Who are these people? They’re Democrats, but they’re not acting like the Democrats of old. Here comes Sandy Levin (D-MI), charging into the House with a scathing opening statement during yet another GOP attempt to dismantle Obamacare, in which he totally destroyed Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) silly claim that Obamacare was on “borrowed time”.
Levin started with, “This weekend House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared that the Affordable Care Act ‘is on borrowed time.’ Well let’s review what the Affordable Care Act has accomplished on Mr. Cantor’s so-called ‘borrowed time.'”
Oh, dear. Is Representative Levin going to beat Cantor’s claim with the truth stick? Things are about to get ugly up in the House.
Here’s what Cantor said on Face The Nation on Sunday, “First of all, the Affordable Care Act — I think most of the public has now seen what we’ve been talking about. This law is a disaster. In my opinion, Obamacare is on borrowed time. You know, policies are being canceled, prices are going up, access to hospitals and doctors are being limited –”
So Levin dropped some facts on Cantor:
More than three million people have enrolled in private insurance through the new marketplaces.
Over six million people have been determined eligible for Medicaid.
No one can be denied coverage for a preexisting condition or kicked off an insurance plan.
More than 100 million Americans no longer have a lifetime limit on coverage.
105 million Americans have received access to free preventative services.
Six million young adults have been able to get health insurance through their parent’s plans.
Over seven million senior citizens have saved more than $8.3 billion on prescription drugs.
Oh, but, wait. Glitches! Running against Obamacare was the entire GOP 2014 plan. Can they get a redo?
No, not unless they want to do something instead of wasting time pretending to dismantle Obamacare. Levin accused Republicans of preferring failure since they refuse to do anything positive, “Regrettably, rather than working to achieve success, it is clear with every new bill that Republicans simply prefer its failure. Today’s effort is just the latest salvo.”
Levin is not impressed with the agenda set by House Republicans.
The alleged purpose of today’s “hearing” on Obamacare was to “focus on the employer mandate and the so-called 30-hour rule of the Affordable Care Act.” In reality, it was meant to create free Republican ads for the upcoming election. But Levin poured a little truth sugar on it anyway, “Even without that employer mandate in effect yet – the vast majority of employers today offer coverage to their workers. Why? Because providing employee coverage is good for business.”
It’s not like the authors of Obamacare didn’t spend months crafting the law. Yes, not only did they read their own law (instead of pulling a Republican by submitting an ALEC law and not even bothering to retype it), but they wrote it. They put thought into it.
Levin was forced to explain reality to Republicans, which is always a bit embarrassing, “The ACA’s use of a 30-hour standard to define full-time was set to minimize gamesmanship and incentives that might tempt some employers to reduce hours in order to avoid their responsibility to offer affordable coverage, or in order to help offset the “free rider” costs that would come about to public programs as their uninsured workers seek health insurance elsewhere.”
Even worse, Democrats did this because they used studies.
Yes, the garlic to Republican beliefs — science. Facts. Will the persecution of House Republicans never end? Levin was not finished, “Studies have found that raising the threshold from 30 hours to 40 hours would place two to five times as many workers at risk of having their hours reduced and, therefore, at risk of losing benefits. The bottom line is that many businesses define full-time as somewhere between 32-40 hours. While changing to a 40-hour standard might help businesses escape their responsibility to contribute to a healthy workforce, if you care about workers and their benefits, you will oppose this measure.”
Er, maybe Levin should have left that last bit out, because we all know Republicans do not care about workers and their benefits.
As to Republicans other objection, if only they paid attention. Whilst they’ve been screaming about Obama acting like a President by using executive orders, they apparently chose to ignore what he was going to address with his executive office powers. “However, legislation is unnecessary at this point. The Administration has already announced that it will use its authority to take the necessary action to ensure that volunteer firefighters and emergency responders will not be treated as employees within the context of the employer mandate.”
So, this entire hearing was irrelevant, redundant and a waste of money? Yes. Naturally.
Obamacare is not on “borrowed time”. Quite the contrary, it’s here to stay and now that people are signing up, it’s rather awkward for Republicans to run on taking away their health insurance.
Will we spend the entirety of 2014 relitigating Obamacare as House Republicans again ignore the job crises facing the people? I believe you already know the answer to that question. What you may not have known was how Democrats were going to react to yet another year of GOP Total Fail.
Buckle up, people. Democrats are coming out swinging hard.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.