Tag Archives: health care costs

Mr. President, Lucy always moves the football(but now the chains are off)

The thing President Obama seems to never learn is that Lucy, in the Charlie Brown comic script, always moves the football so that Charlie Brown misses his kick.  Translation:  The health insurance companies never intended to cooperate and they will never cooperate so you need to stop playing the conservatives game. Mr. President when you apologized for the cancellations that the health insurance companies sent out, your weren’t strong enough in stating the realities.  Mr. President I hate to be the one to tell you this but you’re at war. And you should state the case unequivocally:  There are people who don’t want to cover pre-existing conditions because it cuts into their profit margins, therefore they will raise your rates.  Stay on message: “I am not taking your policies away.”  Mr.  President you need to hone your message because people don’t get it unless you do.  Stay on message in an “Its-the-economy-stupid” kind of way.  You are in a campaign to change the conversation.  Tell the American people that you are fighting for them and that “the insurance companies are taking your insurance away.”  Tell the American people that we are going to close the doughnut hole, insurance companies will refund premium payments to customers (a total of $1.5 billion overhead savings and insurance rebates to Americans since its implementation in 2011),  that we will through the ACA, supply funding for scholarships and loan repayments for primary care doctors and nurses working in underserved areas and funding to support the construction of and expand services at community health centers and no amount of sabotage in the form of cancellation notices will change that.  Mr. President here is where the Conservatives keep winning they keep it simply and repeat.  Take a lesson from the cowboy theater and watch someone like Donald Rumsfeld because it appears that the American people are accepting even when the message is stupid, if you state it simply. Just watch:

The conservatives continually refer to the ACA as a train wreck, this is an attempt to saturate the the American psyche with falsehood because they know that repetition of the big lie works as FDR explained years ago

About your messaging problem, this is what you said back in 2009 according to Politifact:

“When I say if you have your plan and you like it, or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. … Let’s say that we take the advice of some folks who are out there and say, ‘Oh, this is not the time to do health care. We can’t afford it. It’s too complicated. Let’s take our time,’ et cetera. So let’s assume that nothing happened. I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions: ‘We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees. In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all.’ And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.”

Mr. President you are dealing with an “is-Khole-going-to-leave-Lamar” America, I mean Mr. President, the guy we elected before you said things like this:

Too many good ob/gyn’s aren’t able to do what?

People who voted for him, Mr. Bush, are far more likely to cherry-pick your words and attempt to hold you to standards they don’t even now apply to him and never held him, Mr. Bush,  and his “we-will-be-greeted-as-liberators” crowd accountable for the contributions that the war that would “pay for itself” has added to and continues to add to the national debt.  You remember the “smoking-gun-mushroom-cloud” gang.  Don’t fixate on their agenda. And yes I do say that their concern with the national debt is bull hockey and the evidence is the absence of Tea Parties in the Bush years.

So Mr. President, with an audience which is so inattentive to the nuts and bolts of how things work and who are unlikely to see the sabotage at work, the only part of that paragraph that was really useful for moving the agenda of health care access forward was  “what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.”

Remember you are dealing with a public that devotes a huge amount of their mental capacity and emotional involvement to entertainment.  They don’t have time or enough capacity left to digest paragraphs.  Therefore repeat: “Those cancellations come from for-profit insurance companies and they cancel policies for-profit every year.”

The health care industry cancels plans every year.  The government is not going to make you change your plan.  The insurance industry chose to gouge you for profit sake, thus the cancellations.  Lucy pulled the ball away.  Remember that the ball with which we are playing was Lucy’s ball from the start; we didn’t have a public option which means that the for-profit health insurance industry controlled how the game was played, who gets access related to coverage.  Just remember when you hear someone complaining about the President’s promise that we don’t know which of the cancellation notices would have been sent or which of the policies would have been altered even if congress hadn’t passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Mr. President some of your surrogates should be telling the public ever day, all day that that there was “normal turnover in the individual insurance market” before the the ACA and that  “40 to 67 percent” of customers would not have been able to keep their policies anyway.  The truth of the matter is, the insurance industry cancels plans to maintain and increase profit margins and would do so whether or not Obamacare existed.

Mr. President when it is reported that explanations for cancellations go like this

The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1,


the health insurers may not be so much like Lucy as they are like the abusive white supremacists in Pulp Fiction.  The insurers are actually treating American citizens, only for profit, the way that Marcellus and Butch were being treated in Pulp Fiction, in essence like we’re at their, health insurance companies, mercy.


Mr. President you don’t have an election to win anymore and in the words of Marcellus its time to get “Medieval” on this mob.


