The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:47 am

Nicely smacks these four standard distortions about the ACA:

Republicans Finally Admit Why They Really Hate Obamacare

"Conservatives spent years predicting Obamacare would collapse in all manner of gloomy scenarios. But those predictions all occurred in the run-up to the law coming on-line, on the basis of sketchy, preliminary data or pure conjecture. But in the months since the law has come into effect, a steady stream of far more solid data has come in, and the doomsaying predictions are being hunted to extinction. The right’s ideological objections to Obamacare remain, but I can’t think of a single practical analytic claim they made that still looks correct.

Just within the last week, numerous predictions of Obamacare skeptics have suffered ignominious deaths. Consider a few:

1. Obamacare is mostly just signing up customers who already had insurance. The basis for this claim was a preliminary survey conducted by McKinsey last year, well before the first enrollment period for Obamacare was complete. It generated massive coverage in the right-wing media. Since then, newer data has shown much higher figures. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds that 57 percent of enrollees lacked insurance previously.

2. Obamacare isn’t even significantly reducing the ranks of the uninsured. This claim built on the previous one — it combined the prediction few people would sign up for new coverage with the prediction that those who did were mostly insured. “CBO has projected that 14 million previously uninsured Americans would gain coverage under the law. With about ten weeks left in this year’s enrollment period, we’re looking at a coverage expansion of less than a million,” suggested Republican health-care adviser Avik Roy.

Measuring the population lacking insurance is historically complex and imprecise, but we now have a bevy of measures showing that Obamacare has already made a huge dent in the uninsured population. Gallup has showed the uninsured rate dropping by about a quarter. A report finds the uninsured rate in Minnesota has fallen by 40 percent. A study of numerous cities by the Robert Woods Johnson foundation projections projects declines of about 60 percent by 2016 in municipalities whose states expanded Medicaid, and half that in states where Republicans have maintained the party’s boycott of Obamacare.

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3. Insurance will be so expensive that few people will want to buy it. We spent weeks and weeks debating “rate shock.” Also, nope. The average plan purchased on exchanges costs customers only $82 a month. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey of people who used to have individual insurance and now have the regulated insurance on the exchanges — finds that the number of customers reporting lower premiums exceeds the number paying higher premiums.

4. But premiums will shoot up next year! As premiums have turned out to be cheap — indeed, cheaper than initially projected — Obamacare skeptics slowly retreated to a new prediction: Rates would rise next year.

Another nope. As state-by-state information trickles in, it appears conservatives won’t get the premium spike next year, either. Insurers are jumping into the market, putting downward pressure on prices. Expected premium increases appear to be on par with, or perhaps a bit lower than, historic levels...

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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/20 ... e-aca.html
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:13 pm

5 ways the GOP failed to sabotage the Affordable Care Act

1. A huge, undeniable reduction in uninsured Americans.

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All the data shows that in six-months, we’ve reduced the uninsured population to lower than what it was before the recession began when a larger percentage of the population was employed. There’s some debate about how many people have gained coverage but almost everyone agrees the number is at least 9 million.

Charles Gaba’s ACASignups.net notes that the number of Americans who have coverage through policies enabled by the law is at least 24 million.

And the people who have signed up for coverage — even Republicans — are generally happy with what they’re getting.

5. The law’s greatest success is barely discussed.
Obamacare’s greatest success will likely [be] helping to reduce or eliminate our long-term debt problems with incredibly successful Medicare reforms.
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The success of these reforms means full repeal of the law would add hundreds of billions, if not trillions, to our debt.

And then:

Republicans have denied close to 5 million Medicaid expansion coverage, resulting in as many as 17,100 deaths, hospitals closing and at least one couple divorcing.

This is a slow-motion, intentional Katrina taking place in the many of the states with the with the worst health care in the nation, including Texas with one-million uninsured and a vaccination rate lower than Central America.

It also costs other residents of the states by raising the cost of the premiums of their exchange plans by up to 15 percent.

And the libertarian movement that encouraged Republican states not to build their own marketplaces are waging a lawsuit over semantics that would take away tax credits in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges.

So Republicans are suing to deny tax breaks to people in red states.

There may be no more perfect example of how the right is willing to self-harm in order to oppose the greatest victory for the middle class in generations."

---
Link: http://www.eclectablog.com/2014/07/5-wa ... eeded.html

***
Bill Maher on Zombie Lies about healthcare:

how come the rule for one party — the Republican Party — is that when they get caught in a lie, they don't have to stop telling it?

They said Obamacare would use death panels. It doesn't.

They said it was a government takeover, and the insurance industry is making record profits.

They said it covered illegals. It doesn't.

They said it was a job killer. It hasn't been.

