Republican Senator Threatens To Blackmail the Government to Block Obamacare

mikeleeIt’s 2013 — the health care law has been deemed Constitutional for over a year, and was passed over 3 years ago, yet Republicans are still throwing a hissy fit over the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

After now 38 failed attempts to repeal the law (costing taxpayers millions of dollars) Republicans are growing increasingly desperate to set up their next political campaign ad, this time by threatening to shut down the federal government in order to prevent further implementation of the law.

Republican Senator Mike Lee is the latest to chime in, saying, “Congress of course has to pass a law to continue funding government.  If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

In effect, he’s saying Republicans are planning to blackmail the President to try and get what they want.

Republicans seem to feel that since President Obama has pushed back implementation of the law for some businesses, one percent to be exact, that suddenly this is the “sign” that Obama is admitting the law will be a failure and should be repealed.

These antics are just becoming pathetic, and they prove Republicans are terrified of this law being fully implemented.  Not because it might harm the economy (because, let’s face it, a bad economy is good news for them), but because they’re terrified it’s going to work.

Such as it seems to be working in states like Oregon, California and New York where the health care exchanges are expected to drastically reduce the cost of health care for millions of Americans by as much as 50%.

As we get closer to full implementation, they’re left searching for anything and everything they can use to block the law, simply to continue with their right-wing political rhetoric.

Because if this was about “saving the economy,” they would be more worried about passing jobs bills than repeatedly voting to repeal a law that’s been deemed Constitutional and has been in place for over 3 years.  They wouldn’t have pushed budget cuts which cost our economy tens of thousands of public jobs, while protecting billions of dollars in subsidies for big oil.

And the most ironic part about their whole objection to the individual mandate is that it was originally a Republican idea.  In fact, isn’t a large platform Republicans run on based on the premise of “personal responsibility?”  Well, isn’t that what this health care law does?  It makes people personally responsible for their health care by requiring that citizens have health insurance, and offers tax breaks for those who might struggle to afford it.

But this is just the latest attempt by Republicans to do anything they can to block the Constitutionally upheld law.  While claiming Obamacare is a “job killer”—our economy has added nearly 7 million jobs in the last 3 years (with no sign of slowing down), stocks have improved by over 100% (setting new records) and corporate profits have hit record highs.

So while most Republican voters love this right-wing rhetoric coming from Senators like Mike Lee, mainly because many conservative voters are more devoid of facts than at any time in our nation’s history, reality just doesn’t seem to support what conservatives want to be real.

And as a liberal, I hope they do try and attempt this.  While it feeds the fire for the right-wing voters within the Republican party, most Americans are sick and tired of these types of political games.  Since President Obama took office it’s been stunt after stunt orchestrated by Congressional Republicans, and the American people are fed up with it.

So I say let them try and shut down our government to prevent further implementation of Obamacare.  They’ll be the ones in the headlines for threatening to deny Social Security payments to millions of Americans, and pay to our men and women serving in our military.  Then the American people can take that information with them to the voting booth come November 2014, and it damn sure won’t be a favorable end result for Republicans in Congress.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • Bruce L Arvidson II

    What I want to know, is for every FAILED attempt that the republicans try, can I write the wasted expenditure off on my taxes. Seeing as how they ARE using MY tax money to bring up wasteful votes. I should be able to claim every penny they waste as a tax write off. I could claim it as a business loss, since it is a business that is failing.

    • izzie4real

      sounds fair and prudent, good Idea

  • joey bischoff

    This is sedition plain and simple and the Republican leadership is pathetic and their behavior borders on treason.I think it is time to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Republican obstruction.They are doing damage to this country and throwing tax payer away trying to keep healthcare from millions.

    • Charles Vincent

      trea·son [tree-zuhn]
      the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
      a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
      the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

      “They are doing damage to this country and throwing tax payer away trying to keep healthcare from millions.”

      Try googling the US unfunded liabilities. It covers how our government currently has between 60 and 80 trillion dollars worth of unfunded entitlement liabilities and that isn’t counting the ACA which adds another 2.5 trillion to the already unfunded liabilities we have. There is a particular article written by two gentlemen that worked under Bill Clinton, one was on the house ways and means committee, and the other was on a commission for entitlement and tax reform, CHRIS COX AND BILL ARCHER are their names.

