chisolm

      Have you ever heard the term “state’s rights”?

      • idelaser

        Yes quite often, it’s usually used when the state in question wants to get away ways racism, discrimination, and override the will of the PEOPLE! It’s sort of like the RIGHT TO WORK initiative the Rep. are espousing now, what it truly means is, you have the right to work for less (Doing away with Unions) . . . that answer your questions.

  • nobsartist

    Since America is being ruined by the distortionists, he only solution will be the end of “for profit” health insurance and access to medicare for all.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      Many countries have done nearly that. A single-payer system run by the government. Most have excellent services.

      You certainly will pay more in taxes. But, you’re covered from birth to death and anything in between. Everyone is covered, no matter what level of income you have.

      • dtgraham

        You got that right about the taxes and level of income Michael. However, with the higher taxes in Canada, you’re largely talking about people who are doing quite well and can afford it; not really lower income levels. There’s no question that a rich American is better off than a rich Canadian because Canada’s Alternative Minimum Tax doesn’t allow for the kind of deductions that wealthy Americans enjoy.

        There are a number of benefits that come from that though. There are only two Provinces left up here that have a monthly health care premium and even then it’s i) minimal ($40.00 a month or so) ii) only applicable to those making a certain level of income. The rest of ’em finance it entirely through general taxation. There’s no payroll deduction for health care and no monthly premium. I pay nothing per month for 100% coverage of essential services. It’s far from a perfect health care system although I don’t imagine too many are. It has it’s flaws but almost all of us are happy with it. Happy enough. I’ve never experienced any problems with it.

        One time our Dominick was giving the amount that he pays monthly for Medicare coverage. He mentioned a figure of around $700.00 per month. My eyes just about bugged out of my head. I could hardly believe it. I think he mentioned that he was paying for some extra prescription drug coverage or something, but still……man. For senior’s Medicare, that’s a fair chunk of change. In fairness though, there would certainly be seniors up here that purchase additional prescription drug coverage privately, despite the government Pharmacare program available to all lower and moderate income people. I don’t have data on that though.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          Well, I shouldn’t complain too much about our healthcare in the US – now that I qualified for Medicare.

          Since I elected to pay into AARP’s United Healthcare Program, SS deducts $99 a month out of my SS Retirement Payments. This covers my doctor appointments, only $10 each visit, $2 for scripts. So far, it’s been the best coverage I ever had, even when I was working.

          But, still its amazing how much it costs for someone who don’t have ANY medical coverage at all. I went for a Colonosopy last month. I saw the bill, it would have been over $3000. I only paid $165 out of pocket. Yes, they had a payment plan for those who had to pay out of pocket and in payments – at twice what it would have cost if paid all at once.

          By the way, I used Combivent, a Inhaler for Asthma. One inhaler from a local drug store here cost well over $100 out of pocket. I get my scripts from Canada, generic, and in bulk – 8 for only $140. It arrives here in two weeks and not from Canada. I pay for these out of pocket only because I doubt Medicare would cover this cost considering no drug store in the US will fill a script for generic Combivent. You can’t get generic Combivent here in the US. Reason being, something to do with Patents.

          Even if I got regular Combivent Brand from Canada, it would be at least 60% cheaper than if I bought it locally.

          • dtgraham

            I hear you on the $3000.00 colonoscopy. My wife has been disabled since 2009 and I took her into a hospital that same year for a 15 day stay. While prescription drugs may be considerably less expensive in Canada, general medical care is not. While visiting her in the hospital I ran into a male nurse who self identified as an American ex-pat who had come to Canada to work and live. I was curious and asked him about what the cost would be if we had to pay for this personally. He seemed to really know his stuff and the numbers that he quoted me were staggering. After hearing that, we were grateful to walk out of the hospital owing nothing. We just thanked everyone and left. That same male nurse escorted us out and seemed genuinely happy and satisfied at how he’d been able to help Theresa, and how the cost wasn’t a factor to us. He was a true medical professional who seemed to really enjoy his profession. I will always remember him. Keep in mind that we don’t pay any health insurance premium to anyone…..government or private company. You pay for it in April when you file your income tax return, but it’s still a great bargain.