Continually challenge the CONNINGservatives to pull the anti-trust exemption which can’t be good in any “free market” sense for the American consumer.  As a matter of fact, America doesn’t need for-profit insurance companies we need health care access for all. That is the challenge for progressives.  We need to get our views in the conversation as consistently as the Crypto-Fascists who are using every tool in the box to maintain the worst, most expensive healthcare delivery system (go find the Brits, Canadians, French, or Japanese who go bankrupt because of medical expenses) among the major industrialized nations.

Can you really keep your doctors if you like them? | Interviews | Fox News

This is how the Teabagger, RepubliCon, Crypto-Fascist distortion begins:

“ObamaCare requires all plans out there to meet a certain number of minimum requirements including that they provide for example, maternity care.” — MEGYN KELLY, HOST of the Kelly (that’s pronounced Kel-LIE)File

To attack the President using this falsehood, you must ignore the fact that plans sold before the bill (the Affordable Care Act) passed are not required to have the essential provisions that plans sold after passage must contain.

But once you establish the false premise the credibility attack is viable.

Then you can have your accomplice come in and say in response to your question

“So, was the president, you know, is his promise being kept?”

“No, Kelly, it’s not. I mean, President Obama said in 2009 if you want to keep your health insurance plan you can .” — EMILY (pronounced I’m – I – LIE) MILLER, SENIOR OPINION EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

So, to the people with the cancellation notices, what was your plan in 2009? Could it have been grandfathered in or did the insurance company change it so that it is no longer your 2009 plan?

Here is a possible answer:

“The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

But if they fell short but were sold before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the companies could have kept them in force. The law didn’t tell the insurance companies to cancel them. To the people with the cancellation notices, the government, President Obama, ObamaCare, the law didn’t take your policy away from you. President Obama actually said:

“If you like your plan, and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing,”

And here is the finisher:

“We’re not going to mess with it.” 

The you can-keep-your-doctor- you-can-keep-your-plan assertion was actually and remains a legitimate response to the government takeover lie that the Teabaggers, RepubliCons were throwing up to thwart any effort to break down the monopolistic healthcare industry and bend the cost curve, which shrinks healthcare insurance profits while actually puts more money into the pockets of consumers (see the part about premium returns if a certain percentage isn’t spent on healthcare-$1.5 billion overhead savings and insurance rebates to Americans since its implementation in 2011).

So when KELLY (Kel-LIE) says “If I want to pay less for a less great plan, isn’t that my right? I mean, what we are seeing now is that right has been taken away from hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Americans.”

She isn’t talking about herself paying less for a less great plan-a plan that turns out not to cover things that you thought it would(she makes $250,000 per year and is worth $5 million). No, for her and Michelle Bachmann and Michelle’s southern doppelganger Marsha Blackburn (concerned that people who want to buy insurance policies that are the equivalent of Fords are being forced to buy policies that are the equivalent of Ferraris) of Tennessee with their $174,000 per year salaries and government insurance, inadequate insurance is an academic discussion. I am sure there were people like them who lobbied on behalf of people who wanted to buy cars without seatbelts and complained about the cost of cars with seatbelts because, really, how many people are going to have an accident and really need a seatbelt? These people aren’t called CONservatives and RepubliCons for nothing. They know by their elections and campaign contributions that there is a self-flagellating, masochistic element within the American body politic, an element that seems to believe in purification through pain. There has been gold in dem dere hills!!! But if the recent RepubliCon orchestrated shutdown is any indication, even self-flagellation has its limits.  Even Utah which ousted Senator Bennett to elect a clown like Mike Lee may have learned a lesson about attacking a government which is for the people

Can you really keep your doctors if you like them? | Interviews | Fox News

Et tu, Federal Government?

Thus comes the cry from Mississippi’s Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. Claiming somehow that he expected approval for a plan he submitted to the Department of HHS without the Governor’s signature he ridiculously cries betrayal(A State’s Declaration Letter must be signed by the State’s Governor). Futhermore Mr. Chaney chose to ignore the fact that the Affordable Care Act “says that the exchanges have to be one-stop shops for both private insurance and Medicaid.”
How can Chaney get away with such blatant misinformation? He is basically running interference for big insurance companies while pretending to be for the average working Mississippian. He and other Mississippi RepubliCons talk of free-market approaches as a remedy for rising health care costs when they know full well that the health insurance industry has the McCarran–Ferguson Act and lack of regulation, which saddles Americans with billions of dollars a year in excess costs, in place to maintain the existing order and to harden the stratification and widen the wealth gap.

This is understandable in Mississippi, where some are not entitled to freedom from want of health care. Mississippians, owing to a basic fear of change and obeisance to crypto-fascist “leadership,” are destined to remain last in so many categories. When you consider farm subsidies and military installations and the boon to ship building provided by the federal government and, historically, earmarks, the Federal government to Mississippi is not betrayer, Mr. Chaney, but the love which dare not speak its name.