      • Bob Dabilina

        That’s a projection for the future, you make it seem as if we owe that now. It was false when Mittens said it and it’s still false today. How about you figure in what healthcare reform might will do to those numbers? If Obamacare is allowed to do what it’s supposed to and oh I don’t know maybe embraced and furthered by the congress now and in the future that most likely will help with the Medicare debt projection in 75 years. Next lets say we increase some revenues by taxing the wealthy a bit more and lets not forget corporations that are adding to our health issues by poisoning our environment…..I think that would help. Then maybe we don’t spend so much on the military, I’m pretty sure that even if we did nothing else we could balance the budget by cutting our wasteful military spending. Social Security is on that list as well, it’s been fact checked that all we need to do to make it solvent for something like 80 years is to start SS taxing people beyond the $100k mark. All that article you advertised does is scare people with projections of a future that has a very small chance of being reality. SS and Medicare can be reformed at any time and most likely will be. The difference being is if we let fear motivate people to massive cuts that hurt our most vulnerable citizens, or we do things prudently with great regard to those who are already suffering.

      • Charles Vincent

        They are not projections they are what the government has promise to pay the baby boomers when they retire the article states this, that article was the conservative one I have seen them estimating over 238 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

        Even if you cut out the entirety of what is considered traditional government the entitlements still out spend the revenue generated, look at the 2011 numbers they are available. Here is a brief summary. Forgive some of the stuff I posted this on another thread.

        Entitlements are not traditional government, and as of 2011 the government spent ~2.7 trillion dollars on entitlements, contrast that with the ~2.5 trillion in total revenue. That leaves the US government with ~200 billion dollars in deficit. Now add in what is traditional government spending that was ~2.5 trillion which leaves us with ~2.7 trillion in debt for the fiscal year 2011.

        Taxing the rich will not get us out of this simple math proves this, even if you taxed them at. True rate of ~90% the the government would still not generate enough revenue to fund all our liabilities, furthermore that would put everyone who makes more than 100k in the poor house with the rest of us and morse likely would bankrupt them and then we would be in an even bigger mess. There is a really good short video on this topic on the you tube channels learn liberty as well as one referencing unfunded liabilities I encourage you to watch them since you think I am not smart enough to interpret what I see or read correctly.

      • Nora-Adrienne Deret

        People seem to forget that on that list of possible SS recipients are (from what I’ve read) a million or so who will never live to collect it, and it is sitting in the fund.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah, including illegal immigrants whose employers are paying into social security but will never reap those rewards.

      • Charles Vincent

        “illegal immigrants” this is the operative part. And even with the money from illegals social security was still short by ~2 trillion dollars in 2011.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Sources please.

      • Charles Vincent

        News About Social Security Trust Fund Shortfall Only Gets Worse

        Last week’s report by the Social Security Administration Trustees confirmed that the program’s finances are still falling apart. Indeed, as a recent Congressional Budget Office projection suggested would happen, things are apparently getting worse at an ever-faster pace. The Trustees’ Report projected that the Trust Funds would be bankrupt by 2033, three years earlier than predicted in 2011. Unfortunately, that change should not have come as a surprise. A review of the past five Trustee reports shows that to be an alarming — but recurring — event:

        That’s the first portion of that article they have graphs showing the data from the CBO, the ~2 trillion I listed was what congress borrowed for SS and another ~2 trillion from Medicaid and Medicare.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        SS is fine for the next 10-20 years. Get rid of the income cap and we’ll be peachy.

      • Charles Vincent

        Are you unaware that congress has borrowed ~2.5 trillion from SS that they have yet to pay that money back. This is why Obama has said the checks might not go out for August not because of the sequester. Congress has been borrowing money from SS,Medicaid and Medicare since the 80’s.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh, that news story is from 2011 and had to do with the debt ceiling (July 18, 2011 to be exact.) And he went on to be re-elected 16 months later.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        How does the ACA add 2.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities when people have to buy insurance from private insurers? And isn’t that price worth it to have everyone covered (even though the only thing that would really cover everyone is a single payor system)?

      • Charles Vincent

        Because the government subsidizes a portion of a persons payment based on their annual income.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        And you make very little sense. You wanna provide some sources for that?

      • Charles Vincent

        Sources for what? The numbers on the ACA and the budget? Well the CBO has them on the ACA, and you can find the numbers for 2011( the last year we have all the data on) on the CBO site as well. The CBO is the congressional budget office.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        CBO has said in the long run ACA will decrease costs.

      • Charles Vincent

        http://www dot cbo dot gov/publication/42636 has a nice graph of what you’re asking for I think.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        That graph is two years old. Budget deficit for 2013 estimated $759 billion, the lowest in 5 years. So something is going right. Were you this upset when Bush was charging two wars on a credit card?

