Obamacare is not some socialist marxist leftist plot...
Obamacare is not some crazy communist, left-wing, socialist plot. It’s a Republican plot.
Back in 1971, then President Richard Nixon was extremely concerned that he would have to face then Senator Ted Kennedy in the 1972 presidential election. At that time, Senator Kennedy was pushing a proposal for a national single-payer healthcare plan that would extend coverage to all Americans.
Nixon knew that Kennedy’s proposal would be popular with the American people, and could threaten his re-election chances, so he came up with a healthcare proposal of his own.
Nixon’s proposal for healthcare in America included different plans for four categories of Americans.
Under Nixon’s plan, employers would have been required to buy health insurance providing a basic package of benefits for 150 million working Americans and their families.
For 20 million Americans who were considered the working poor at the time and their families, Nixon’s plan would have replaced Medicaid services with private health insurance plans fully paid for by the government for the poorest, with a sliding scale of contributions for families earning over $3,000 (roughly $17,300 in today’s dollars).
Nixon’s plan also dropped Medicare premiums for 21 million “aging” Americans, and instead adjusted Social Security taxes to make up for the costs.
Finally, Nixon’s plan lowered healthcare costs for 30 million self-employed Americans by allowing them to buy healthcare policies at lower group rates through insurance pools.
Now, what does all of that sound like to you? It sounds an awful lot like Obamacare, right?
That’s because most of the tenants of Obamacare were introduced way back in 1971 by Richard Nixon, a Republican president.
But Nixon wasn’t the only Republican to get behind a healthcare plan that sounds a lot like Obamacare.
Back in 1993, then President Bill Clinton tried desperately to reform healthcare in America. He created a special healthcare task force that was charged with finding solutions to rising healthcare costs and an increasing number of uninsured Americans.
While that taskforce was trying to find solutions, Republicans in Congress were retrying to create a healthcare reform alternative of their own.
They came up with the Health Equity and Access Reform Today bill, or HEART.
That bill was spearheaded by then Republican Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island, and co-sponsored by 18 other Republican senators, including current Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley, both of whom are now opposed to Obamacare.
It was also supported by the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, which at the time was pushing particularly heavily for an individual mandate.
Among other things, the HEART bill proposed by Republican senators included an individual mandate ( to appease the folks over at the Heritage Foundation), the creation of insurance purchasing pools, standardized benefits, vouchers for poor Americans to buy insurance, and a ban on insurance companies denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Again, what does that sound like?
Speaking about the HEART bill, Sheila Burke, former chief of staff for former Senator Bob Dole told PolitiFact’s PunditFact that, “You would find a great deal of similarity to provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The guys were way ahead of the times! Different crowd, different time, suffice it to say.”
So, yet again, you have Republicans introducing a national healthcare reform plan that contained a lot of the key tenants of today’s Obamacare.
The facts speak for themselves. Republicans have been pushing Obamacare-like healthcare principles for over 40 years!
So, why in 2015 are Republicans suddenly so opposed to policies they have crafted and supported in years past?
Because today, Republicans aren’t operating on principle, they’re operating on politics.
They’re doing everything in their power to sabotage President Obama’s presidency and tarnish his legacy.
They’re fulfilling the plans of a group of powerful Republican lawmakers and strategists who sat down to a private dinner at the Caucus Room restaurant here in Washington on the night of January 20, 2009 , and vowed to filibuster and obstruct any and all legislation supported by President Obama.
Republicans aren’t morally opposed to Obamacare; after all, it's helped millions of Americans, and it's making the insurance industry even richer.
Republican opposition to Obamacare is entirely about politics, and that’s no way to run a country.
If you’re going to run a country, which Republicans basically are by being in control of Congress, you should be operating on principle and on legitimate policy disagreements.
It’s time for Republicans to stop playing politics, and start doing what’s right for the American people.
Yes, obstructing the president is all they are after, simply because they are immature sore losers that can't handle the truth about themselves, or the truth about anything else for that matter. So sick and tired of their stupid games and underhandedness. This country can't progress with regressive fools like this in our congress. Of course the American people would have had single payer health care if not for the Republican party houseboys for the greedy health care insurance companies that literally own the Republican party, along with corporate stigmatas like the Koch brothers.
There is no reason for a national health fund pool to be private. We need to get private insurance out of Medicine. There are plenty of other things they can insure.
Almost no doctor who is not in a "group" will take insurance of any sort in my town. Private office practitioners are stopping accepting Medicare as well. This is because either the insurance company or Medicare makes processing claims unreasonably expensive. Sometimes it takes four passes of shufffling papers back and forth to get re-embursed for an office visit. Office girls have to get paid.
A surgeon told me that many times doctors don't even bother to process Medicaid. They treat the patient but throw the bill in the trash because it will end up costing them money to process the claim.
This is ridiculous! But the culprit will always be the private insurance companies. We do not need a middleman between us and our doctors!