            At any rate, for the costs that nurse quoted me, you’re getting one heck of a deal for $99.00 per month and only $10.00 per doctor visit. That’s thanks to JFK, LBJ, and the Democrats of the sixties. President Obama had better fight like a wolverine to preserve this as is.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I and a lot of other people are rooting for Obama keep Medicare and SS as it is. Some have claimed it’s a no touch budget item.

            Yes, I suppose we are getting a good deal. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

            Let’s say you are receiving SS and can’t afford to pay that $99 a month. That $99 a month covers the leftover 20% of Part B and part of Part D. There are many people who can’t afford it, usually senior citizens who are property rich but money poor.

            This is the group that is affected more than anyone else considering as we age, medical cost skyrockets.

            What is not covered, that left over 20% can eat your house up in a heartbeat with serious medical conditions, operations and medications. And, it seems the most needed medications are the most expensive.

            This is why we hear elderly citizens filing bankruptcy, divorcing their loved ones, loosing their homes. Sooner or later, as medical bills pile up, the doctors office, medical services, testing services, hospitals is enlisting the service of a collection agency.

            The problem isn’t with Medicare. Medicare and whatever program you belong to will cover the cost no matter what. The problem is the horrific cost of services and medications.

            Why is it I can get meds way cheaper in Canada and in generic? Why does a bed pad that I could buy at a pet store only cost a few bucks. But, if its for human use, it’s triple?

            Simple answer, these doctors, drug stores, medical supply houses, testing services do not have any federal regulations that prohibit profiteering.

            Even when our economy took a nosedive, bringing everyones wages back to mid 90s levels, did we hear of any of these services drop back their prices in the same fashion? Hell No! In fact, they’ve inflated their prices, the cost to us, 20% to 30% per year.

            Problem is, the Medical Industrial Complex has got the typical american citizen, maybe even you folks up there, by our family jewels and they are going to squeeze for all they can get because they know they can get away with it.

            At least Canada tries to control it through heavy regulations. It seems to be working. Here, there are NO controls.

            Besides, what politician is going to put in place price controls on the very industry he/she is making income off of?

            In short, everyone in any position of authority in this country is CORRUPT.

            Let’s hope Obama can’t be corrupted.

          • dtgraham

            Wow! I’ve never taken the time to read up on the U.S. Medicare system. To echo what you were saying, one of the worst examples is not allowing Medicare to bargain with the Pharmaceuticals for the cost of prescription drugs. I’d ask what that’s about, but you know there had to have been a lot of greased palms there. Politicians putting personal gain ahead of the needs of seniors. The financial incentive to do these things needs to be removed but a lot easier said than done.

        • TZToronto

          There are some procedures and conditions that are not covered, and since prescriptions are not covered, it’s possible for people to go bankrupt just to stay alive. However, it’s certainly not something you see every day in Canada. If you’re 65 or over, most prescriptions are covered, but some are not (for example, Xarelto is not covered if you haven’t been taken off Warfarin or Coumadin due to adverse reactions, and that’s about $100 per month). Like you, I have no quarrels with the Canadian health care system. When you have serious (or not-so-serious) medical issues and never see a bill, that’s great! I had a medical problem in the U.S. and had my claim denied by one Canadian insurer (a pre-existing condition that wasn’t related to the problem). The bill was about $8200 for a 3-hour emergency room visit. My credit card insurance eventually covered it. In Ontario–same problem, no bill.

        • nobsartist

          My family all lives in Canada and say that the health system is great. They cannot believe ours and the horrible way that it operates.

          “Obamacare” is a joke.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            Well, we really can’t judge Obamacare yet. It’s not even in force yet. It’d don’t go into full force for several more years from my understanding.

            What I judge is what it HAS BEEN compared to what may take place in the future.

            When Obamacare does take place, it should be a major improvement compared to what we have now.

            At least, that’s what I hope…………….

