GOP Arguments Against Obamacare Leave Me Empty-Handed

Categories: Schutze

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So I'm doing a this-hand versus that-hand thing in my head on Obamacare. Everybody says the Republicans are going to make this year's presidential election a referendum on the Affordable Care Act. I just want to be ready.

On the one hand, Affordable Care will encourage tons of poor people and young people to get medical insurance, which means that I, as a Dallas county taxpayer, may get some relief from the $400 million a year subsidy I am forced to help pay to Parkland Hospital in property taxes every year to subsidize the care of uninsured patients.

On the other hand, I could face a $95 to $325 penalty for not getting insurance. I might be up against some modestly higher taxes if my income rises to $200,000 or $250,000 a year. No matter what my income, there's going to be a 10 percent tax added to my tanning salon fees.

What do I actually pay to Parkland? Let's check here. Hmm. I pay Parkland $567.76 a year. I don't think I'm going to get in trouble right away on that $200,000/$250,000 a year thing. I could reduce my tanning salon visits from four per day to three and a half and make that one back easily.

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If you're trying to understand where GOP arguments against Obamacare come from, it helps to have a map.
Well, let's keep going. Obamacare will allow me to keep an offspring of mine on my company insurance to age 26. It will forbid insurance companies from denying coverage to first-time buyers on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

On the other hand, David Brooks tells me in this morning's New York Times, "The case against Obamacare is pretty straightforward. In the first place, the law centralizes power."

Yeah. So, come November, I'm going to have to make a decision. "Kid, you can stay on my insurance." Or, "Sorry kid, but keeping you on my insurance will cause a centralization of power."

I can tell right now, this is going to be a tough one.

Even harder: the pre-existing condition provision. On the one hand, you have all of these people out there who've got who-knows-what kind of serious health problems that could kill them. By now we all know stories of people's whose lives have been shortened by lack of insurance coverage.

It's also sort of an ancient principle of the actuarial science, not to mention the racetrack, that the best way to cushion a risk is by hedging your bets. If we fold those high-risk human beings into the larger pool of everybody, including a lot of healthy people who will never use their insurance, then we can better afford to help them stay alive.

Is that socialism? Or is it insurance?

On the other hand, Mitt Romney says it's OK to forbid the insurance companies from denying insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, as long as the people already have insurance.

I'm trying to so do something with that, like on the one hand, on the other, but every time I look down, one of my hands is empty. I'm going to work on that.

Romney wants to sort of do away with Medicaid and turn it into an optional "block grant" program by which the federal government just turns over a large sum of money every year to Rick Perry and let him decide what do with it. So I'm trying to figure that one out too.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a former health care adviser in the Obama administration, says in a piece in today's Times: "The vast majority of people on Medicaid are children and mothers."

I'm thinking hard about single mothers and children born into poverty through no fault of their own. So here's the question: how much compassion and responsibility can I count on coming from Rick Perry? Now let me think here.

Yeah, there are going to be a lot of difficult decisions for me between now and November. If I were to summarize, I would say: On the one hand, family insurance for young people up to 26, guaranteed insurance for pre-existing conditions, huge savings on indigent care paid for with property taxes, some kind of minimally humane system for babies born into poverty, and the hope, if not a guaranty, of deliverance from spiraling healthcare costs overall.

On the other hand, if we ditch all that, we'll have less centralization.

Those devilish Republicans! Count on them to make this a brain-teaser.

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15 comments
Brock1jm
Brock1jm

Embarrassing...I had multiple screens open and posted the comment below on the wrong one...obviously I look like the one uninformed on this post...sorry!

Brock1jm
Brock1jm

This article is so false I am wondering how much the Romney campaign paid you to make this stuff up???  10 percent tax...please actually READ the facts...it depends on your income and you can opt out of the tax if necessary...I am not even going to continue because there is nothing actually true in this article...it would be a waste of my time to teach someone with NO knowledge! 

Law Student
Law Student

And yet a precedent was set. The taxing power was increased in a way never seen before. Congress can now tax consumers for not buying something. Oh, the possibilities. 

Betty Culbreath
Betty Culbreath

Answer: 1.Yes ,Medicare is a Tax. 2.When they pay the bill ,yes also doing now.Medicaid and Medicare.3.Taxing people for Health care has nothing to do with power it has to do with reducing responsibility of property tax  for health care. Every Property owner in Dallas County pays for Health Care for all people who recieve health care at Parkland Hospital and you do not have a choice.4.Medicare tax payed by every working or business owner in America regardless of health condition.

