Archive for obamacare

Breaking: Federal Appeals Court Gives Obamacare Significant Setback

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More details to come, Fvx Nation has Karl Rove practically limboing under a pole, so they think it's good news over in fantasy world.

A Washington D.C. Federal Court of Appeals has just tried to make an end run around Obamacare and fee/subsidy systems as they pertain to the I.R.S., a decision that could seriously imperil implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As MSNBC reported," … without those subsidies, insurance could become prohibitively expensive, seriously hurting the law and potentially pushing it into a death spiral." Link below.

MSNBC looks as if they will be updating their coverage regularly, link here.

Footage as soon as possible of John Earnest's first block of questions in the Press Room.

From the New York Times.

Federal Appeals Court Deals Setback to Health Care Law
In a ruling that could upend President Obama’s health care law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government could not subsidize premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The 2-to-1 ruling could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.

IfYoureBuyingImSellingw244h244

Under the Affordable Care Act, the court said, subsidies are available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.
The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.

Update, 12:35 PMEST  Another federal appeals court in the neighborhood, hailing in from Virginia this time, made some opposite news shortly after lunch. Think Progress reported that the first case rests just about on a typo:

Punishing Millions For A Proofreading Error

The two Republicans’ decision rests on a glorified typo in the Affordable Care Act itself. Obamacare gives states a choice. They can either run their own health insurance exchange where their residents may buy health insurance, and receive subsidies to help them pay for that insurance if they qualify, or they can allow the federal government to run that exchange for them. Yet the plaintiffs’ in this case uncovered a drafting error in the statute where it appears to limit the subsidies to individuals who obtain insurance through “an Exchange established by the State.” Randolph and Griffith’s opinion concludes that this drafting error is the only thing that matters. In their words, “a federal Exchange is not an ‘Exchange established by the State,’” and that’s it. The upshot of this opinion is that 6.5 million Americans will lose their ability to afford health insurance, according to one estimate.

 

Update 2:35 PMEST Ultimately, the ruling in Virginia opposed the decision made in the District. Think Progress said:

Unlike the DC Circuit’s opinion, the Fourth Circuit is a model of judicial restraint and humility. Although all three judges on the Fourth Circuit panel were nominated by Democratic presidents (Judge Roger Gregory, who authored the opinion, has the unusual distinction of being nominated by both President Clinton and the second President Bush), the majority opinion does not claim, as the DC Circuit did, that this case is a slam-dunk for their political party’s preferred outcome. Indeed, it claims that different provisions of the law seem to conflict with one another, and that the meaning of the statute is ambiguous. Though Judge Gregory’s opinion concludes that the Obama Administration “make[s] the better of the two cases” regarding how the law should be read, he also writes that “we are not convinced that either of the purported statutory conflicts render Congress’s intent clear.”

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The NC GOP Mayor Takes His Medicaid Expansion Cause On the Road

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Mayor on the march!

Remember how cool and progressively impressive we found the small town Mayor Adam O'Neal (living compassionate conservative, at least he was) who was going to the mat for rural hospitals and the expansion of Medicaid to all states?

Here's the link if you need to catch up, we've been cheering him along at the Carnival for a while now - he is walking the walk, literally.

Earlier this week, fellow fan of the good mayor, Lawrence O'Donnell, scored the big interview … the end of the mayor's first -- of fifteen days-- on the road to the Capitol. He's hoofing it to Washington D.C. to talk Medicaid expansion into his state.

And hospital closings that are already handing out death sentences in his county.

Yes!! That guy, the one Rachel Maddow has been giving props to as well, the sane voice in the wilderness … after they indeed closed the rural hospital he opposed the tampering with, there was some snap(!) in his disappointment.

Sure enough, that Southern dissatisfaction turned into action, and the conservative Carolinian mayor should arrive within the beltway by the end of July. They covered 17 miles yesterday, which hikers will be impressed with - never mind pundits. Enjoy Lawrence's exclusive.

Then the punch in the gut that comes with a well-reported story. It turned personal. The closure of that rural hospital in Belhaven North Carolina had claimed a life. A 48 year-old woman, mother of three small children, was over an hour in an ambulance following a heart attack and expired in transit.

The GOP Regressive Right pinch-purses have their first trophy, if they care to display her. She won't see you try to deny any complicity, but let us hope her family, friends and the media are loud enough to make it ring clear.

