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Old 07-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #221
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Thank you for posting the article - some great background info on the Medicare Part D laws and their implementation. I think the ACA went through some of the same shenanigans to get passed.

I was surprised, however, that author treated the “defunding of legislation,” the "shut down of government" or "failure to raise the debt ceiling" as something new. It seems that is has become the annual tactic of both parties as they either jockey for illusory position of taking the high road in an effort to push through some legislation or simply kick hard budgetary decisions down the road. De-funding has a longer history, usually as a check on executive power, such as the use of the military.

Pearl is right – government in DC is a warzone with a bizarre set of civility rules.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #222
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there's so much more. in similar tactics, not only did conservative groups threaten the NFL, but they're hoping to increase the ranks of the uninsured:

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Republicans prepare for 'Obamacare' showdown, with eye to 2014 elections

By David Morgan
WASHINGTON | Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:08am EDT
(Reuters) - With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage.

Party officials, political analysts and lobbyists say the coming showdown will mark a new phase in the years-old battle over healthcare reform by shifting the focus from political ideology to specific examples of how "Obamacare" allegedly falls short, just as the administration presses the public on its benefits.

President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy is the first major social program to face a highly organized and well-financed opposition years after enactment. The forces arrayed against it could undermine the aim of extending health coverage to millions of uninsured people at affordable rates, if not enough younger adults sign up to make it economically viable.

Political analysts say Republicans hope to use the healthcare issue to win a bigger majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections, by leveraging the law's unpopularity to send voters to the polls in key swing states.

"The best way to get the juices of that right-wing electorate and activist group going is to attack Obamacare - make everything that happens look awful and voters will rebel against it," said Norman Ornstein, an expert on congressional politics at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

"It's a belief that if they highlight this, and sabotage it as much as they can, and if it's disruptive, that that will work for them in the mid-terms."

The White House and Department of Health and Human Services are well aware of their opponents' political maneuvers.

"There are folks out there who are actively working to make this law fail," Obama said in a speech on Wednesday, condemning the opponents' effort as "a politically motivated misinformation campaign."

The administration, reform advocates and companies including health insurers are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an education campaign to reach an estimated 7 million people, including 2.7 million young adults aged 18 to 35 who are expected to sign up for subsidized coverage next year.

A new political playbook for Republicans in the House encourages lawmakers who have voted nearly 40 times to repeal or defund the law to showcase their concerns at town hall meetings and special forums with like-minded young adults, healthcare providers and employers.

"Make sure the participants will be 100 percent on message," the House Republican Conference's August planning kit advises for events with businesses. "While they do not have to be Republicans, they need to be able to discuss the negative effects of Obamacare on their employees."

Obama's 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is also due for public attack at town halls featuring Democratic lawmakers, where Tea Party activists plan to air their opposition under an initiative by FreedomWorks, the Washington-based grassroots lobby that helped found the movement.

The planned campaign against the law promises to accelerate an already ugly partisan battle, analysts say. Until now, the opponents' message has amounted to unanswered Republican advertising painting the healthcare law as bad for the country.

"You'll start to see that change, because Democrats won't be able to overlook it anymore," said Elizabeth Wilner, who monitors political advertising at Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group.

WHAT IF THEY LIKE IT?

Political analysts say the Republican onslaught could prove short-lived. Beginning on October 1, Obama's health reform will help millions of uninsured people buy subsidized health insurance for the first time. Should enough people sign up by the time enrollment ends in March, the law's value as an election issue may run dry.

"The fear is that the law will start to work and people will like it. They'll like having insurance, a safety net if you lose your job. Then Republicans are stuck with it," Ornstein said.

One Republican ploy is to target the law's individual mandate, which requires most Americans to have insurance in 2014, or pay a penalty. It is the only lever the government has to require the participation, but it is also unpopular with voters. Republicans have sought to stoke discontent since the administration delayed a separate requirement that larger employers provide insurance coverage for workers.

"They'll start to feel impacts that are completely in contrast to what they were told when the bill was passed. That's what we're seeing in internal polling from districts that will determine control of the House - Obamacare becoming more unpopular," said Daniel Scarpinato, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republicans need a net pickup of six seats to win control of the Senate next year, and their most likely path is to focus on Democratic-held seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, according to the Cook Political Report. All are Republican-led states that went to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 and most have done little or nothing to help implement the healthcare law.

"The Republican strategy is to focus on messages that this is not working in states where the law is still unpopular with voters and where there are really going to be competitive races," said Robert Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health.

FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative issue group financed by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for funding conservative causes, are planning separate media and grassroots campaigns aimed at adults in their 20s and 30s - the very people Obama needs to have sign up for healthcare coverage in new online insurance exchanges if his reforms are to succeed.