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes I was unhappy with Iraq it was a big blunder but you forget that Obama is doing the exact same thing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria where’s the outrage over that?

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        We didn’t go into Libya. We’re not in Syria. We got out of Iraq. We should get the hell out of Afghanistan.

      • Charles Vincent

        There isn’t a graph for 2012 yet they only have part of the year here is what they have.

        http://cbo dot gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/2012_09_MBR.pdf

      • Charles Vincent

        http://www dot coburn dot senate dot gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=4d81849a-33fa-40c0-a995-e7f17b1d8a47

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Link didn’t get me anything and I’m not sure I’d trust Tom Coburn to pour piss out of a boot with the instructions on the sole.

      • OIK2

        In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

      • Charles Vincent

        My post didn’t address that but what the republicans say they are going to do isn’t sedition either.

  • donschneider

    Aren’t these Republicans clever ? They won’t pass any meaningful legislation to affect the job market and are willing to shut down the government to protect a failed ideology ! If you still call yourself a Republican, you are a selfish ass !

  • Don Cozzens

    I agree. Shut ‘er down you ignorant fks. But know this – you better have another job lined up because politically you’re done.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Probably not, because there are enough morons voting for these Republican morons.

  • stef fernald

    aren’t there more pressing issues? homelessness, hunger, gun violence, etc? oh I forgot your getting paid to ignore those problems.

    • LateNightLarry

      None of those are more pressing to the Reich-Wing than “proving” that President Obama is a “failure’… they’ve been trying to prove that for 4-1/2 years, unsuccessfully, and the RepubliCLOWNS and knuckle-dragging teabaggers are getting more and more desparate, because 2014 is coming and many of them will be thrown out on their ears and their fat pensions.

      Remember that Mitch the Turtle McConnell made a statement the day President Obama was sworn in that his NUMBER ONE priority was making Obama a one term President… he failed at that, so now he’s got to make sure that Obama is a two term President…

  • magzie01950

    Defund Obamacare now, it’s the only way to stop this train wreck.

    • Judithe

      Seriously? Do you even listen to what you are saying?

      • Angela Bell

        She/He’s a moron – just look at the other things she/he’s commented on, and the attitude there in… Waste of oxygen…

      • Charles Vincent

        Have you actually read the bill or are you just hypothesizing? The bill is 2500 pages long and not even the people who voted it in know everything that’s in it. I personally have read about the first 500 pages and there are some really stupid things in it. Not to mention it doesn’t address premiums for the said insurance.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        That is the ONLY thing on which we agree. However, Obama did SOMETHING. The Republicans have done NOTHING. The sooner we get to a single payor, the better off we’ll be.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes he did he gave us a new system that is essentially like what we already had and then they charged us that lovely 2.5 trillion dollars which is just the initial cost to start the whole thing up. That cost doesn’t encompass the new liabilities it adds when the government has to subsidize people that can’t afford coverage and add that to our already astronomical unfunded liabilities.

        Define for me single payor coverage, perhaps I don’t have the same concept you envision.
        Republicans realize how big of a mistake the ACA is and now even democrats are questioning its efficacy, not sure how many democrats but there are some.

      • redmjoel

        Single payer is medicare for all.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yeah and it’s falling apart in countries like Canada mostly because of unfunded liability.

      • feduplib

        Actually Canadians love their health care and find us ridiculuos (as do most other countries with “socialized” health care) for not having it. 91% of Canadians prefer their system to the one the US has.

      • Charles Vincent

        Here is and artical from the Canadian press circa 2010. They may love their healthcare but the financial cost to the government is unsustainable, this is not the only article on this topic.

        Federal Liberals received some politically unpalatable advice Saturday to champion the overhaul of one of Canada’s most cherished national programs: medicare.
        Influential speakers at the party’s policy renewal conference — including former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge — said soaring health-care costs are rapidly becoming unsustainable as the country’s aging population requires ever more costly medical services.
        They said those costs must be reined in and recommended some solutions that have proved toxic to politicians who’ve flirted with them in the past. Those included setting up a two-tier system of public and private health care.
        Democrats send Obama final health measure
        U.S. Congress approves changes to health-care reform
        Budget gives hospitals 1.5 per cent funding boost
        U.S. health reform good news for Canada, experts say

        Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 24, 2010. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
        The gist of discussions on the second of the three-day conference left some advocates of the current health system worried that the party which introduced universal, publicly-funded health care may be preparing to dismantle it.
        “I think it’s all up for grabs,” said Michael McBane, co-ordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition, who is attending the so-called thinkers conference as a delegate.
        “That’s partly why I’m here, to make sure they don’t make a mistake and go the wrong direction and throw our heritage away.”
        Ironically, it was a 1960 Liberal thinkers conference in Kingston that paved the way for the introduction of a national medicare program by Lester Pearson’s government.
        Dodge, a former deputy finance minister, told the Montreal conference it’s time to re-think the program, the cost of which is increasing at seven per cent a year — twice the rate of growth in the economy.
        He told delegates there are “really only four” options to rein in health spending:
        — Impose or increase dedicated health-care taxes or levies.
        — Reduce the scope of medical procedures covered by public health insurance, forcing people to buy private health insurance for services not covered.
        — Introduce “significant” co-payments.
        — Continually reduce the quality of services provided — letting wait times increase and limiting drug coverage, for instance — and allow people to buy upgraded, private health care. In other words, “so-called two-tier medicine.”
        “These are stark and unpalatable choices we face with respect to health care,” Dodge said.
        “There is no magic solution and we absolutely must have an adult debate about how we’re going to deal with this.”
        Dodge’s advice echoed similar sentiments expressed by various speakers on the opening day of the conference, including University of Quebec economist Pierre Fortin and Linamar Corp. CEO Linda Hasenfratz.
        During a subsequent panel on health care Saturday, Alan Bernstein, former president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, said he’s “skeptical” about suggestions that privatization is a “panacea” for Canada’s health-care system.
        Bernstein noted that the United States spends 18 per cent of its gross domestic product each year on strictly private health care, compared to 12 or 13 per cent in Canada. Even so, 30-40 million Americans are uninsured.
        “Their costs are immeasurably higher than ours for a much worse product.”
        McBane told the panel that medicare spending in Canada has actually been stable at about four per cent of the economy for 35 years. What’s skyrocketed is the cost of prescription drugs, which McBane noted are controlled by the private sector.
        So, rather than dismantle medicare, he said Canada should be expanding it to include longterm care, home care and pharmacare.
        In an interview later, McBane said his group has met with people in Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s office to remind them that opinion polls suggest Canadians overwhelming don’t want privatized health care.
        “So far, there’s been no real message from Michael Ignatieff on whether he sees himself as a dreamer and builder or whether he’ll preside over the continued dismantlement of the system.”
        Ignatieff listened to all sessions Saturday but did not offer his opinions on any of the advice given.
        Toronto Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy said just because the party is listening to various opinions about how to fix the health-care system doesn’t mean it must embrace them.
        However, former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, a conference delegate, said Liberals must grasp the health-care nettle.
        McKenna told reporters he “profoundly” believes in the single fee-payer health system but the Canada Health Act must be more flexible to allow provinces to experiment with things like private delivery of health care.
        He said the rest of the world, court rulings, and the public, which is already opting in an “ad hoc” way for private care, are way ahead of public policy in Canada.
        “Take the straight-jacket off and allow health-care innovation to take place.”
        McKenna allowed that any notion of tinkering with medicare has proven deadly to politicians who’ve raised the idea in the past. Liberals are particularly “gun shy” about proposing anything controversial since they were blown out of the electoral waters in 2008 for advocating a carbon tax.
        “The question is: Is there room for courage in politics?” said McKenna.
        “I’m not sure that this party or any party are ready for that. But there’s a tidal wave coming here that is engulfing the political parties.”

      • feduplib

        We already subsidize people who cant afford coverage, its called “the emergency room”. The government picks up the tab for the poor uninsured that use it.

        The average cost of yearly health insurance is around $2100 for a single person.

        The average cost for an emergency room visit is $2000 (thats for minor issues, such as sprains, stitches, flu, etc.). If the problem is serious or life threatening, or requires follow-up or intensive care that number can go into the tens of thousands, all picked up by the tax payers.

        So, what do you think is cheaper and easier on the taxpayers?, subsidizing private insurance for the poor where the insurance company would pay for intensive care or taxpayers paying bills for emergency room visits that could easily cost thousands more.

      • feduplib

        “That cost doesn’t encompass the new liabilities it adds when the government has to subsidize people that can’t afford coverage”

        I would say that your figures dont encompass the reduced cost from government not having to pay for people using the emergency rooms and the people who would now be able to receive preventative care.

