The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

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Bill Bryan
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The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #1 by Bill Bryan » July 26th, 2013, 8:53 am

This week several Republican senators, apparently led by Mike Lee (R Utah), [link]threatened to shut down the government,http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/07/25/gop-senators-threaten-government-shutdown-to-derail-obamacare/[/link] in order to derail ObamaCare from being implemented this year and next. In September, the continuing resolution to continue funding the federal operating budget will have to be renewed.

Never before in history has a political party tried so hard to sabotage a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Republicans have passed little important legislation since taking over the House in 2011, but [link]they've voted 38 times to repeal or defund ObamaCare,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/obamacare-votes_n_3612106.html[/link], despite the futility of those votes. They know quite well that the Senate will not go along with any such bill, and the President will veto it. But they've felt the need to pander to their base, and more importantly, they're terrified that ObamaCare is going to be a success. It won't solve the healthcare crisis in this great land of ours, but there will be millions more insured (there already are) and insurance premiums will be a fraction of what they are now. This has proved to be true in [link]California,http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/23/news/economy/california-obamacare-premiums/index.html?iid=EL[/link] and [link]New York,http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/17/news/economy/obamacare-health-insurance-new-york/index.html[/link] already.

As noted by Norm Ornstein in the Atlantic, this latest effort to derail ObamaCare is [link]nothing less than contemptible,http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/07/the-unprecedented-contemptible-gop-quest-to-sabotage-obamacare/278098/[/link]; "sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing":

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 Senator 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.

But the bomb-throwers are not to be reached by rational argument.

President Obama chided the GOP’s aggressive efforts to derail his signature piece of legislation during an economic speech on Wednesday. “If you think you have a better plan for making sure every American family has the security of quality, affordable health care, stop making meaningless repeal votes and share your concrete ideas with the country,” [link]Obama said,http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/07/25/gop-senators-threaten-government-shutdown-to-derail-obamacare/[/link].

In contrast to this reprehensible behavior, even some in the Republican party are sharply criticizing this latest in the series of Republican attempts to damage the American economy that we've witnessed ever since President Obama took office. Senator McCain said "most Americans are tired of these types of shenanigans". Rep. Tom Cole (R. Okla.) said this latest threat is a "temper tantrum" that is "not helpful" toward repeal of ObamaCare.

In fact, the latest story in Politico about ObamaCare is that there's "[link]a brewing Republican versus Republican fight,http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/gop-feuds-obamacare-tactics-94774.html[/link]" over the threat to shut down the federal government.

On Thursday, the dispute began to spill into public view, most notably when three Senate Republicans — including Minority Whip John Cornyn — withdrew their signatures from a conservative letter demanding defunding Obamacare as a condition for supporting the government funding measure.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called the push to defund the law through the continuing resolution the “dumbest idea” he had ever heard.

“Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable by shutting down the federal government,” Burr said. “At some point, you’re going to open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama is going to be president.”

Since Richard Burr took office in '09, he hasn't been a high-profile senator, or become one of the bomb-throwers. But this is the first time he's said anything that made me halfway proud he's representing me in the United States Senate.
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bynon
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #2 by bynon » July 26th, 2013, 10:48 am

American history is full of examples of politicians -- and regular folks -- digging in their heels on issues they feel strongly about. Issues involving personal choice and local and state laws brought us to war because we demonized "the other guys".

Personally, I have a difficult time comparing the Affordable Care Act with the law that brought us Medicare Part D. Both tumultuous events, yes, but it's not the same. The biggest difference is that Medicare beneficiaries have a choice to purchase a drug plan or not. There is no mandate to purchase the insurance, only a big incentive to do so.

I don't necessarily agree with the methods of those who oppose the ACA, but I'm not going to demonize them because they do. The fact that a law was passed and upheld does not make it a good one. It simply means that enough people have had the will to make it stick.

I can't help but think that if the ACA was designed more like the privatized parts of Medicare that we wouldn't be having these discussions. The ACA will help a lot of folks who need it, but at what cost? Pointing at the expected cost reductions in California and New York is hardly an example of overwhelming benefit, because the insurance costs in both states is way out of control. In states like Ohio, people are bracing for the opposite effect.

I think that the ACA is a good example for future lawmakers in what not to do. As soon as you tell Americans what they must do with their money and property, you're going to have a nasty fight.

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Bill Bryan
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #3 by Bill Bryan » July 26th, 2013, 11:40 am

bynon wrote:Pointing at the expected cost reductions in California and New York is hardly an example of overwhelming benefit, because the insurance costs in both states is way out of control.

Boy, I'd like to see some statistics that show that's the reason for the cost reductions in New York and California. Do you have any links or anything that shows that?

In states like Ohio, people are bracing for the opposite effect.

Ohio has done everything possible to sabotage and interfere with ObamaCare. They're going to get what they deserve for electing the officials they elected.

The difference between Ohio's officials working to make sure ObamaCare doesn't work and California official's working in the interest of its citizens is clearly explained by [link]Plunderbund,http://www.plunderbund.com/2013/06/11/when-insurance-is-cheaper-in-california-than-in-ohio-you-can-blame-kasich-and-taylor/[/link].

When Ohioans wake up and see what Republicans have done to them, there probably won't be any statewide Republicans there for a long, long time.
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #4 by John Thomas8 » July 26th, 2013, 11:43 am

Ohio redistricted like NC did. There will not be any major legislative composition changes in either state for the foreseeable future.

bynon
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #5 by bynon » July 26th, 2013, 12:08 pm

Foggy wrote:
bynon wrote:Boy, I'd like to see some statistics that show that's the reason for the cost reductions in New York and California. Do you have any links or anything that shows that?


