Welcome to my new column, The Daily-Ish. I’m sure you’re wondering what this new column is all about. Ok maybe you aren’t wondering, but I am going to tell you anyway. As the name implies, it will be published daily-ish, which is essentially a fancy way of me saying a few times a week (hopefully) when I have time to write around my crazy work schedule. The content will be my rantings about current events. And now without further ado, here is the first installment of The Daily-Ish.
Let’s start with the Affordable Care Act.
On Monday, the first period of open enrollment under the ACA closed. While exact figures aren’t in yet, more than 7.1 million people have signed up for insurance through a healthcare exchange. But, the deadline really signifies something bigger, namely it’s proof that the ACA isn’t going to fail into a “death spiral” like conservatives predicted. (Kind of reminds you of election night, doesn’t it?)
It also should have signified the end of the debate – the ACA is here to stay. But of course it didn’t. Conservatives are still yelling and screaming about it.
Here’s my response: Yes, approximately 5 million people (myself included) had a “plan” but it wasn’t an actual plan because it didn’t really have any benefits. Now we have real plans with real coverage. I wouldn’t call offering me real insurance with actual benefits for less money every month (and a lower deductible) being “forced into something.” Even if my old plan wasn’t cancelled I would have done the financially responsible thing and cancelled it to buy a better plan on the exchange. In other words, even if my old plan wasn’t cancelled I would have done the fiscally conservative thing and cancelled it to buy a better plan in the free market. Oh that sound? That’s the sound of conservative heads exploding, of course.
Furthermore, I am sick of hearing that people should be able to opt out without penalty. When people opt out without penalty it creates the same problem the law was implemented to solve in the first place: The huge amount of money added to the federal deficit because of the emergency room treatment (#ThanksReagan) that was being funded by the taxpayer instead of the person receiving treatment. The whole point of the penalty is that if you’re not going to buy insurance, you still have to pay towards your treatment.
And yes, some people will be able to pay for their own care out of pocket even without insurance. But the majority of the people who weren’t covered before and many who still aren’t covered now, won’t be able to make those payments if they get sick and need care. And yes, some people will pay the penalty and never need to receive the emergency room treatment that they are paying for, but that is how society works. My tax dollars are used to build roads in Kentucky that I will likely never drive on. That’s it. Over, done, end of story. Repealing the law would add $109 billion to the federal deficit, and we all know how much Republican’s like to talk about the deficit. The GOP will move on, or they won’t – kind of like my next story….
Benghazi, the never ending Republican talking point that should be used when all other talking points fail.
On Tuesday I happened to sign on to Twitter for two seconds when I caught a tweet from Sen. McCain’s account that said, “It requires a willing suspension of disbelief to think WH & its allies weren’t involved in deception on #Benghazi.” Seriously, how are they still talking about this? Virtually everyone with a brain that has looked into this has debunked each and every GOP claim. If anyone is guilty of deception it’s people like Sen. Bombs Away that keep duping Americans into believing falsities. When all else fails just start screaming Benghazi. I’m so confused. No I’m not. As Machiavelli once said, “Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.”
Speaking of deception, let’s talk about the GOP/Paul Ryan’s “new” budget. And by new budget, they really mean same old budget. I guess you can’t reason with people who have no new ideas. What’s in the new (old) budget?
Here’s a breakdown: Vastly increase military spending, decrease domestic spending to the lowest levels ever, cut education funding by $145 billion over 10 years, cut Pell grants for college students by $90 billion, force university students to be charged interest on their loans while still in school, turn Medicare into a voucher program, and repeal the ACA (code for add another $109 billion to the deficit, see above).
If these sound like good ideas to you, vote for a Republican. If not, vote for anyone (or any party) that isn’t Republican.
Last but not least, let’s talk Texas.
On Tuesday, Slate reported that Rick Perry sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, signaling Texas’ unwillingness to comply with federal regulations issued by the Department of Justice to reduce rape in prison. What is it with the GOP and rape? Rape is rape, even if it happens in prison. In fact, especially when it happens in prison. What about rape being rape does the Republican party not understand? Also, Rick Perry’s going to pick and choose what laws he’ll enforce? Isn’t that what conservatives are accusing Obama of doing when they call him a tyrant? Just something to think about.
Oh and there was also more news about Hobby Lobby, their employee 401K plans include pharma companies that make abortion pills. Wait, what? And the campaign finance ruling from the Supreme Court. I have a lot to say about the ruling, but my blood pressure is still a bit off the charts since it was announced. So I’ll just sum up all my thoughts with something simple – #MoveToAmend.