Obamacare’s not the problem. Republicans are.

by | Sep 6, 2013 | Editor's Blog, Health Care, NCGA | 16 comments

As Obamacare implementation draws nearer, watch for the gnashing of teeth by the Republicans to increase. They so want the program to fail that they are doing all they can to sabotage it. Right now, they’re running ads trying to scare women. And the legislature ordered money sent to promote the program returned to the feds.

And yesterday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield released its rate info for plans under the Affordable Care Act. While a howl went from the right on twitter bemoaning huge rate increases, in reality, 66% of premiums will stay the same or go down–and that’s before the subsidies come in to play for families making 400% above the poverty level. Once again, the GOP will play to their base, firing up the anti-government Obama haters, while the rest of the state essentially shrugs.

But in their zeal to derail the plan, the General Assembly may have seriously overplayed its hand. They rejected the Medicaid expansion which would have been paid for by the feds and denied 500,000 North Carolinians access to health care. Now, it turns out, their ploy is costing jobs and health care facilities in areas that are already hurting. According to the Greenville Daily Reflector, the Beaufort County town of Belhaven will lose it’s hospital and 100 people will lose their jobs because the state rejected the expansion. And this is a county that still suffers an unemployment rate of over 10%.

On the political side, I wonder how Sen. Bill Cook or Rep. Michael Speciale, who voted against the expansion, are going to explain to folks in Beaufort County that closing their hospital is actually good for them? Maybe they could get the Rural Center to help. Oh, yeah…

For all the criticism and drama, Obamacare is going to work. The Chicken Littles on the Republican side are already being proven wrong. And the greatest damage will be done, not by the Affordable Care Act, but by the Republican efforts to stop it.


  1. Scott Hobbs

    Has any of you thought that our country is going broke. In the end we are all going to lose. I do believe we all need to tighten our belts and make better decisions than what I have seen thus far. As far as the Republicans they have made more sense to me than what I am seeing from the Dems.

    • Blue Line

      Scott Hobbs – the left doesn’t care. I’d wager that’s exactly what they want to happen so they can implement confiscatory tax policies – the ultimate in redistribution of wealth. They don’t care if “we are all going to lose.” They just care that nobody “wins”

  2. Progressive Paul

    Mixie, your story is a great example of why we should have Medicare for all.

    It is shameful that in this country health care is tied to employment. It is something that we as a nation should provide for ourselves, much like our communities provide for police and fire protection and our nation provides for defense.

    • Blue Line

      Communities don’t provide for police and fire protection.

      • Thomas Mills

        So who does? In North Carolina they are primarily funded through property taxes and local sales tax. Is that not communities?

        • Blue Line

          Bingo! Its a subtle but significant distinction. In fact, taxpayers provide police and fire protection.

      • willard cottrell

        Do you comment just for arguments sense? What in the hell am I paying city and county taxes for?

  3. Mixie

    My company paid $13800.00 / year for my insurance in 2012. This figure was given to me to report on my W2 form for taxes, although this year I did not have to pay on this perk, I probably will in the next year. My contribution to that was $175/mth or $2100 / year for a total cost of $15900 / year for insurance for 2 people. By all accounts in reading the charges for age brackets with the pay scale with Blue Cross Blue Shield, I do believe my highest premium for one person taking the “Platinum” level for the 60+ group which is the 90/10 plan is $294.57/mth or $3547.35 / year per person or max of $7094.xx / year. NOW – CAN SOMEBODY EXPLAIN TO ME… why they think ACA (Obamacare) is going to be way more expensive ???????? My simple accounting shows me a healthcare savings of 56% .

    The actual facts are that my company let me go in January 2013 due to the high cost of the insurance (and probably b/c I was nearing the golden age of Medicare), but kept me on as a private contractor making the same money. Nothing changed except that I pay my own insurance which is fine by me as I could tailor my insurance to actually fit my particular need. Businesses will actually forge stronger due to not being burdened with this “high-cost-perk” and we will become much more competitive in world markets in the future.