It is not right. It is not just. It has nothing to do with compassion. This is not the country we would still send our sons and daughters to risk death to defend, any longer.

priority fail gop fail

The right bitched and moaned about waiting times in Socialist Canada and, even worse, the United Kingdom during early Obamacare Hysteria, remember that? Oh no, waiting lines and wait times would be inconvenient.

This woman wasn't inconvenienced. She didn't wait a little too long in the Urgent Care waiting room overflow area because there's a bad bug in the circle of small towns it serves. She died, unnecessarily, in the arms of some pitiable First Responders and local volunteer medics, likely friends or 'friends of'. Who feel like hell today.

I had my latest ambulance ride from a friend's place last Friday, and was startled at the difference in times I hadn't really had to think about in years. And because I had just written the other story about a small rural hospital that takes care of my own heart and other organs on a pretty regular basis.

Seeing that footage, with the exhausted but determined mayor having to publicly process the news that the first victim was identified, the first heroine down and will be buried by her family soon, in this heat … it was so close to home for so many of us.

That lady should be going home to her children after a stint got put in and her husband freaked out and told her to take better care of herself and her Mom held her close and thanked a God she usually doesn't believe in that her only daughter was all right because they had gotten her to the doctors in time. This time.

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Too many of us understand this tragedy. Moms Against Guns and MADD and the sensible sisterhood of mothers and aunts and grandmas who get this stuff had better align right along with this quirky mayor.

People are dying because of GOP obstructionism and budget ethics. Even Doonesbury can't do this shite justice.

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Maher: GOP "Zombie Lies won't stay dead." (VIDEO)

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zombie lies bill maher

On Real Time last night, Bill Maher's rant was a particularly good one, all about how the GOP perpetuates lies. He started out mocking (what else?) politicians in both parties and how they invented their own euphemism for lying: "I misspoke." He then went on to nail Republicans on one of their own rules: "When they get caught in a lie, they don't have to stop telling it," as opposed to Democrats, who are more apt to admit their lies and correct the record. Maher noted that Dems understand that "there's this thing called observable reality." Republican talking points, he continued, "which have been disproven, remain! Like a guest who's been asked to leave a party, but does not! It reminds me of a horror movie where you think you've killed the lie, but it won't stay dead. Which is why I call them "Zombie Lies."

He came up with a whole ballot box full of examples, such as the mythical Obamacare "job killer" (that didn't happen) and "death panels" (there were none), not to mention the big bad "government takeover" of health care (that never materialized). He brought up nearly as many Zombie Lies as the House GOP has ACA repeal bills. He slammed "trickle down" economic policies, fracking, you name it. Watch:

Take it away, Bill Maher:

Finally, New Rule: Now that there's been an uproar over all the neocons who lied about the Iraq war with no consequences, someone must tell me why there isn't a similar uproar over all the Republicans who lied about Obamacare with no consequences.

It's been four years since the bill passed. Has anybody come across even one death panel? The next liberal to tell a Republican "You’re entitled to an opinion but not your own facts" should really just admit they’ve never seen Fox News....

Zombie Lies are neither alive nor dead-- like Dick Cheney...

They pass a Zombie Lie down to dumber and dumber people who believe it more and more...

And when you think the Zombie Lie has finally gone to die at the Idea Hospice of the Absolutely Stupidest People on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump.

bam

Big hat tip to Heather over at Crooks and Liars for the video.

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Obamacare covers 8-11 million mostly "satisfied" Americans. #BlameObama

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obamacare is winning, anti-obamacare fight

As our own Sherry Hardy pointed out, Regressives Handed Out Emergency Care Death Sentences in North Carolina. GOP-run states have done everything they can to obstruct access to Obamacare from the get-go, including refusing to expand Medicaid coverage. As a result, those self-proclaimed "pro-lifers" are hypocritically and intentionally putting lives at risk. People will die without care.

Fortunately, millions are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. In fact (hide your ears, Republicans), they even like it!

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More and more Americans are signing up, and the numbers of insured will only grow. Some of our previous posts include reports like these:

In today's Los Angeles Times, there's a piece that reveals customer satisfaction that will drive conservatives to (more) drink:

President Obama's healthcare law has reduced the number of uninsured adults by 8 million to 11 million in its first year, according to three new studies, and the vast majority report satisfaction with their new health plans. [...]

Nationwide, roughly 1 in 4 people who were uninsured last fall now have received coverage, representing a significant first step toward Obamacare's goal of near-universal coverage. [...]

... [M]ore than three-quarters of those who had either enrolled in Medicaid or bought a private insurance plan in the new marketplaces reported that they were either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with their new coverage.