      • Charles Vincent

        “We already subsidize people who cant afford coverage, its called “the emergency room”. The government picks up the tab for the poor uninsured that use it.”
        Yes we do and now we have a new healthcare act that does exactly what we already had did, and it’s costing the taxpayers ~2.5 trillion dollars at minimum. The CBO additionally changed that cost to ~3 trillion because some of the costs were hidden. This cost doesn’t include the money the government promises to subsidize for those that can’t afford the insurance they need to purchase. That’s an additional cost that doesn’t include the SS, Medicaid, Medicare,veterans care or federal employee pensions. Here is the figures on those entitlements for the fiscal year 2011.
        In 2011 the governments total revenues from all sources was ~2.2 trillion dollars, contrast this with the governments mandatory spending which includes all entitlements which includes social security, Medicaid and Medicare,then there is the interest on the national debt and lastly there is other mandatory spending which includes things like veterans care, federal employee pensions and the like,this totaled ~2.7 trillion dollars and does not count spending on what we traditionally call government. As you can see we spent 500 billion more than we took in The year 2011. Now add the cost of operating the government proper and that adds another ~2.7 trillion dollars which gives us a total deficit of ~3.2 trillion dollars for the 2011fiscal year. Are you starting to grasp the folly of adding yet another entitlement into out already absurdly over budget entitlements program?

      • Charles Vincent

        “The average cost of yearly health insurance is around $2100 for a single person.”
        Two problems here;
        1) not everyone is single
        2) not everyone is childless
        The most recent figures I have seen also put the lowest level coverage for a single person at ~$400 per month or $4800 a year after the government subsidy that’s far more than your quoted price. This also doesn’t include what an exchange in a state other than yours might cost since each state has to sign on and create its own exchange.

      • redmjoel

        Actually it does address premiums — Insurance companies are required to spend 80% of their income on actual medical care — people have already gotten refund checks last year — and by bringing healthy people into the system, it will lower premiums for everyone.

      • Charles Vincent

        Where is your data to support that claim cause it happen in my state. And I am sure it didn’t happen on a national scale. Healthy people don’t use their insurance if they have it, how exactly doe that lower premiums? Te ACA doesn’t address premiums read the bill it only tells people they have to be insured, it doesn’t say anything about the insurance companies or that they can only charge a certain amount for a particular package.

      • redmjoel

        No, it doesn’t set prices, as that wouldn’t allow the market to do its job. As for having healthy people not using their insurance, the question answers itself, doesn’t it? Income without outlay = lower costs.

        Google the 80/20 rule under Obamacare if you want more info about the cap on administrative costs.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yeah and if you know how supply and demand work you would understand that when demand goes up so does price what the ACA does is artificially inflate demand and this creates an audience of 313 million captive customers who have to have it because of a government mandate which means the insurance companies have zero incentive to push prices down because their consumer base can’t opt out of insurance coverage.
        The 80/20 rule applies to employers not insurance providers. And we see the trend in companies cutting employee hours back to less than full time hours so they don’t have to provide the insurance which leaves the whole cost burden on the public at large or we see businesses keep the amount of people they employ below 40 so they don’t have to provide insurance. And last but not least if the ACA is such. Good thing how come the federal government has exempted it’s employees from having to use the ACA, something that violates the 28th amendment, you know the one that says congress shall make no law for the citizens that doesn’t equally apply to them…

      • feduplib

        You hypothesis is of supply/demand is based on product/consumer. Say one company has a hot product that everyone wants, they are free to raise the price because they are the only company offering the product. However this does not apply to the aca. Sure in theory demand is set by the requirement to carry health insurance, but here’s why that theory doesnt work. There are MANY insurance companies competing for said demand. Competition forces lower prices, and the companies that refuse to lower their rates will end up with a smaller “slice of the pie”.
        I’ll give you another example, drug companies are allowed to hold a patent on the drugs they create for a certain amount of time. During this time they are free to charge whatever they see fit for that drug. When their patent runs out, other companies are free to start making “generic” versions of the drug (same drug, different name) which lowers the cost tremendously not only for the generics, but the drug company that created the drug has to lower their price to stay competitive.

      • Charles Vincent

        “You hypothesis is of supply/demand is based on product/consumer. Say one company has a hot product that everyone wants, they are free to raise the price because they are the only company offering the product. However this does not apply to the aca.”

        Insurance it a product and the ACA requires people to purchase that insurance product.

        “I’ll give you another example, drug companies are allowed to hold a patent on the drugs they create for a certain amount of time. During this time they are free to charge whatever they see fit for that drug. When their patent runs out, other companies are free to start making “generic” versions of the drug (same drug, different name) which lowers the cost tremendously not only for the generics, but the drug company that created the drug has to lower their price to stay competitive.”

        The ACA doesn’t mandate what drugs I buy or from which company I choose to buy either name brand or generic equivalents. It does how ever mandate that I purchase insurance which is a product.