  4. Blue Line

    You’re wrong. BCBSNC didn’t say that 66% of individuals will see their premiums decrease. In fact, they said those individuals may see an increase similar to what they’ve seen in prior years. ACA is a train wreck, plain and simple. You’re completely delusional if you think otherwise.

    • mordred

      Of course Civitas offers nice benefits for their paid internet trolls.

    • Thomas Mills

      They said 66% may see increases similar to past years or they may see less. Regardless, it’s not the exploding premium increases we’ve been hearing so much about. In fact, your side is already backing off that story line and now trying to scare people about choice of doctors, which isn’t happening today anyway. I switched insurance companies in January and my new insurer won’t cover the primary care physician I’ve been seeing for the past 15 years. In addition, they won’t cover treatment for a “pre-existing condition.” I would go back to my old insurance but they won’t take me back because of that same pre-existing condition. So I won’t get treatment until the ACA makes the term “pre-existing condition” obsolete. I’ll take my delusion over yours any day of the week.

      • Paleo Tek

        Yup, that’s just one of many ways that the insurers were shafting the public allowed under the old system. In nearly all developed countries, if a doctor signs, the insurers pay, no questions asked. T. R. Reid’s book, The Healing Of America, goes into a bit of detail about the different models and how they work for the public, doctors, and insurers. Everyone else has one system, the US has about 8, including the popular Third-World-style “devil take the hindmost” out-of-pocket model for those without insurance. ACA offers a chance to provide more healthcare to more people for less money. It’s a bit puzzling why some folks are so opposed to that on ideological grounds. Especially when they have no alternatives, and we’re paying more for healthcare than any country in the world, while our rank in terms of quality and fairness was #37 as graded by WHO.

      • Blue Line

        My side…? I don’t have a side. The fact that you would automatically lump me in with a ‘side’ says a lot about the way you see things. i.e., there’s two types of people: those who agree with me, and those who don’t. I’ve got news for you: the world isn’t quite so discrete. You see, unlike you, I’m capable of forming a cogent thought on my own without my masters telling me what I should think. And to Mordred, tsk tsk. Mighty big of you to go with the default ad hominem instead of contributing something meaningful to the dialogue. Meh

        • Thomas Mills

          Ok, my bad. The people who’ve claimed that premiums would explode are already backing off that point.

    • Dawn Goodman

      Yes let’s be real! The country has already tried the alternative those who cannot afford health care insurance go to the nearest emergency room when they are sick or injured. Everyone else pays that bill in the end. Those who need affordable health care want the opportunity to try Obamacare and decide for themselves whether it is good or not before it is dismantled. No one cares about all the folks crying wolf, or acting like the sky is falling if Obamacare goes into effect. I think it is only fair that the taxpayers who cannot afford their own medical care stopped being forced to pay for health care benefits for the same Senators and Congressman opposing Obamacare.

  5. Paleo Tek

    I think the Republican reaction to Obamacare is significant because we’ve very rarely seen such a concerted effort by a major political party to sabotage the law of the land. They hate it without understanding it. They refused many opportunities to help reform health insurance. They have no coherent alternative. That’s fine, all part of the normal game.

    But to try to sabotage existing law goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of the entire idea of democracy and rule of law. You can parse it various lawyerly ways, but when you look at the facts on the ground, the Republicans are willing to deny healthcare to a lot of people on IDEOLOGICAL GROUNDS. At some emotional level, this equates to, “No Healthcare For You, Because Freedom.” That’s not an attractive platform, and not one that can be explained to many folks outside the Faux News bubble. It reeks of desperation.

    These chickens will come home to roost. Loosing a hospital is a disaster for a rural county, one that limits economic opportunities for decades. “Get poorer and sicker, Washington County, Because Freedom!” Maybe if you say it loud enough, enough times…

    Speciale won with 59% of the vote. Cook with 55. I’d put them on my target list.

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