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Republicans Prepare For Next Phase Of ‘Obamacare’ Battle

Just because Congress spent the last several months locking horns over the debt ceiling doesn’t mean Republicans have forgotten how much they hate the health care overhaul.

They haven’t.

And when lawmakers return from break after Labor Day, conservatives are planning a renewed effort to chip away at the law.

A new report Tuesday claiming budget analysts understated the cost of the law by up to $50 billion a year likely will only fuel concerns about the bill in a climate of austerity. Add that to GOP charges that the bill’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, that its tax hikes will hurt the economy and that its subsidies represent another burden on a strained budget.

Though a full-fledged bill to repeal the law died in the Senate early this year following its symbolic passage in the House, Republicans are not giving up.

House Speaker John Boehner reminded Democrats last week, following another bleak unemployment report, that Republicans want to “repeal the job-crushing health care law with all of its mandates and tax hikes.”

A spokeswoman for House Republican Leader Eric Cantor told that Republicans will “continue our focus on undoing the flawed ObamaCare law” when Congress returns.

Specifically, the party is looking at a new proposal aimed at preventing workers from losing their current health plans.

“The president claimed that under ObamaCare if you liked your health care you could keep it, but his new law included a regulation that will actually prevent that from happening,” Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon said. “We plan to take up legislation this fall to eliminate this harmful regulation to ensure that if people like their health care, they actually are able to keep it.”


5 Responses

  1. In support of the principle that one is free to have an opinion, but not to make up facts…and in further revulsion against demagogic lies from any source (note “lie of the year” award in the below article) I offer this from a January 2011 “FactCheck” article (I know it’s a bit long mark levin…but I’m sure you can get through it):

    “…a Kaiser Family Foundation poll as recently as September found that a sizeable group of seniors believed that the health-care overhaul contained provisions that are simply not in the bill. Here then is a review of some of the most persistent myths of the health care bill.

    1. “This is a ‘government takeover’ of the health care system”

    “This snappy talking point is used by Republicans repeatedly to bash Obama’s crowing legislative achievement, but it is simply not true. In fact, labeled this claim the 2010 “lie of the year,” but that has not stopped lawmakers from making this claim. It will surely be heard again on the House floor during the repeal debate.

    “In many ways, the health care law resembles the Massachusetts reform enacted in 2006 under then Gov. Mitt Romney (a potential Republican rival of Obama in 2012). It builds on the existing private insurance system but adds requirements and incentives to ensure that most people have some form of health insurance.

    “Under the new law, there is no government alternative to the private system–this was a potential provision that was dropped during the congressional tussle–but the number of people who qualify for the existing federal-state Medicaid program for the poor will be expanded. States (or the federal government) will run “exchanges” — essentially marketplaces — in which private insurers will sell insurance to individuals and small businesses, but this should mean more people will get private insurance, not fewer. Tax credits will also be offered to people who have trouble buying private insurance.

    “Certainly, the law bolsters government regulation of the health care system, such as forcing insurance companies to no longer deny coverage to people who have existing medical conditions. People who currently do not have health insurance will be required to buy it. But the core of the health system in the United States will remain the existing private insurance market. So it in no way resembles the government-run health systems used in most industralized countries in the world.

    2. “Medicare benefits will be cut–and payments will be cut to Medicare doctors”.

    “This was another GOP attack line during the campaign, though in many ways this was payback for the Democrats’ very effective use of the same charge against Republicans after the GOP took control of Congress in 1994 and attempted to pass a balanced-budget plan that sought to restrain growth in Medicare spending.

    “The politically radioactive word “cut” is a misnomer. Under the health care law, Medicare spending will continue to increase year after year, but at a slower than anticipated pace. Both parties, in theory, agree this would be a good thing. Medicare is the venerable government-run health care plan for Americans over 65, and one of the fastest-growing parts of the federal budget.

    “The health bill will reduce projected Medicare spending by $575 billion over ten years, primarily by reducing projected fees to hospitals and other providers and by reducing payments to private Medicare Advantage insurance plans. Benefits have also been added, eating into the overall projected savings, but the impact on the Medicare Advantage plans is unclear. Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary of the Medicare and Medicaid, has estimated that seniors may need to pay more in out of pocket costs for such plans. He has also cast serious doubt on whether the Medicare savings claimed in the second decade could be achieved without significant pain for many hospitals, nursing facilities and other providers.