"We're trying to make it socially acceptable to skip the exchange," said Dean Clancy, vice president for public policy at FreedomWorks, which boasts 6 million supporters. The group is designing a symbolic "Obamacare card" that college students can burn during campus protests.

Americans for Prosperity launched a $1 million TV ad campaign against the healthcare law this summer to test its message in swing states of Virginia and Ohio. The 30-second ad presents a young pregnant mother who asks questions that suggest the law will raise premiums, reduce paychecks, prevent people from picking their own doctors and leave her family's healthcare to "the folks in Washington."

The group plans a bigger push on TV and social media to persuade young people, especially men under 30, to see the healthcare law as a high-cost liability directed at them.

"This is a good time to be out there explaining what the law means to people," said the group's president, Tim Phillips.

Crossroads GPS, the political group co-founded by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, is designing a fall push aimed at elderly voters angered by Republican allegations that the Medicare program for senior citizens is being used to pay for the healthcare law.

"As people who previously didn't believe they would be affected by it are finding out that they will be affected by it, there may be some traction to repeal the worst parts of the law and eventually repeal the law entirely," said Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

Republicans prepare for 'Obamacare' showdown, with eye to 2014 elections | Reuters


so GOP groups are coordinating and financing a plan to encourage people NOT to get health insurance and actually break the law?

is health insurance for the poor and the sick really that bad a thing that they need to ruin the system that would help the most vulnerable?
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by nbcrusader View Post
I was surprised, however, that author treated the “defunding of legislation,” the "shut down of government" or "failure to raise the debt ceiling" as something new. It seems that is has become the annual tactic of both parties as they either jockey for illusory position of taking the high road in an effort to push through some legislation or simply kick hard budgetary decisions down the road. De-funding has a longer history, usually as a check on executive power, such as the use of the military.


the author brings up the 2003 Medicare expansion as the best point of comparison:

Quote:
The clear comparison is the Medicare prescription drug plan. When it passed Congress in 2003, Democrats had many reasons to be furious. The initial partnership between President Bush and Sen. Edward Kennedy had resulted in an admirably bipartisan bill—it passed the Senate with 74 votes. Republicans then pulled a bait and switch, taking out all of the provisions that Kennedy had put in to bring along Senate Democrats, jamming the resulting bill through the House in a three-hour late-night vote marathon that blatantly violated House rules and included something close to outright bribery on the House floor, and then passing the bill through the Senate with just 54 votes—while along the way excluding the duly elected conferees, Tom Daschle (the Democratic leader!) and Jay Rockefeller, from the conference committee deliberations.

The implementation of that bill was a huge challenge, and had many rocky moments. It required educating millions of seniors, most not computer-literate, about the often complicated choices they had to create or change their prescription coverage. Imagine if Democrats had gone all out to block or disrupt the implementation—using filibusters to deny funding, sending threatening letters to companies or outside interests who mobilized to educate Medicare recipients, putting on major campaigns to convince seniors that this was a plot to deny them Medicare, comparing it to the ill-fated Medicare reform plan that passed in 1989 and, after a revolt by seniors, was repealed the next year.

Almost certainly, Democrats could have tarnished one of George W. Bush's signature achievements, causing Republicans major heartburn in the 2004 presidential and congressional elections—and in the process hurting millions of Medicare recipients and their families. Instead, Democrats worked with Republicans, and with Mark McClellan, the Bush administration official in charge of implementation, to smooth out the process and make it work—and it has been a smashing success.

what's yours for this annual event done by both parties in equal measure?
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #224
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Senator Palpatine wouldn't stand for all this quibbling
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:59 PM   #225
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Nobel Peace Prize Winner: "I'm really good at killing people."
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:35 PM   #226
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President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy is the first major social program to face a highly organized and well-financed opposition years after enactment.
No doubt a side-effect of Obamacare being "the first major social program" passed on a strictly partisan vote. Not to mention the law being a 2,500 page omnibus bill (with 30,000 pages and counting of regulations) that we continue to learn we were mislead about.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #227
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Yeah, the WHO had nothing to do with it...
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:11 PM   #228
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Coming out of my break to say that I had a meeting at work today. As I've said, I work in a field that's heavily populated with freelancers, and most either have catastrophic coverage, no coverage, or pay for a plan themselves, which is what I have done for the past 8 years.

Because my company must now comply with the ACA, we are being offered employer-subsidized health care for the first time.

My yearly costs will literally be cut in half. I can get a so-called "Cadillac" plan for about half of what I presently pay. Plus dental and vision. I'm beside myself.