They said there were elves who bake cookies in trees. Well, almost. (audience laughter and applause)

Now for sure, Obama also told a lie when he said everybody who likes their health care plan can keep it. And for about 2% of the population, that did turn out to be false. The difference is, he stopped saying it! He stepped up and said, you're right, my bad, because he understands there's this thing called observable reality. (audience applause)

But on the Republican side, observable reality needs more study. (audience laughter) Which is why their talking points that have been disproven, remain! Like a guest who's been asked to leave a party, but does not.

...

There is no shame in their game. One week they're out there saying, "No one will sign up for Obamacare."

And the next week, "Oh, OK, they signed up? Sure, OK, but they aren't paying the premiums."

"Oh they are? OK, uh, well, they're paying, but it's not the young people."

"Oh, it is? It's the young people? OK. Uh, OK, but it only covers you if you're gay." (audience laughter)

You know, you just wanna go, wait, when did we switch over? What happened to yesterday's lie? It's still out there forever, like a plastic bag in a tree. But now we're just using the new one?

Yes, because what they do is they pass a zombie lie down to dumber and dumber people, who believe it more and more.

Hank Paulson may be over the one about climate change being a hoax, but it's still good enough for Sean Hannity. Who then gets quoted by Michele Bachmann. Who forms the intellectual core of the thinking of Victoria Jackson. And when you think the zombie lie has finally gone to die at the idea hospice of the absolutely stupidest people on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump."

The rest: LINK
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:26 am

Quote of the Day:

***
The Affordable Care Act has already passed the constitutionality test, and the complainants failed. Precedent set. The only way statute can be changed is if the will of the American people determines it at the ballot box. At the moment the complainants are blatant fundamentalist hypocritical right wing radicals who do NOT represent either the American Secular Constitution or the Secular Common Law. Their yearnings for theocratic governance is so opposed to American democracy it would put their god as sovereign and deprive the plurality of the American People, their sovereignty and thus their rights to and before the Secular Law. In summary. The church has failed in its ministry to selflessly serve the poor and down trodden. It has made itself great capitalist empires, preaching wealth for an elitist few at the expense of the many. It show no care for the living, women and children while championing the cause of the hypothetical unborn. It has become so "sanctimonious" and convoluted, it is a revulsion to the normal, reasonable sensibilities of our common humanity, and thus in my view, any bid to undo the Affordable Car Act, shall be over-ruled by the vast majority of decent American People. Period."
--Steph N.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:17 pm

Regarding Obama not negotiating with republicans on healthcare:
-----------
"Mangling Obamacare’s history: Conservatives revise some inconvenient ACA facts"

[There] is a common conservative trope: Obama “rammed” the ACA down America’s gullet without ever consulting the other side for input. Is that how it really went down? Well, here’s a selection of headlines from 2009-2010, before the ACA passed and was signed into law.

Obama tries to sway GOP in favor of health care – Politico, 5/18/2009

Obama Reaches Out to Republicans on Health Care, but Bipartisan Bill Looking Unlikely – Fox News, 7/18/2009

Obama offers compromises to get health care bill passed – McClatchy, 9/9/2009

Obama Continues Policy Outreach to Republicans – New York Times, 2/2/2010

Obama invites Republicans to summit on health care – Washington Post, 2/8/2010

Obama Unveils Compromise Health Care Deal – NPR, 2/22/2010

GOP rejects Obama’s compromise offer on health bill – USA Today, 3/3/2010

It got to the point that Obama was compromising so much on health reform that liberals started attacking the White House for giving away too much in exchange for nothing. The problem wasn’t that Obama wasn’t reaching out to the GOP, it was that Republicans had decided on literally the first day of Obama’s presidency that they weren’t going to cooperate on anything. Period.
But the story of an intransigent GOP giving up their chance to put their own stamp on the health law doesn’t jibe with the perception of Obama as a tyrannical despot who imposes his will on the country, heedless of consequence or opposition."

Links for each headline here: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/30/manglin ... aca_facts/

***

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"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:15 pm

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"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:14 pm

Obamacare First Anniversary: Debunking Myths And Tea Party Lies

1) Congress is not exempt from ACA. It’s quite the opposite. While John Q Public may opt to keep whatever insurance they have, Congress may not. They must use the marketplace (exchange) and pick a plan. The only change made since President Obama signed the bill into law regarding Congress, was a Republican demand that taxpayers – we – will continue to pay for their coverage.

2) Undocumented immigrants do not get free insurance or any insurance. They cannot buy from the marketplace. They are forced, like now, to visit the emergency room.

3) Small business’ are not forced to cut hours or fire employees to cover the cost of insurance. Any business with 50 or fewer employees is exempt from having to provide insurance. Those with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for tax credits.