What happened to National Health Care? That's what Obama ran on. Somehow that morphed into National Health Care Reform, and now it's ended up as National Health Care Insurance Reform. If he had started out with that six years ago, he would have lost.
I've mentioned Nixon's healthcare to people and they never knew it. If like ACA no one would have wanted it. I just lost my doc after a dozen years because he went to a yearly payment to, so he says, give him more time with less patients. In other words he dumped all of us on Medicare. I was lucky to find another doc and have one that is trying to get rid of me by not filling prescriptions on time with no refills. My pharmacy is fed up with having to fax her, and I prefer a male doc, many times for one prescription. Our health care has gone to he!!. Hope things change. My wife is being fined for not being able to afford ACA. We can't even find the exemption forms. It says it is easy, fill out this form. They don't show it because wait, there is another one to fill out first. Good luck finding that one. So if the IRS can't collect the fine I suppose they will garnish her wages, put a lien on our home, cause us to file bankruptcy, move in the street and wonders and wonders being dirt poor we can finally afford ACA.
It was thanks to Joe Lieberman that we don't have a public option. We needed every Democratic and Independent vote in the Senate to pass it for a filibuster proof majority and the Connecticut Clown had always been in the pocket of the insurance lobby so he insisted it be taken out. Had it not been it would've competitively routed all other plans and yielded single payer, as was, no doubt, Obama's intent.
That is, the term "crazy communist, left-wing, socialist plot" is oxymoronic - because of the word, "crazy".
Most of our Republicans in Congress are little more than paid "avatars" of the Koch Brothers. They have repeatedly shown by their voting record that they don't give a damn how many American men, women, and children they kill (by denying them healthcare coverage and allowing Koch industries to continue their deadly pollution policies), as long as they continue to receive large chunks of money from right-wing PACs, billionaires, and millionaires for their re-election campaigns.
In 2014, our ideologically clueless Democratic campaign committees allowed those Republicans to get away with such misconduct which led to disastrous electoral results for Democratic candidates who chose to run like "Republican Lights" and to "distance themselves from President Obama." Dumb! Dumb!
I hope that those Democrats who remain in Congress will WISE UP in this regard in time for the 2016 elections.
Right on, leighmf! Bingo, Willie W!
w1ders, you and your wife have my sympathy.
Mark, I seriously doubt Obama ever intended to pass single payer. Thanks to the Hightower Lowdown, I was already privy to the huge campaign contributions he got from the health scare extortionists when he ran for office the first time. He's been in their pockets all along.
Nixon's Idea was not a republican idea. It was a liberal progressive idea. A republican Idea would be a proposal for each state to address their own healthcare issues because the definition of a republican is someone who favors state government over federal government. Once upon a time there were such things as liberal progressive republicans. I haven't seen any lately though.
We are The United States of America. We sent men to explore the Moon and machines to explore Mars and the other planets. We defeated Japan on one side of the world while defeating Germany on the other side of the world at the same time. With all of our faults we are still an amazing country. So why are we ranked about 20th in the world when it comes to healthcare? We could be ranked #1 in health care if that's what we all wanted. The problem is conservatives would never let that happen. What we need are more progressives in office weather they are democtatic, republican, or something else. Then we could have the best healthcare in the world for everyone in These United States.
Oops. Damned if I know how my post ended up before Mark Sauly's, since it was posted partially in response to him. It was only after I'd re-written the damn thing that I discovered it hadn't vanished after all. (Weird.)
By the way RFord, Nixon was no liberal. Republican progressives?!! Dream on…
If you would all just listen to me in 2008. Sorry I had to say that. Only 7.5 million people signed up for ACA. You disrupted the whole health care system, damaged your economy with all the uncertainties of the future for businesses and no one likes what you have.
It would make way sense to put a healthcare plan in print for all Americans to study for months and then they not the crooked politicions could vote on it and decide if it's good for them. That way it would keep all the lobbist out of it. Wouldn't it?
The only possible outcome will be single payer because the corporations will be screwing everybody again so that will be all that's left to do!
Kend, a lot of things would make more sense but we can only dream of most of it.
But Ralph Nader was right, there was a veto proof majority in both houses of Congress so there were "no excuses" not to pass single payer. That was before we needed Lieberman.
The only way you will get anything close to single payer is the way Canada did it. One state at a time. Thom has said this many times. Romney had the right idea. It is simple if A state has better health care for less then the rest of the states everyone will follow. The problem with the Dems is they want to federalize everything but USA is way too big and every state has different needs.
This breast cancer survivor is grateful for all the good that has come from the healthcare act. After worrying about a reoccurance of cancer, worrying about continued insurance is the next major worry. Now I cannot be denied coverage or treatment for a pre-existing condition, nor can I be dropped by my insurance.
But, I agree with Aliceinwonderland that single payer is still the most humane option for a Democracy.