    “In fact, since 1997, Congress all but once has waived a planned cut in Medicare payments to doctors, mostly recently in December. So depending on the political pressure, some of these projected “cuts” may never materialize in any case.

    3. “A secretive government committee (‘death panels’) will be created to make end-of-life decisions about people on Medicare”

    “This claim, first made by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, has been thoroughly debunked and was labeled “lie of the year” in 2009 by Yet it persists in the popular imagination. The September Kaiser poll found that 30 percent of seniors still believed this to be the case–and 22 percent were not sure, meaning fewer than half knew the claim was false.

    “The charge stemmed from a proposed amendment to the bill that would have covered the cost of end-of-the-life planning discussions. Democrats quickly dropped the provision after the firestorm created by Palin’s assertion, even after it was proven to be factually incorrect.

    “But the issue remains politically sensitive. In late December, The New York Times reported that under new Medicare regulations for annual physical examination, “the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.” The White House reversed course days later, ordering the Medicare agency to delete references to end-of-life planning in its new regulations.

    4. “Repealing the bill will increase the deficit”
    This is technically true–it comes from a Congressional Budget Office estimate–but we’ve documented before the problems with both this statement and the estimate. Democrats are sure to make this claim as they fight back against repeal, so here is a link to our previous post on this topic. Bottom line: This is a pretty shaky claim for Democrats to make, especially since the health care law was not really intended to reduce the deficit, but to reduce the number of uninsured Americans…”

    See: for the complete article

  2. I have no time or patience to read your megillah, YW, but answer this: If Obamacare is so great, why all the waivers to all his cronies?

  3. mseeker…it’s not my megillah, dumkopf…its factcheck’s. If you had more patience to read and keep yourself better informed you’d immediately recognize the inaccuracy and silliness of your question.

  4. More for msseeker

    Here’s another “Megillah” for you…on waivers. I hope it neither strains your cereberal cortex nor brings on a bout of acute Attention Deficit Disorder. A wee bit more politely said, it takes time to stay well informed…you would benefit from the effort.

    “We’ve received several questions about whether businesses have been able to opt out of the new health care law. The companies haven’t been granted permission to ignore the entire law, as the Facebook post quoted by our reader might suggest — but many have been given one-year waivers to delay compliance with a key insurance mandate that was put into place this fall. The White House says it instituted the waiver process to enable those companies to continue to provide limited-benefits plans — cheap, bare-bones policies called mini-med plans — until the law is fully implemented in 2014.

    “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in an Oct. 7 press briefing:

    Gibbs: ‘We want to ensure that in the time that it takes to implement the law and to give people better options, that they don’t find themselves at the mercy of an insurance company jacking up their rates.’

    “Mini-med plans are used by both small and large employers, such as McDonald’s and other restaurant companies, for low-income and part-time employees. These health plans have very limited benefits for very low monthly premiums — employees pay about $20 to $30 per month, according to Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade association.

    “A mini-med plan’s basic benefits might include a prescription drug discount card and coverage for doctor’s visits. These plans can also include surgical and hospitalization benefits, but they usually include dollar limits on coverage, which can be as low as under $100 per day or more than $250,000 for the year, according to an Aug. 13 Kaiser Health News article. A McDonald’s executive said at a Dec. 1 Senate hearing that the annual caps in its mini-med plans range from $2,000 to $10,000.

    “The new health care law aims to eliminate low annual coverage caps like those over time, and this is where the waiver issue has come in. The law says that annual coverage limits can’t be set lower than $750,000 for new policy years starting between Sept. 23, 2010 and Sept. 23, 2011. That cap will be raised each year until 2014, when the law will require companies to have no annual spending limits on most benefits in health care plans.
    Government agencies estimate that nearly 1.7 million people are on plans that have been affected by the new regulation — plans with annual limits of less than $750,000 this year.

    Here’s the link to the full story:

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