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Why, that's positively unAmerican!

Here in my home state of California, the number of uninsured has been cut in half. In half!

And nationally, it's the young 'uns who have been signing up more than anyone else. Remember back when? Remember when there was a big question mark about under-35s signing up? Put that one in a Tupperware, burp it, and seal it.

By the by, 54% said that some or all of their preferred doctors were covered. And 58% said they were better off with Obamacare:

[R]oughly 3 out of 4 Republicans said they were also satisfied.

What

Clearly, with all that positive feedback, the GOP must be seeing the error of their blocky ways, right? I mean, who would deny the very people who trusted you enough to elect you, a longer and healthier life? What self-serving politician would prioritize his own ambitions and petty political games over the health and well-being of families and individuals? What kind of amoral, obsessive, insensitive, merciless sphincter of a person would deny their fellow Americans a lifeline?

[T]he remaining uninsured Americans increasingly are concentrated in states that have declined to expand Medicaid — primarily Southern and Midwestern states with Republican-controlled governments that have been hostile to the new law and, in many cases, have tried to impede its implementation. That political resistance could be a major factor in holding down enrollments in the next couple of years.

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Mainers Disenchanted with Governor LePage's Brand of Tea Loonacy

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Being a native Vermonter (landlocked on all sides) the state of Maine is close to my heart, and a second home since I was in the womb. Literally.

My amazing other parents, the husband's folks, were kind enough to retire from New Jersey to the tiny town of Woolwich, Maine. [I know!!] So we've had a fascinating seat to see the gubernatorial hijinks and the fun and tragic congressional changes.

Teabagger LePage did one great thing, at least on a selfish level, he legalized the real deal professional fireworks and my Mom-in-Law got a proper display on her 80th … I got to light one of the breadbox-sized fancy ones, it was ridiculously fantastic.

comply

The good governor, however, with no disrespect to the actual mentally ill/those with genuine brain health ailments … is even crazier than the Bat-shite Category we usually save for Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Ann Fricking Coulter and Lippy Limpbaugh. Add LePage.

And no disrespect to Les Québecois, nous vous aimerons toujours içi , either, but he's got a clear streak of uniquely Gallic irrationality down deep in that there loonacy, Governor LePage.

Hence, the 2014 Governor's race is being bandied about about from Bangor through Bath and right on into Brunswick. There is plenty of Tea Party up there, but we'd be all day talking about that today, just take my word for it. [They couldn't legalize gay marriage beyond the shadow of a doubt the first time, 'nuff said about our friends to the northwest.] I'll let the Southern Poverty Law Center explain. He made their Hate Watch list.

gop fail streetcar named we're always wrong

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican elected in 2010 as a “Tea Party” candidate, admits that he held a number of meetings last year with leaders of an antigovernment sovereign citizens group, as revealed in a new book excerpt published this week.

But he now claims that the meetings were not an endorsement of the conspiracy theories and extremist politics that were discussed – rather, he was simply listening to his constituents.

ladylibertywinking

The political storm over LePage’s dalliances with far-right radicals broke on Monday when Talking Points Memo published a key excerpt from As Maine Went: Governor Paull LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine, a new book from political blogger Mike Tipping of Portland. The post described a series of eight meetings over nine months in 2013 that LePage initiated with members of the Constitutional Coalition, a sovereign citizens group based mostly in the state’s northern reaches.

Steve Kornacki on UP on messnbc gave a great glimpse into the interesting upcoming Maine gubernatorial contest on UP this weekend, have a gander and see if you don't find it a good climate for Progressive hopes.

The Tea Party will have a lot to answer for in Liberal Hell. Governor LePage will be in a front banquette, right in the fireworks section.

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Is America politically mature enough for single payer healthcare?

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Back in 2011, I wrote Single payer to replace Obama health care plan in Vermont? Possibly. In a post of 2012, Rep. Jim McDermott's legislation may enable states to offer single payer healthcare, the L.A. Times ticked off reason after reason why such a plan would be superior to what we have now. Then our own Sherry Howarth asked this back in April: Are the Green Mountain Progressives Going to Pull Off Single Payer?

And now, one of my faves, Michael Hiltzik, has written another thoughtful column for the Los Angeles Times. This one asks if America has the "political maturity" to support single payer healthcare, especially after the dreadful Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Corp. Justices.

Hiltzik narrows it all down to the perpetual fight over abortion being the real obstacle to a single payer system. Once we stop our bitter squabbling and resolve that issue (not an easy task), it would open the door to enacting the same successful system so many countries around the world currently use. As Hiltzik notes, "That's not a permanent condition -- sooner or later, the gridlock will have to give, because the public won't stand for total inaction forever."