      • feduplib

        I didnt say the aca madates what drugs you buy. I was using that as an example of how competition drives prices DOWN, not UP.
        Of course insurance is a product, but its not an exclusive product. If the ACA required you to purchase health insurance from 1 provider your theory would hold water that the one provider could jack up the cost. But when many providers are competing for your business the price goes DOWN.
        I’m really suprised that you didnt understand my examples, I thought they were pretty easy.

      • Charles Vincent

        Look the government is mandating people to purchase health insurance this will drive up demand and that will drive up prices. Here is an example for you, in my area there is only one provider and unless I want to go to another part of the state and try to get a different less costly provider I amd stuck with one in my area or I am stuck with one that doesn’t have in network providers in my area which drives my cost up if you need an explanation as to why this is so I will gladly provide one for you. I wasn’t arguing about why price goes up or down but you miss the fact that often in rural areas there is only one or two providers that have in network physicians so you see I am stuck with the only game in town so to speak.

      • redmjoel

        That would be true, except for the 80/20 rule. The price has to reflect the cost to the insurance company, so it’s not a matter of unfettered supply and demand, not to mention, there’s a basically unlimited supply of insurance in any case, as long as there’s competition in the market. For comparison, see auto insurance. It has not risen to astronomical levels either, despite almost everyone being required to have it.

      • Charles Vincent

        Do you know what auto insurance cost prior to the government mandating that we Carry that minimum amount of insurance? If you have not seen that your only working with half the data you need to formulate a proper picture of how the mandate effected the price.

        Basically the insurance company has only 20% of their total premiums to pay for their over head? Do you understand how absurd that it? I don know any business large or small that could operate under that type of system. 20% would probably not cover just the cost of employee salaries let alone advertising to draw new customers.

      • redmjoel

        They’re already doing it, having paid back checks this year.

      • Charles Vincent

        Again I say what state is doing it and where is your proof they are.

      • redmjoel

        And again I say do your own research, I’ve already told you what to look up. At this point you’re being willfully ignorant.

      • Charles Vincent

        I did google that and states can opt out and the Feds can’t do anything I have read several articles on this. North Carolina is one state that opted out. The 80/20 rule doesn’t prevent insurance providers from charging any price for premiums to their policies. And this 80/20 rule places a much larger burden on insurance providers in that they now only have 15-20% of the premium money to pay over head costs.

      • redmjoel

        States can only opt out of the Medicaid provision. Not the exchanges, and certainly not the 80/20 rule. If the state chooses not to set up and exchange, one will be set up for them by the feds. For comparison, most reports show that insurance companies are using an average of 17% of income for admin costs now.

        voices washingtonpost com/ezra-klein/2009/07/administrative_costs_in_health.html

      • Charles Vincent

        “The ACA has a provision in which it mandates that health insurers must spend at least 80% of collected premiums on you. The 80-20 rule, as it’s called, means that a maximum of 20% of premiums collected can go towards administrative costs, bonuses, ads, and other non-healthcare related items.”

        So if the spend “For comparison, most reports show that insurance companies are using an average of 17% of income for admin costs now.”
        Like you assert how does that remaining 3%get divided by ads, and non health care related items? My guess is that the ad portion eats the remaining 3%,
        Leaving the non healthcare items out in the cold.
        Insurance companies are for profit businesses. One of two things will happen if they can’t make and sustain profits;
        1) The company with go out of business.
        2) They raise premium prices to a level that will make a profit so they don’t go out of business.
        3) The 80/20 provision does nothing to prevent the insurance provider from raising premiums to a level that helps them make a profit. Ask yourself how much will a provider have to raise premium prices so that the 20% they get is enough to cover all the overhead costs and still generate a profit?

      • redmjoel

        Anything that isn’t medical payments is admin according to the healthcare law. That number averages 17% in the medical insurance industry, but varies wildly between companies and plans within a single company. In Michigan there is a company that has 55% overhead, while Kaiser has an overhead much lower than the average.

        The 80/20 rule says that 80% of money from individual and small group plans MUST be spent on healthcare — full stop. Everything else the company does has to be done in the 20%, including profits. There is a similar 85/15 rule for large group plans. So increasing costs doesn’t do anything but give everyone in the plan (or their employers) a bigger refund check.

      • Charles Vincent

        Admin is generally labor cost, advertising isn’t labor it’s an outside cost the company cannot control., I am not entirely sure what non health care costs are.
        If premiums increase the size of the 20% portion gets larger this is basic math. For example;
        20% of 100 is 20
        20% of 125 is 25
        20% of 150 is 30
        See the 20% grows as the premium goes up and yet it’s still only 20% that the ACA say the insurance provider can use.