          • nobsartist

            We can only hope that Obamacare has provisions that allow for modifications to allow single payer health care thru medicare. Removing the redundant insurance management costs and the elimination of the massive billing structure would save billions.

        • JSquercia

          I found it interesting that while they indexed the Estate Tax they did NOT index the AMT , nor did they index the amount above which a Senior is considered Upper Income and has to pay tax on his Social Security Benefit .

        • JSquercia

          I found it interesting that while they indexed the Estate Tax, they did NOT index the AMT nor did they index the amount above which a Senior is considered Upper Income and has to pay tax on his Social Security Benefit

      • This is what Obama really wanted but the Republicans block it and we ended up with Obama care. Which really should be Romney care.

      • 36 countries have some sort of universal healthcare. The U.S is the only “westernized country without it. Afghanistan, Argentina Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ira, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. It is ironic that Iran & Afganistan both have universal healthcare coverage provided by the U.S. war funding, yet we can’t have even single payer here.
        One of the great advantages of Universal Healthcare that I never hear talked about is that it takes the cost and responsibility away from the corporation as well as the small businesses. Corporations move overseas because they find the cost of labor too high in the U.S.. Think about it. Healthcare costs these businesses on average $1200 PER EMPLOYEE. Remove this labor cost and watch how fast business comes back and jobs are created.
        The United States spends far more on health care than any other country at 17.9 percent of GDP compared with the OECD average for advanced countries of 9.5 percent. And yet dollar for dollar it gets results that are consistently in the bottom third of developed countries along with Mexico or Hungary, as measured by average health outcomes.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          You are right. In many countries all over the world healthcare is for the most is either very low cost or free. Some of these countries even have a higher standard of healthcare to boot.

          I had a friend vacation in Jamaica a few years ago.

          He got sick and needed an operation immediately. I think his Appendix went bad.

          After he got out of the hospital down there, he asked for his bill? They said; What Bill? It was totally free.

          If Jamaica can provide free healthcare for their citizens, even foreigners, how the hell come we can’t do that for our people?

        • dtgraham

          Well said. I was wrong about Canada’s health care being as expensive as the U.S. A quick Google search will show how wrong I was. The costs that I was shown seemed high but it’s all relative. What’s high? I had nothing to compare them against and we’re not used to seeing or thinking about health care costs in Canada. Controlling costs is the government’s job, and first world quality health care is not cheap anywhere. In retrospect, my wife’s hospital visit would surely have cost more in the U.S. I wasn’t thinking.

          Obama’s Medicare board (Sarah Palin’s death panel) is doing a similar job of finding savings and bending the cost curve in the same way as governments in single payer systems do. Now imagine if Medicare could be opened up to all Americans with that same cost containment element. Costs could be dramatically lowered.

          The Republican idea of selling insurance over state lines, and tort reform, as being the panacea of making health care affordable to all is horsepuckey. Paul Ryan’s proposal to make the end user be the catalyst of cost containment through market forces is both abhorrent and coocoo for cocoa puffs. The suggestion that consumers will shop around from hospital to hospital looking for the best price for chemotherapy or appendicitis is absurd. Health care doesn’t work that way. It’s not like buying shoes.

          These are phony, made up stories designed to absolve the GOP from coming up with the kind of health care policies that would actually make it accessible and affordable to all. They don’t even believe in the concept.

    • SaneJane


  • TOP 2%
    own 50% economic wealth—get 30% individual income
    The tax increase:
    Up to $500,000 Income will pay less than 1% of income
    $500,000 to $ 1 Million will pay 2.5% of income on average
    $1 million up average tax is 4.8% of income.
    We need that Revenue to stop so much borrowing.
    2013 budget projects $3800 Spending, $2900 in Revenue and borrow $900B.
    We have an Income of $14,000 Billion. Shame on us to borrow so much so the rich can get ultra rich. 1945-1980, we paid our way by taxing wealth. Conservatives started the flush up of wealth.
    Reagan + Bush were major factors. Spend and Borrow let kids pay tomorrow. Shame.