It's a well-known fact that when New York reformed their healthcare system two decades ago, they did so in a way that drove up insurance premiums for the individual market. NY prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage and required them to offer the same premiums to everyone. In Medicare parlance, it's called a “community rating.”

NY did not require everyone to have insurance, so the higher rates caused the pool of people with health insurance to shrink. As a result, the cost of insurance skyrocketed and the state leadership did nothing to rectify the problems they caused.

New York is a case of the ACA fixing a problem that never should have existed. California is very different, but the results are similar.

Gov. Brown has done an admirable job in being proactive to build out California's health insurance exchange, regardless of what the federal government does. Long before the ACA was put into law, California started the process of attracting health plans, large and small, to compete for the state's business (Medi-Cal). With nearly 4.7-million citizens receiving state assistance, it's not a difficult challenge to get insurance carriers interested.

The ACA will help New York fix a terrible problem, while in California they have economy of scale. To suggest that the two largest states are a model for the remaining 48 is ignoring the reality that all states have their own unique history and local issues.

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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #6 by 7rob7 » July 26th, 2013, 12:15 pm

The projections from Ohio are false and misleading, since the data is cherry-picked in the most egregious way possible.
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #7 by Bill Bryan » July 26th, 2013, 12:26 pm

Bynon, welcome to the forum, by the way.

I really don't see how you can simply ignore what's really happening in Ohio, especially when it comes to their insurance commissioner, [link]Mary Taylor, the concern troll,http://www.plunderbund.com/2013/06/07/mary-taylor-continues-to-try-to-concern-troll-obamacare-while-not-doing-her-job/[/link].
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #8 by bynon » July 26th, 2013, 12:55 pm

Foggy wrote:Bynon, welcome to the forum, by the way.

I really don't see how you can simply ignore what's really happening in Ohio, especially when it comes to their insurance commissioner, [link]Mary Taylor, the concern troll,http://www.plunderbund.com/2013/06/07/mary-taylor-continues-to-try-to-concern-troll-obamacare-while-not-doing-her-job/[/link].


I'm not ignoring what is happening in Ohio. What I'm suggesting is that each state has its own set of unique issues that are far different than CA and NY. In Ohio, as with many other states, the future is muddied by the grip of the state insurance commissioner. How the ACA will impact regular folks in most states will remain up in the air for quite some time.

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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #9 by Bill Bryan » July 26th, 2013, 1:55 pm

Here are a few of the wrinkles here in NC, where the GOP is also trying to destroy Obamacare instead of implementing it:

They're not going to check Social Security numbers or income.

Are you an illegal immigrant with a stolen SSN? Step right down and let's sign you up for a year of subsidized premiums at the exchange!

Premiums a little high even if you make good money now? Then simply lie to the exchange and tell them you're making minimum wage, part time. Nobody will check on that for a year or more.

For a state that's using fake imaginary nonexistent "voter fraud" to try to justify a massive voter suppression effort, we don't seem to mind a lot of fraud in the exchange; hell, it's run by the federal government, isn't it? Maybe things would be different if North Carolina had the intelligence to set up its own exchange. But here our government is not interested in benefiting its citizens, it's interested only in turning our economy into a Third World shithole.


[edit]Bynon, you have 3 approved posts now; you won't need approval to continue posting.[/edit]
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Re: The "dumbest thing" Richard Burr ever heard

Post #10 by Bill Bryan » July 27th, 2013, 7:09 am

What I'm seeing is that blue states that have embraced ObamaCare and set up their own state exchanges are seriously, seriously, seriously helping their states' citizens.

And I'm seeing that the folks in red states that have done nothing but interfere, deprecate and criticize ObamaCare and have left the feds to run the exchanges are being FUCKED.

The backlash is coming, Dave. I can feel it. I can feel it.

A 21-year-old nonsmoker will be able to buy health insurance that costs as little as $93 a month on the Maryland Health Connection, the state's health insurance exchange, starting Oct. 1 for coverage that takes effect Jan 1, the Maryland Insurance Division revealed in a press release. Rates for insurance with richer benefits and lower deductibles will be higher and premiums will vary by age, residence location, tobacco use and whether family members enroll.

Maryland is the latest state to disclose how much health insurance actually will cost under President Barack Obama's health care reform law. The state joins California, New York and elsewhere in achieving monthly premiums below estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and others. Officials in states including Indiana have released preliminary findings suggesting health insurance costs will skyrocket as a result of the law.

Younger, healthier people who buy inexpensive, bare-bones insurance on today's market may see higher prices for more comprehensive coverage on the exchanges, while older people are expected to see lower rates. People with pre-existing conditions can't be turned down or be charged higher premiums because of their medical histories. The law also prohibits women being charged more than men.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and his administration have wholeheartedly embraced Obamacare implementation, in stark contrast to the the 34 states, mostly with Republican governors, that left the federal government to erect the health insurance exchanges that will be used by residents who don't get health benefits at work or are employed by small businesses. Maryland also exercised its regulatory authority to force health plans to curb rate increases for next year, such as the 25 percent hike initially requested by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in April.

[link]Link,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obamacare-premiums-maryland_n_3661017.html[/link]
"My presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter."
- President Barack Obama


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