In the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), there exists a devastating hold called the “rear naked choke.” One of the combatants curls an arm under the chin and around the neck of the opponent. He then proceeds to slowly squeeze the neck hold tighter and tighter, cutting off the blood supply to the brain. The unlucky recipient of this submission hold then either taps out (2 taps), goes to sleep or if the hold is held too long, the loser could even die.
That’s what the House Tea Party, corporate and rich folks-dominated Republicans and Supreme Court are doing to our president and our government. They’ve got the legislative and court versions of a rear naked choke and they’re applying growing pressure with every issue. Unlike the highly trained and ethical MMA practitioners, the extremists in the House of Representatives and on the bench will ignore the taps and hope above all else to kill the opponent. And unlike MMA, there are no refs to stop the action when things get to the critical stage.
Voters are supposed to be the refs, but there are just enough damn fool gun nuts and religious zealots out there who never crack a book and will believe anything the multimillion dollar talk and TV whores tell them, to override any attempts at moderation.
Every week brings a new obscenity. So far in the youth of 2013, guns, sequester and voting rights have taken center stage. But remember, this is a steady squeeze. What’s to follow? The revival of defunding Obamacare, that’s what. The ebb and flow of the issue has been with us ever since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama, March 23, 2010 and survived a June, 2012 Supreme Court test. There have been at least 34 repeal votes in the House. The extremists have been storming the gates of ACA since its inception with little to show for it.
I want to concentrate this effort on health care and the swirl of BS that’s being put out there to dismantle Obamacare.
Here’s the latest right-wing offensive on behalf of giant pharma and insurance interests. There’s a national email movement to demand the defunding of ACA. It’s spearheaded by Heritage Action for America (HAA), an offshoot of the Heritage Foundation; a right-wing think tank initially funded by Richard Mellon Scaife whose inherited billion traces back to a great Uncle and who Forbes lists as making his money by “investments”.
Joseph Coors dropped a few bucks on Heritage as well. He’s the Coors Brewery guy. What are a million or so alcohol-related deaths among friends over time? Yeah, Joe Coors has added greatly to the quality of life in America. Ironically, booze contributes enormously to health care expenses. Again, how can we ever thank you, Joe?
But I digress. Recipients of the Heritage email were urged to “Call Your Representative: Defund Obamacare Now.” You’re told that stopping Obamacare is one of the most important battles during the remainder of the Obama Presidency. There’s more. “The damage has already begun; according to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance. If conservatives accept Obamacare, it will continue to ravage our health care system. The House must take the lead in this fight now.”
Conservatives must use every legislative vehicle possible to defund, delay and ultimately repeal this law. Fortunately for us, there’s an opportunity to defund Obamacare this year. Congress will pass a bill to fund government operations in the next few weeks. “This continuing resolution is viewed as “must-pass” legislation, and is our bargaining chip to defund Obamacare.”
Right-wingers are then urged to call their Representative and push for defunding. The Representative’s name and DC phone number, plus a 4-point script is provided. The caller is then commanded to contact Heritage with a call report. “Ya mein fuhrer.”
This is nothing new; it’s been part of the organizational strategy since July of 2010. But Obamacare is still around and the more of ACA that gets implemented, the harder it’s going to be to poison the Obamacare well because it’s a hell of a plus for its citizen benefactors.
The 7 million number is pure bullshit having been debunked repeatedly by numerous sources. Mitt Romney’s campaign figure was 20 million. He claimed the number came from a March, 2012 study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Right after Romney came up with the 20 million figure, the folks at PolitiFact started digging.
Politifact got a copy of the study and started separating the politicized wheat from the chaff.
The limited CBO study was undertaken to estimate the impact of the health care law on the number of people obtaining health care coverage from their employer. No other sources of health care were covered in the study. CBO came up with a “baseline” estimate — its best guess. CBO settled on a range of 3 million to 5 million fewer non-elderly people obtaining coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022 (the email neglected to include the yearly span) than would have been the case before the law was passed. Including those with individually purchased policies means a decline of an additional 1 million to 3 million Americans.
Wildly varying estimates from CBO and other sources have put the decline number at anywhere from 500,000 to Romney’s 20 million. In fact the RAND Corp. estimated that roughly 4 million MORE individuals would be covered. But it doesn’t make any difference because unlike the email statement that, “Obamacare will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance” ACA is not responsible for any snatching of insurance from the hands of those already covered. It fact, through state exchanges, it broadens choices of those losing employee insurance either intentionally (overpriced or lacking enough coverage) or because their employers don’t provide health insurance any longer or prices have skyrocketed.
There’s also the factor of an additional 9 million people covered by employers because of ACA due to subsidies that the Republicans never talk about – ever! There are also subsidies for exchange purchases and even mandated purchases. Expanded current government health programs are also an option. It should be noted that nearly 30 million more Americans will gain insurance through Obamacare.
The HHS Medical Expenditure Panel Survey taken back in ’07 found that 14% of the population switched insurance anyway. So it’s a moot point grounded in deception. Oh, did I mention the baseline CBO figure represents less than 2% of all folks covered by insurance? Another salient fact conveniently overlooked by Heritage.
H’mmmm, smell the aroma of typical Republican dissembling.