        If I were on a single payer plan I get the rebate if there is one, if I am under a group plan my employer gets the check and can either divide it among the employees or use the proceeds to pay future premiums which means the employees do not receive a rebate in the case of the latter.

      • Charles Vincent


        One of the most common types of administrative expenses in many organizations is the cost of utilities. Charges for heating, cooling, power and water are all traditionally identified as administrative expenses. The costs for Internet access as well as landline and mobile telephone services also might included. In some organizations, however, mobile phone services are classified as expenses for the departments of the employees who use those services.


        Another example of an administrative expense is the cost of leasing or renting space for the organization. This can include leasing retail store space, renting a suite of offices in a building or renting manufacturing facilities, as a few examples. The entire organization benefits from having space to operate, so it is not possible to associate these charges with a specific department.


        Salaries also can be considered administrative expenses. This is particularly true for executives and managers whose responsibilities involve many areas of the organization rather than a single department. More than one area benefits from the manager’s efforts, so the expense is considered to be general in nature.

        Excluded Costs

        The regulations used to define administrative expenses vary from one place to another, but there are some types of costs that are almost never defined as administrative. These include any costs that can be directly connected with sales and marketing efforts or research into the development of new products or services. Manufacturing costs, whether for equipment or raw materials, also are not likely to be considered to be administrative expenses.

        Charitable Organizations

        For charities and other profit organizations, administrative costs are often defined differently from the way for-profit businesses define them. In many cases, any money that is brought into the charity organization and spent by the organization instead of being turned into charitable efforts or donations is counted as an administrative cost. Therefore, all of the costs of running the organization, such as for salaries, marketing, rent and utilities, would be called administrative expenses.

      • Charles Vincent

        Administrative expenses are costs that are associated with the management and general functions of an organization and are not directly related to a specific department. Sometimes considered part of general business expenses, these costs can be for basic needs such as rental space for the business, utilities or office supplies. Administrative costs also can include the salaries of people who are not involved in sales, production or other departments within the company, such as senior executives, secretaries and receptionists.

        Not Tied to One Department

        Sometimes referred to as general expenses or operating expenses, administrative expenses involve any costs that offer a wide benefit to the organization. As such, their benefits cross departmental lines and make it possible for many functions to take place. For the most part, any expense that is limited to a particular division or department of the company and which offers little or no direct benefit to other areas of the organization, is not considered an administrative expense. Some expenses that seem tied to one department, such as accounting or legal, can be considered administrative because they benefit the entire organization.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Also, for auto insurance we need only compare New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, which are both largely rural, the only major difference being that Vermont requires drivers to purchase auto insurance and New Hampshire doesn’t. New Hampshire’s average auto insurance rates are higher at $1334, vs Vermont’s $995/year or Maine’s $1126. Massachusetts is about even at $1,328, but it is also more urban, at least on the eastern side of the state.”

        This isn’t representative where is your data for the other 57 states Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, North & South Dakota etcetera theses are all rural areas you can’t assume that because Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have a certain price every other state is the same that is absurd.

      • redmjoel

        I don’t assume anything of the kind. However, those states are closest to it in terms of geography and demographics, so I chose those. New Hampshire ranks 9th overall in the study I’m looking at. Feel free to google (again) “car insurance rates by state.” Links don’t work here, so I can’t post one, nor am I going to post all of the states.

      • Charles Vincent

        This sight doesn’t allow you to post links so I cannot look. And again those states are not necessarily representative of all states. Some states don’t even have exchanges yet or they may opt out so you can’t create a clear picture of the situation with a large portion missing.

      • redmjoel

        That stops with the exchanges, BTW, which is the whole point of them. The exchanges are _already_ lowering prices as insurance companies have to play on a level playing field, with everything laid out to consumers in a far more transparent way than previously.

      • Ellen Nichtern

        I am paying over 500.00 for my insurance and I am out of a job right now .I pay 40.00 a visit for co-pay and the insurance company pays 7.oo for the visit. so I will now drop my insurance and pay as a self pay it will be a lot cheaper for me.

      • Paul Swanson

        !!! How does healthy people paying for insurance lower premiums? You read 500 pages of the ACA but you need an answer to that? This is an elementary concept. Here it is: A healthy person is paying into a pool of dollars that they are not using, therefor they are adding dollars to the pool with little risk of taking dollars out of the pool. The premium is based on anticipated cost of claims for everyone in the pool. Your supply and demand comment is lame, like you are dense or something. Requiring everyone to purchase insurance, healthy and sick people, is
        what lowers the premium. If only sick people were covered by insurance the premiums would be high, too high to be appealing and then no one would purchase it and insurance companies couldn’t function and then no one would have insurance.