  • aphex242

    I completely agree with the sentiment here, but the description (and use) of that graphic are incorrect. The writer suggests the darker the state the more uninsured. What it really shows is what things would look like in 2022 if every state adopted the expansion. That’s not at all the same thing.

    You know what raised alarm bells? I live in Texas. We have the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation, and my idiot governor is rejecting the expansion. It’s a perfect example for this article, but the map and description really drop the ball.

  • Alabama, you got
    the weight on your shoulders
    That’s breaking your back.
    Your Cadillac
    has got a wheel in the ditch
    And a wheel on the track

    Oh Alabama.
    Can I see you
    and shake your hand.
    Make friends down in Alabama.
    I’m from a new land
    I come to you
    and see all this ruin
    What are you doing Alabama?
    You got the rest of the union
    to help you along
    What’s going wrong?

    • dtgraham

      Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her
      Well I heard old Neil go to town
      I hope Neil Young will remember
      A southern man don’t need him around anyhow.

      Your Neil Young “Alabama” post and Neil Young’s “southern man” inspired that stanza from Lynrd Skynryd’s “Sweet home Alabama”.

      For the younger crowd here.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    Let them turn it down. That’ll just leave more funds for the rest of us.

  • Jim Lou

    I am not surprised at the Southern states. They traditionally have provided little in the way of such coverage for their people so why would they even care?

  • chisolm

    Medicaid costs paid by the federal government certainly doesn’t translate to free. Health care for the poor should be a state issue not a plan the federal government mandates for all. If you believe health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free!!

    • johninPCFL

      Medicaid is cost-shared between the feds and the states. It is a block-grant to the states, and they set up the eligibility standards.

    • Why should it be a State issue? I’m satisfied that enough proof exists to have convinced me that some States are run by people that don’t care about the welfare of their middle class, poor, and minority inhabitants. As of now the Federal Government cares about the welfare of ALL the people of the US, and SHOULD BE responsible for seeing that ALL US citizens are taken care of, despite what State they live in, or whether they are rich, poor or a minority.

      • chisolm

        It should be a state issue because our country was founded on the basis of small federal government with limited power. You overlook the fact that those people running states you don’t agree with were elected by the citizens of those states.

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          You are a proponent of State Rights. I believe in big fed government IF it works for the people.

          If Obama has his way, it will work for everyone.

          And, yes, the Red states will be included whether the rest of us like it or not.

          And, by the way, America has become way too complicated and intertwined for a few states to let decide what they want to happen in their states. I thought this was the “United” States, not a conglomeration of various Dark Age Fiefdoms. Some of these states have been living off the fat of the rest of us for years. It’s high time the Feds start quashing state power.

          IF I had my way, I’d abolish all state borders. The only thing missing in some of these Red States are cross-over toll booths with armed Border Guards – East European Styled.

  • THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!!!! The party of Jim Crow and the KKK.

  • Muriel Schlecht

    Walmart, for one, is reducing working hours to make their employees ineligible for the company’s insurance plan. A deliberate move to transfer the expense to the American
    taxpayer. Then they can blame Obamacare. However, I’m not surprised because providers of hourly wage jobs have been doing that for years by using several part-time employees to cover one 8-10 hour shift ONLY to avoid paying ANY benefit package.

    As for the continually rising costs of medical care, deciding who and how we are going to pay for it is futile because we’re dealing with the problem entirely from the wrong end. Our health is declining exactly for the same reason. It’nothing more than a a bunch of businesses operating for profit…at ANY cost….even human life,

    The primary objective of the Republican state governors is STILL the same old “song” we’ve been listening to for far too long now… Obstruction, sabotage, and holding hostage anything that isn’t going THEIR way at the expense of anyone they may be steamrolling over or burying to get there.

  • I live in Indiana, this state is run by the Republicans and will turn down the help, so sad because there are so many low to middle class income families who live in this state who would have been able to get the help they so badly need. I will be moving from this state in the next year to OR and this is part of the reason why.

  • rpg1408

    Why should they care? The people affected are not GOP voters. The more of them that die , the fewer there are to protest their government’s inhumane policies . Welcome to Aynrandland.