So, yeah, thanks Obama.

It's a very good day.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #229
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Nobel Peace Prize Winner: "I'm really good at killing people."
Don't blame him. Blame the Nobel committee that bizarrely gave him the prize for no good reason.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #230
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How does Obama deal with his lies about the ACA? He tosses them down the memory hole - they never existed!
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #231
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an interesting read:

Quote:
Obama’s Crucial Six Months
NOV 8 2013 @ 12:40PM


In many ways, his entire term as president has been leading up to this winter and spring. This will be when his core advancements in domestic and foreign policy will be tested as never before. This will be when we see whether the Affordable Care Act can gain traction and legitimacy as a reform that is far better than the chaos and inefficiency of the past; and when we see if the West can bring the great nation of Iran back into the fold of the world economy, with clear restrictions on its nuclear program.

The ACA has gotten off to a really rocky start, with the debacle of the website and the chorus of complaints from those whose health insurance plans will experience disruption. But it’s worth recalling that this law has always had a rocky history. It nearly got swallowed up by the urgent need to wrest the country out of a potential Second Great Depression; it wallowed in Senate inertia for months, as Max Baucus hemmed and hawed; it was pummeled by the summer of Tea Party rage; it nearly came undone when Ted Kennedy’s seat was lost to a Republican; it caused a huge loss in the 2010 Congressional elections, which in turn, helped the GOP gerrymander the House even more to their advantage, and block much of the president’s agenda since. It was the casus belli of the government shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis of this fall. When you look back, you realize why every previous president who tried to get this done failed – from Nixon to Clinton.

And yet it’s still alive, even as it’s enduring severe labor pains as it makes its way into the world. As I noted yesterday, support for it has actually risen recently; and, because of the website’s malfunction, the winners are much less vocal now than the losers. But if the process grinds on, that balance may change. The president should not be let off the hook for his previous overly-broad promises or for the clusterfuck of the site. He may need to adjust again a little. But the odds of the core of this law surviving – particularly the principle of universal coverage and the end of denials of insurance for pre-existing conditions – are solid. It may well need further reform, but it has created a framework for both Republican reform (if they can get out of their ideological mania) and even, perhaps, a single-payer system, if the Democrats want to move left. It’s messy, its future could go in several directions, but it’s now entrenched. The president can take the hit for the problems in the next three years, and he should. Because he’s not up for re-election and can veto any attempts to destroy it.

But in some ways, the outreach to Iran is just as important and critical. Again, the policy arc has been long and brutal. We witnessed – and this blog will never forget – the Green Revolution that emerged only months after Obama’s first election, propelled by the same online, youthful hopes that brought this president to office. We then saw the hopes of Obama’s Cairo speech destroyed by the brutal repression of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. The sanctions that were then imposed were everything a neocon could ask for – except for the war or regime change they still want. Again, it took four more years for the Iranian elites to fully digest how damaging the sanctions were, but in the last elections, Rouhani emerged as a pragmatic interlocutor. During all this, Obama managed to create a truly durable and powerful international coalition for sanctions, and prevent the Israelis from doing the unthinkable and starting a religious war in the Middle East that could have metastasized into a global terror wave, with all the collateral damage in human life and civil liberties that would have entailed.

Much could still go wrong. But there’s no doubt in my mind that both Rouhani and Obama want a deal.

Both have to keep their war factions – the AIPAC-dominated Congress and the Revolutionary Guards respectively – in check, while also using the threat of war or more sanctions from these groups to make the case for a deal in the center. For months now, the Iranian government and the Obama administration have been talking, slowly building trust, with Obama not removing but slightly loosening some of the financial restrictions on the country:

Quote:
In the six weeks prior to the Iranian elections in June, the Treasury Department issued seven notices of designations of sanctions violators that included more than 100 new people, companies, aircraft, and sea vessels. Since June 14, however, when Rouhani was elected, the Treasury Department has only issued two designation notices that have identified six people and four companies as violating the Iran sanctions.
A six month freeze of nuclear activity would give the talks more time to succeed, without bringing the Iranians closer to the ability to make an actual bomb. It’s not done yet, but it looks close. If the result is a new detente or even a thaw in relations between the West and Iran, it would transform global politics in a way not seen since the end of the Cold War. Because this is the other Cold War that has been going on since 1979. Such a breakthrough would help us ease away from our dependence on the Saudis for oil (along with fracking and discoveries like the massive Australian shale field), and would also give us far more leverage over Israel in the pursuit of a two-state solution.