        You have no idea what you’re talking about it seems because the ACA does address premiums and the profit margin for insurance companies. Google: ACA Medical Loss Ratio.

        Almost everything I read from you is false.

      • Charles Vincent

        Requiring people to purchase insurance drives demand up artificially and that drives prices up that is basic supply and demand. The ACA does nothing to hold the price insurance companies charge for a policy static. The rule your talking about only makes them spend some premium money to improve care, this doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t raise premium prices to maintain a profit margin.

      • Paul Swanson

        The thing is that with health insurance a higher demand (subscribers) creates a better supply(funds to pay claims). The more purchasers of insurance the better balanced the risk pool is, assuming there are measures in place to encourage low risk subscribers to take insurance. More insurance subscribers are not going to exhaust the supply of the insurance product unless they are all high risk consumers. You are right that MLR doesn’t prevent an insurance company from raising premiums (which was never the point) but it does control the amount that premiums can be (and in turn, how much they could be raised) so your comment regarding the ACA and insurance premiums is false.

        Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is the percent of premium an insurer spends on claims and expenses that improve health care quality.

        Under the Health Care Reform law, insurers and HMOs have to pay rebates to policyholders if they don’t meet an MLR standard of at least 80 percent (for individuals and small groups) or 85 percent (for large groups).

      • Charles Vincent

        “The thing is that with health insurance a higher demand (subscribers) creates a better supply(funds to pay claims).”
        This is a false assumption, the supply isn’t the money subscribers pay the supply is what they buy with the money in this case the health insurance.
        So the demand is the people having to buy the product(insurance) which is supplied by insurance companies. When demand goes up for the supply in this case insurance price goes up accordingly hence supply and demand.

        “so your comment regarding the ACA and insurance premiums is false.”
        Please show me the section in the ACA that prevents insurance companies from charging any premium price they choose.

      • Ellen Nichtern

        as I have stated before I do not agree that we should have to buy into health insurance. I am paying for health insurance now 529.00 a month and it pays for shit. I pay 40.00 a visit as a c0-pay and the insurance company pays 7.00 for the visit. so it will be cheaper for me to drop my insurance and pay as a self pay patient.

      • OIK2

        Because it is not in the first 500 pages it is not in there?

        Bad researchers are bad.

      • Charles Vincent

        Well firstly I have only started reading the bill, and unless you have read it in its entirety how would you know where what ever your talking about is at. When I have a bit more time I will read more of it. And just because I am I process doesn’t make it bad research.

        Bad trolls are bad… See what I did there?

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      What train wreck?

  • om4living

    So, if you are literally off a social security check as your only source of income (elderly and disabled, including veterans), the Republican are going to make you have NO shelter, no food, no ability to live at all and then expect to win elections. Already, only 34% of the Republican base said they would vote Republican. Talk about the stupid party. I wonder of you can sue Congress for negligent / intentional infliction of emotional distress or file criminal charges against your Congress persons for reckless endangerment? Would be nice wouldn’t it?

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    And if the Democrats were doing this, the Republicans would be howling about how childish and petty the Dems were acting.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    Shutting down the government worked really well for Newt Gingrich, didn’t it?

  • Ralf T. Dog

    Not that big of a deal. Democrats will expand their numbers in the Senate and take the house. I say, ditch the current system, kick the Republicans out, then go for a single payer system.

  • MrWereman

    This is the decade that will go down in the history books as the time when the Republican party has lost all credibility and their ideas are negative things of the past.

  • Diana Reichardt

    I am sick to death with the Republican Party!!! I have on occasion voted for a Republican but it has been quite a while since I have done so. I feel the Republican Party should be dissolved. They do nothing for the people. They only worry about Corporate folks. They are destroying our country with their selfish views and care nothing about the working class. In case they haven’t noticed, there are a lot more of us than there are Republicans. They need to stop and think “if they remember how”. They need to set thing straight and do their job!!!!

  • Viv Arney

    Are you sure we can’t just throw the lot of them into the Grand Canyon?

  • People treat our president like a piece of shit. If people were patriotic then they would RESPECT the people’s choice and GET OVER IT. They should get rid of every single republican in the senate that would even consider blackmailing the US government. Our politicians have turned in to nothing but a bunch of fucking cry babies!