  • Many Repugs still want Obama to fail at any cost and believe that their political survival rests on their white, far-right evangelicals who are too stupid to vote their best economic interests. They hate Obama because he’s Afro-American and they bristle at that. They can’t get past it. It will ultimately be their own doom.

  • jstsyn

    Time to get rid of republicans. Americans are getting there. Soon enough will be disgusted with them and throw them out. America’s biggest enemy is right here under our nose.

  • So, these are largely the same States that want to secede from the Union?

    LET EM!!!!!

  • howa4x

    The most intersting part of this melodrama will be the major hospitals in those Red states that have to absorb the uninsured. They of course will cost shift the shortfall from what the state gives them in charity care to every other bill. This means that healthcare(illness intervention) costs will rise for everyone. It will be a cascading effect since the hospital will charge the payers more for services like private pay and insurance who in turn will raise the premiums of policy holders. So what this atttempt of the Republican governors to stand tall against Obama will actually do is to hurt the middleclass that has to pay for insurance. It will also mean more layoffs for companies that have to pay benefit cost of their emloyees since those costs will go way up.The other issue in this is the health status of the people living in those states. They are health service needy, and since republicans champion the eating of a fat based diet(red meat) the rate of illness will increase

    This shouldn’t matter to republicans since under their watch of having both houses and the president, 32-34 million lacked insurance and access to health care. Out of that number 50 thousand died from the lack of access, so this is business as usual for them.

  • idelaser

    Let’s take this question back to Supreme Court; it’s got to be unconstitutional to keep Health care away from those that need it the most, simply on a political premise. This Administration was reelected primarily for Health care initiative; these states are going against what the majority of voters have already approved. I would hold Governors responsible for deaths due to lack of Health insurance; putting names on statistics might bring the reality of this issue closer to Reps. myopic gaze. This Health initiative has been long overdue, it will not be perfect, modification and tweaks will have to be applied, but its done, its here deal with it! America is now part of a more humane world culture that has had universal health care years ahead of us; Wow we are trend setting now!!
    People, note the states that are holding your health care right hostage, and vote their Rep. behind out of office!!!

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      A State should be able to be put on trial and put in jail for withholding medical services just as severely as a mother would be for withholding medicine from their children.

      Feds, start doing your job!

  • Yet the GOP spread all the misinformation including death panels, their real feelings are showing, get sick-die quickly.

  • france’s healthcare system rated the world’s best. the drs in france don’t receive near as much pay as American Drs and are more sastisfied than American Drs.

    • Brian Sheehan

      Probably because French doctors don’t have to pay off loans from Med School.

  • It is unfortunate that such so many people will be impacted by the actions of those who see this whole issue of a “game of win or lose.” What a devastating blow to sick and suffering Americans, including children.

  • The feds should get their revenge on the states unwilling to establish health exchanges by setting up single payer options and cutting out the HC industry. It would be the perfect demonstration project for a national system, with zero interference from vested interests.

    • Sierra111

      I believe anyone can go to the Federal government if their state refuses to set up a system. That is in the law.

  • SUE THEM. They’re denying health care for political reasons. It’ll tie it up in court till they get thrown out of office at the next elections. They got the highest percentage of people on welfare that we’re paying for, NOW they refuse to give them health insurance.
    If the idiot’s that live there keep them in office, it’s their own fault.

  • Those god dam red states, are the most redneck, ignorant, evangelical morons that ever lived. They are the very ones that voted for Romney when he would have hurt them the most. Don’t you morons down South get it??? Because of you, the blue states have to work to carry your sorry pathetic asses as you don’t work and your too god dam ignornat to know what is good for yourselves. You are DISGUSTING. I say F—— them and let them go without insurance or the Affordable care act. That is what they deserve for being so god dam stupid.

  • The 2012 Republican Party is barely distinguishable from the John Birch Society. It is funded in large part by the Koch brothers, the heirs of Fred Koch, one of the Birch Society’s founding members. (One of the current right’s few attempts to avoid looking like Birchers is morphing communism into “socialism.” One party is advocating killing the New Deal, starving government by cutting taxes on the wealthiest, using the noxious voter-suppression methods of the most vicious segregationists, and tolerating racist conspiracy theories. They hate every body who isn’t of their class, if your not rich you do not matter…How do you like being cattle? Sound familiar. (The 47%).