All this may come crashing down, which is why the next six months will indeed be the critical ones. But let us be clear what the stakes would be for the Obama presidency. It would mean that this president ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, devastated al Qaeda in the region 9/11 came from, killed bin Laden, and ended torture. At home, his legacy would be an avoidance of a second Great Depression, the revival of the US auto industry, a drastic reduction in the deficit, tough executive branch decisions to rein in carbon emissions, a civil rights revolution for gay people and universal healthcare. And as the establishment of the GOP slowly moves against the radicals and extremists that have run its brand into the ground, Obama will have done something else as well. By refusing to blink in the debt ceiling crisis, he may well have done what all truly transformative political leaders do: reform his opposition by making it more responsible in opposition and more pragmatic in government.

I once spoke of him as a potential liberal Reagan. For all the nay-sayers out there, it’s still possible.

Obama’s Crucial Six Months � The Dish


the most salient point, to me, is the hope that Obama will help the GOP exorcise it's demons, and result in a party that functions once again as a party capable of governing and not just as an expression of grievances and political protest. the country needs two parties, if not more, and the current GOP civil war will hopefully produce something better. my hope is that the GOP's present Palin-induced, nativist, fiercely ignorant, proudly fact-free insanity will find it's final expression, and then coffin, in Ted Cruz.

and we'll all spin forward.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #232
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...it caused a huge loss in the 2010 Congressional elections, which in turn, helped the GOP gerrymander the House even more to their advantage, and block much of the president’s agenda since.
Either I'm crazy or Andrew Sullivan is clueless because I thought congressional districts were drawn up by state governing bodies (not the U.S. Congress) as a result of the U.S. census; the last one taken in 2010 and not taking effect until the 2012 elections.
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:16 AM   #233
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Either I'm crazy or Andrew Sullivan is clueless because I thought congressional districts were drawn up by state governing bodies (not the U.S. Congress) as a result of the U.S. census; the last one taken in 2010 and not taking effect until the 2012 elections.
I would say that vitriolic hatred of the ACA had the effect of drawing out the right in 2010 to vote for Republican federal congressional candidates, with the side effect of making state legislatures more conservative as well.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #234
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I would say that vitriolic hatred of the ACA had the effect of drawing out the right in 2010 to vote for Republican federal congressional candidates, with the side effect of making state legislatures more conservative as well.
Sure, but for some people (Andrew Sullivan and Irvine) the refrain of "elections have consequences" only seems to apply when they are victorious.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #235
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Sure, but for some people (Andrew Sullivan and Irvine) the refrain of "elections have consequences" only seems to apply when they are victorious.
Indeed they do. They have decade-long ones in this case. Consequences that blocked the next election from having what seems like would be its own reasonable consequences (such as the fact that more people voting for Democrats than for Republicans in the House causing a majority-Democratic House).
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:14 AM   #236
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Sure, but for some people (Andrew Sullivan and Irvine) the refrain of "elections have consequences" only seems to apply when they are victorious.

Elections always have consequences. We deal with the gerrymandering because that's how it is, and if we want it changed, we go about electing officials who will do that. There are channels through which change is achieved.

No one is threatening global economic collapse here.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #237
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Poll: Obamacare support, Obama approval sink to new lows - CBS News

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President Obama's job approval rating has plunged to the lowest of his presidency, according to a new CBS News poll released Wednesday, and Americans' approval of the Affordable Care Act has dropped it's lowest since CBS News started polling on the law.

Thirty-seven percent now approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, down from 46 percent in October -- a nine point drop in just a month. Mr. Obama's disapproval rating is 57 percent -- the highest level for this president in CBS News Polls.
FYM posters that so gleefully noted each drop in GWB's poll numbers now seem mysteriously silent.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:36 AM   #238
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No. He deserves the drop. His signature legislation has been a disaster. He owns it. I do hope, and I do think it'll get fixed.

It's tough when you have to govern alone tho. You have a party who rejects every word out of his mouth and his own party that play the political game of doing whatever to get re-elected.

I have no problem with the ACA. We are paying more regardless of this law. My premiums go up anyway. At least those who weren't covered before have the ability now.

Anyway, his numbers are low. And over time they may go back up. I disapprove of the way the ACA. Was rolled out, but overall I think he's done a good job
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:57 AM   #239
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I disapprove of the GOP politicians who blocked true healthcare reform, but what are you going to do? (Nothing, because of Citizens United.)
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #240
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FYM posters that so gleefully noted each drop in GWB's poll numbers now seem mysteriously silent.
oh HO, you sure have us there! How truly shocking that those who didn't like Bush would comment on his approval ratings as opposed to Obama's!

Some truly deep insight there.
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