The entire column is worth a read, so please link over. He begins by responding to something Ezra Klein wrote. He ends this way:

[O]nly a mature system will be able to enact single-payer, so it's pointless to worry about it being hampered by childishness once it's in place.

Let's think again about abortion. There's no point in worrying that a single-payer program would bar abortion -- the thing to worry about is that the abortion debate will be an obstacle to enacting a single-payer plan at all. So clearly, the abortion issue will have to be resolved first.

Ezra Klein is right. Single-payer does have many virtues, and it does have some problems.

But under our current system post-Hobby Lobby, scientifically uninformed employers can interfere in the medical decisions of thousands of their workers. Obviously, that's the worst of all possible worlds.

Single-payer's problems, however, are either resolvable or conjectural, while its virtues are manifest. We should keep our eye on those, and worry about the problems when the time comes.

As we say on Google Plus: +1.

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Regressives Hand Out Emergency Care Death Sentences in North Carolina

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you'ref*cked

Most liberals were impressed by Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal of the small North Carolina town of Bellehaven, who went to the mic and the mat for a small rural hospital under threat of closure if the pinch-pursing asshattery didn't get Medicaid expansion moving along.

“The path the legislators are on right now has already caused stress on our hospitals; and especially rural hospitals,” Mayor O’Neal said. “Our rural hospitals could hardly survive in the past due to the reimbursement for indigent care. Without Medicaid Expansion the reimbursements are falling and hospitals like the one in my hometown are on the brink of possibly even closing. ... If you do not have critical access hospitals, people needlessly die. That’s a fact.”

That hospital is resigned to closing its doors as of yesterday.

What the hell is wrong with the Right, that their regressive hysteria about money and contraception have us letting our neighbors die? This isn't ideology anymore, this is actual blood sport.

You're so concerned with every pregnancy on the planet coming to term ... do you now expect women to be birthin' their own babies at home?

Right under our noses these arrogant, stingy men like Rick Perry and Chris Christie and Scott in FloridaFloridaFlorida have had the audacity to make the Imperial Proclamations that THEIR America won't have any part of the abomination of Obamacare ... whether their constituents need it or not.To survive.

Lawrence O'Donnell covered it beautifully last night. Have a gander and I'll meet you on the other side with commensurate outrage.

Background footage from June. Rural health and emergency care has GOT to be looked after in this country ...


Southern Republican defies party to come out... by ewillies

I can speak to this personally.[Dear Liberal Readers, feel free to skip this or even return, I was just too impassioned not to include my own experiences.] A little over two years ago there was a [second] Vermont redneck-ish Nascar ambulance run to get my bleeding-out self from our local regional medical center (basics only) to the trauma center in Burlington, 67.2 miles north. Over mountain roads.

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The two rides of note were 25 years of chronic illness apart, and the sad political statement about rural healthcare advancements wasn't lost on my parents and husband when I got to their ER and ICU just in time to be crash-carted and get a few pints of high test. Five to fifteen more minutes would have been a very different ending, and I owe my life to the driver that broke his peer's previous record for that one early evening run, and the medic that talked me through the race.

Not three months ago, someone as dear as a brother to me [and partner at my 6-year home blogging base Free Range Talk], suffered a heart attack that then led to the insertion of some high tech intertubings … but was just able to get ambulanced to his incredibly fine Dallas Urgent Care within minutes, within the seconds, really, that his (formerly behaving) ticker had left to tock. That was but a two to three minute grace period in a major American city. Terrifying. In his own words:

Yes, the infarction was a bit of a shock. I felt like a vampire with a stake being driven through my heart. Barely made it, I was in surgery within 10 minutes of arriving at the hospital (which luckily is less than 3 minutes from my house.)

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How are those stories possible in 2014 in the United States of America?! Never mind hospitals and clinics closing despite more incoming patients. It's beyond Opposite World.

Republican Regressive backlash is now beginning to distill the bitter results of its parsimony - people in the age of the iPhone 6 still need ambulances, trained emergency personnel and Actual hospitals in order to have a functioning society.

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Image, Cagle Cartoons

These petulant obstructionist governors should each be faced by a Mayor O'Neal and publicly shamed out of their public manses housing. And off their tax-payer funded helipads.

Jesus for damned sure wouldn't be shutting down hospitals in the sticks of North Carolina, let a non-believer declare that.

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