Betty Culbreath
Betty Culbreath

Saddest part of the whole objection is its vented towards the poor and sick.We already have mandated health insurance or health tax, if that's what you want to call it: Medicare,everyone in US working has to pay this Tax/Insurance and you cannot use until government approved age.All young working people pay this tax. How could the Supreme Court decide any othe way when present is established.Republicians are gone so off its dangerious they are making health care a campaign issue. Mitt Romney created the concept which was good, now he betrays the very people who supported him when it passed. All you people who don't want Health Care Act, your Doctor and all other Health Care providers are the people making this money,not one penny goes to a poor,Black,Hispanic,White,woman with kids,it all goes to wealthy people making them richer.It will also create thousands of job all over USA and build small businesses,something Republican say they support. Health care industry is only one not cutting jobs and closing plants.Medicaid pays for your grandmother or grandfather to be cared for in that nice nursing home their SS does not cover cost.Take a break and learn what and who the Bill will benifit.I have paid insurance all my life and still pay $450.00 per month after retirement.

Me
Me

Meh. The basic issue here is that people who pay subsidize people who don't.  The vast majority of us will need some kind of medical care, at some point. Why not spread the lopsided risk in a constitutional and reasonable manner.

RTGolden
RTGolden

You mean protect White Rock Lake from the public with different interests than yours.

Jedis54
Jedis54

 www.fairtax.org.  This will solve about 95% of the problem once the law is passed.

RTGolden
RTGolden

And when the young who is putting all their duckets into a car payment gets into a catastrophic car crash?  After the limit on his PIP coverage on his insurance (if he has it) is exceeded, how will he pay the medical bills? As for your comment on the military saving our bacon, would we really want it to go that far?  If our military has to intervene between the government and the citizenry, our Constitution is a dead horse.  I don't think civil war is looming on our horizon (despite what William Johnston may have written in his "Ashes" books in the 80's - 90's).  I think the vast center of the American population is different than it was 100, 50, or even 25 years ago.  The people of the middle class, despite the efforts of the elite to the contrary, are better educated, more technologically savvy, better informed and more involved than they ever were before. An educated, informed populace is less likely to resort to violence to resolve differences, especially when such violence rarely leads to an improved situation.  Paralleling our society, our military is also much different than it was years ago, even different than when I got out in 2003.  Soldiers today are very much aware, very competent, and still very dedicated to this country.  If either side of the debate believes our rank and file can be easily pushed to wage against their own countrymen, there will be a stark awakening.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Golden, I don't think the brains of Libertarians are any more or less dead than the brains of Republicans or Democrats or Socialists or whatever. I think commitment to any party line is an indication that at least some part of the brain has stopped working. That one party or another has a monopoly on political wisdom is repugnant to reason and all we know about human nature. Adherence to a political party is more a reflection of one's emotional state, personality, upbringing -- taste, if you will -- than of sober thought and reflection. (In this connection read Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind.") How could it be that (name your party here) is always, or nearly always, right and that (name the other parties here) are always stupid and befogged? Let me give you some examples here: I'm a railroad fan, hang around railroad modelers and train buffs. They are, almost to a man, Republican, "conservative" as that term is misused nowadays. I also have spent considerable time with the arts crowd. Almost overwhelmingly Democrat and "liberal" -- though those without money may be socialist. Trader Joe's is coming to town. Who do you think on opening day will be lined up at the door, Republicans or Democrats? Make up your own list. Religious fundamentalism? Mensa membership? Shop at Walmart? Public radio listener? These are not iron-clad categories but they are clearly defined tendencies. If your political "convictions" are no more reasoned than your taste in coffee -- latte or black? -- than what does that tell us about blind adherence to a political agenda? Note: I am not saying that any particular party may not be right or wrong on any particular issue.I am saying that the notion that that one's party is always, or almost always, right or wrong simply defies common sense. In means party faithful have given over at least some part of their ability to think and judge independently in exchange for the comfort of not having to think, and -- no small thing -- of being around like-minded individuals.     

Observist
Observist

I changed my position.  I started off sort of objective and ended up in a silly partisan rant.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Sorry, like Reagan (Christopher Buckley played off the quote)

RTGolden
RTGolden

Not all of us libertarians are brain-dead, unless, like william buckley and the republicans, the libertarians have run off and left me....

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