I have to disagree with you on a few points. Yes it's true that what's called Obama Care has been pushed by both parties over the past forty years to make sure their friends in the private Healthcare Insurance Industry continue to stay in full control.
It's interesting to note that at the end of his life, Ted Kennedy was fully supporting the Romney healthcare system that had become the standard in the state of Massachusetts. A system that was aggressively challenged by citizens groups and prestigious independent medical associations located in Massachusetts, a system that most likely would never have been adopted if it hadn't been for the support from the Kennedy clan.
In addition, Clinton's 1993 support for a proposed single payer plan was luke warm at best and doomed to failure when he handed the whole project over to his wife, someone who had no real political experience playing in the Washington minefield at that time and she was litterly eaten alive by the Right.
The latest attempt to pass a single payer plan was during Obama's first term and it was immediately obvious that he was going to do what ever it took to squash this attempt in it's infancy. The most blatant indication of this sellout was his aggressive attacks against one of his own party's Single Payer Supporters, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. Many people remember the Air Force One trip where Kucinich was essentially told to shut up and get in line behind the president. His continued campaign for Single Payer ended up losing him his long held Ohio Congressional seat as the White House joined with a group of Ohio Republican power brokers to Gerrymander Kucinich's voting district out of existence forcing him to pursue his next election bid against another Democrat in her long held Ohio voting district. These tactics are what ended any and all connections I may have had to the Obama Brand and the George Soros Neo-Liberal facilitators that have been pushing the Democrat party to the extreme Right for twenty five years now !
Agree with everyone that a Single Payer type system is the most economical and rational way to deliver health care. I also think that Kend's suggestion that we tackle this state by state rather than all at once as a federal program, may be the best way to accomplish this.
What I cannot understand is how American businesses continue to put up with being responsible for their employees' health insurance and the huge expense this adds to their bottom lines. It seems this would put American businesses at a big disadvantage compaired to those in countries that offer Single Payer systems (all of whom deliver better overall health outcomes at nearly half the cost in the US). If we don't want the government and insurance companies between ourselves and our doctors, why would we possibly want to have our employers involved in our health choices either?
Health Care, American Style, has got to be one of the most dysfunctional, unfair, complicated, over administered, poorly delivered systems that a modern, advanced nation can offer.
Alice, Mark probably edited his comment, which resets the time stamp. I wish they'd keep it from doing that.
RLTOWNSLEY, "Literally"? She was "literally" eaten alive?
In 1989, George H.W. Bush tried to bring in his version of Obamacare. Backed by the Heritage Foundation.
W W -- If Obama would have tried to enact National Health Care, it would have been the Ted Kennedy story. We would not even have the ACA.
We need 67 dem senators.
Greenthumb, American businesses, e.g., auto manufacturers privately agree with us on that. They, like other businesses in the U.S., are at a competitive disadvantage with those of other parts of the world for there not being national healthcare here. In 2009 it was said that if the U.S. auto industry needed a bailout the best way would be to implement such a system.
These auto executives, however, for pure ideological orthodoxy, will never say so publicly. The fear is, probably, that that would open up to general socialist thinking and policy making.
Mark S -- You must mean filibuster (cloture) proof not veto proof. Are you sure Lieberman was the only problem? The Montana democratic senator had an insurance executive write the ACA. He made sure his county received single payer via the ACA, but no one else. I think that was his condition to vote for the ACA.
Liberman wasn't the only problem. Max Baucus was another obstacle standing in the way of decent healthcare for everyone. Remember that lame-ass speech Baucus made about boats; the old "Can't turn that boat around" metaphor, and "Go west young man" (gag me) and about us being "uniquely American"?! HaHaHaHaHa. Yep, that was mighty persuasive. Really sold me on the idea of profits being always the #1 priority, even over life itself! Uniquely American, all right. Yep. Now let's all bow to the Golden Calf of BIG MONEY!!!!!
The truth is, Thom, virtually the entire Democratic Party was the problem. And never mind the Republicons.
The Dems weren't gonna go outright for single payer, they thought the insurance lobby was too strong, so they made it all a gift to the insurance providers to forstall a big fight with them but they were ready to slide single payer in there by way of the public option. Liebermann, the insurance industry's guy, wouldn't vote for that and they couldn't do it without.
Right on, Mark. But I think Obama himself was (and is) in the pocket of the so-called health insurance industry. All of it mighty gag-inducing, given the impact these issues have on people's lives. This is what happens when lobbyists, and the interests they serve, call the shots. We don't vote for them, and they're sure-as-shit not there to serve us.
Reply to #17: I agree with every word.
Reply to #18: Mathboy, after leaving that grumbly post I remember the time stamp problem here. Decided not to cause further disruption by making corrections, so just let it be. But thanks.
I should use the "Preview" feature in editing but I tend to just do it live.
"Obamacare" is better than nothing. But compared to single payer, it sucks.