4) The 2.3% tax does not apply to sporting goods or fishing supplies. The 2.3% tax applies to medical devices and is not a consumer based tax, it’s for the manufactures.

5) The government will not be picking your doctors. This is the same as it has always been; your doctor decides which insurance he wants to accept. You can even go out of network in most cases. According to the AMA, this is not an issue. If doctors want patients, they’ll accept most major carriers.

6) The ACA is not the largest tax hike in American history, far from it. We’ve had larger hikes under both Clinton and Reagan.

7) There is no change to senior’s insurance. Grandma and grandpa will have the same access to care, if not more.

8) Your privacy is still intact. HIPPA rights will still be the law of the land.

9) This is not socialism. They call this capitalism. Most people will still have private insurance, not government insurance. However, under the new law 80% of your premiums MUST go towards actual healthcare and not just sick for profit! Obama did not write this law; Congress did. Most will be getting refunds for premiums already paid. Many already have.

10) Muslims are exempt?!? Really?!? No. They’re not exempt.

11) Individual mandate. This nugget has many misinformed people ready to storm the castle. First off, the fine, for those ABLE to buy insurance but refuse, is a whopping $95.00, and does not go into effect until 2015. It also represents only about 2% of the population.

12) Premiums are going down, not up. According to the Congressional Budget Office, premiums will decrease at least 16% before tax credits. If your employer decided to pay the fine and not provide insurance,you would buy your own coverage through the marketplace. Each state is different but in CA, MD & NY, to name three, premiums will decrease between 30 & 50%.

For those who think insuring the 30 million Americans who are currently uninsured is a bad thing, sorry, that is disturbing. Those who think that lifetime caps, dropping someone because they become sick, or denying someone who had/has a pre-existing condition is okay, you may want to rethink your opinion."

http://samuel-warde.com/2014/10/obamaca ... niversary/

References for each 12 claims provided at link.
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:35 pm

The US Healthcare System is Molesting its Customers

Excerpt:
"Medical providers, institutions, and pharmaceutical companies are charging out of this world prices for their products and services. Capitalism at its finest.
Journalist Steven Brill wrote in a Time Magazine article that after seven months of intense investigation, he found that health care costs are essentially arbitrary, inflated, and unfair. Reader’s Digest did their own research, and in their September 2012 article showed some of the ludicrous costs that hospitals charge, such as Tylenol for $15 a pill, a box of Kleenex (sometimes called a “mucus recovery system”) for $8, $10 for the little plastic cup they bring your medicine in, $23 per alcohol swab and – get this – $53 for a pair of non-sterile gloves! I hate to even imagine what they charge for sterile gloves.
Yet another example of highly inflated costs was mentioned in a Los Angeles Times article in 2011. A mother of a son with Crohn’s disease is billed for $38,000 for his medicine, although the hospital only pays $6300 per dose. OK, even the hospital’s price is utterly asinine. Where do these pharmaceutical companies get off on charging these kinds of prices?"

http://quietmike.org/2014/12/27/us-heal ... customers/
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: The Healing of America --Meeting Presentation

Postby Dardedar » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:05 am

Dardedar wrote:This article is incredible, but it's also about 24,000 words long. As time allows, I'll provide some excerpts from it...

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

Excerpt:

"Taken as a whole, these powerful institutions and the bills they churn out dominate the nation’s economy and put demands on taxpayers to a degree unequaled anywhere else on earth. In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries. Yet in every measurable way, the results our health care system produces are no better and often worse than the outcomes in those countries.

According to one of a series of exhaustive studies done by the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm, we spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. We may be shocked at the $60 billion price tag for cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy. We spent almost that much last week on health care. We spend more every year on artificial knees and hips than what Hollywood collects at the box office. We spend two or three times that much on durable medical devices like canes and wheelchairs, in part because a heavily lobbied Congress forces Medicare to pay 25% to 75% more for this equipment than it would cost at Walmart."

TIME

More excerpts:

pg 11

"Moreover, the only players in the private sector who seem to operate efficiently are the private contractors working — dare I say it? — under the government’s supervision. They’re the Medicare claims processors that handle claims like Alan A.’s for 84¢ each. With these and all other Medicare costs added together, Medicare’s total management, administrative and processing expenses are about $3.8 billion for processing more than a billion claims a year worth $550 billion. That’s an overall administrative and management cost of about two-thirds of 1% of the amount of the claims, or less than $3.80 per claim. According to its latest SEC filing, Aetna spent $6.9 billion on operating expenses (including claims processing, accounting, sales and executive management) in 2012. That’s about $30 for each of the 229 million claims Aetna processed, and it amounts to about 29% of the $23.7 billion Aetna pays out in claims."
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer


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