  • From Fareed Zakaria:
    Looking around the world, we see that all other rich, developed nations have individual mandates built into their universal health insurance models. All their citizens and residents enjoy equal access to health care. For example, market-oriented Switzerland has an individual mandate in their health insurance program.

    Twenty years ago, Switzerland had a system very similar to America’s – private insurers, private providers – with very similar problems. People didn’t buy insurance but ended up in emergency rooms, insurers screened out people with pre-existing conditions, and costs were rising fast. The country came to the conclusion that to make health care work, everyone had to buy insurance. So the Swiss passed an individual mandate and reformed their system along lines very similar to Obamacare. The reform law passed by referendum, narrowly.

    The result two decades later: quality of care remains very high, everyone has access, and costs have moderated. Switzerland spends 11% of its GDP on health care, compared with 17% in the U.S. Its 8 million people have health care that is not tied to their employers, they can choose among many plans, and they can switch plans every year. Overall satisfaction with the system is high.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      And, IF you notice, Switzerland has one of the lowest per-capita amount of Military Spending of all modernized countries.

      Problem is, is the US spends more on the Military Complex policing the entire world rather than the government taking care of our own people here.

      Switzerland has learned how to get along internationally. Evidently, we haven’t.

  • The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would allow my children to stay on my policy until they are 26. Obamacare allows me to move from job to job without fear of pre-existing conditions. The CBO has said the Affordable Care Act would reduce the deficit by $132 billion through 2019. Republican politicians give speeches condemning Obamacare as “unconstitutional” and “government overreach.” Conservative pundits are painting apocalyptic scenarios of Soviet-style government crushing our freedoms by forcing us to buy health insurance. Republicans who once championed the individual mandate now call it “socialism”. But SCOTUS said it is constitutional, so now Repugs are trying to persuade you it’s “the largest tax increase in American history.” Bullocks! The mandate only applies to those that can afford health insurance but refuse to participate. That’s estimated as 1%. If you already have insurance it doesn’t affect you at all, except it’s expected to bring down your premium costs because 30 million new policyholders will be in the system.
    Why were Republicans for the individual mandate before they were against it? The individual mandate was originally a Republican plan. In 1993, when Hillary Clinton was proposing health care reform and an employer mandate, Republicans advocated an alternative that included the individual mandate. Developed by Heritage Foundation, a Republican think tank, Senator John Chafee (R) introduced the insurance act that included an individual mandate, a bill sponsored by Bob Dole, Sen Orin Hatch, Sen Bond and others. The Republican alternative to Hillary’s plan. They made the same case for it that Obama made — that in order to expand insurance coverage, healthy people should buy in, too. It can’t work if people just wait till they’re old or sick to get coverage. Republicans called the individual mandate a “market-based” approach to health care reform.
    Mitt Romney must have really liked the idea, because he enacted it while he was governor of Massachusetts. Today 98% of the states citizens have insurance. And everybody likes it. Now he says it was good enough for Massachusetts citizens, but not good enough for the rest of the country. But in a July 2009 op-ed in ‘USA Today’, Romney thought the President could learn a thing or two from the plan he signed into law in Massachusetts, including using the individual mandate as an incentive for people to buy insurance. Mitt Romney’s Advice For ObamaCare: Look At RomneyCare. Mitt Romney once touted his plan to Obama as a model for health care reform. He didn’t mention keeping it at the state level. “Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did… encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”
    Just another example of the hypocracy of the Republican Party.

  • Vote the GOP out in 2014. Pay for their idiotic behavior by polling them out. You know, they’ve got purdy mouths.

  • leeda luciano

    Good.. In 2016 the Republican party will lose the poor mans vote in those states as they have lost the Latino vote. It is only a matter of time until the poor working man realizes that the GOP is not, and has never been, his friend.