Reed Should Help Constituents With Affordable Care, Not Frighten Them With “Stories”

In last week’s email newsletter to constituents, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, had this to say about Obamacare: “We continue to receive stories of employers and employees being hurt by the law’s mandates …”

Obamacare scare stories are a staple of Fox News, but upon examination they typically turn out to have little or no substance. Complainants have paid too much attention to Tea Party misinformation about Obamacare, and haven’t taken the time needed to understand the law or bothered to explore their options on the health insurance exchanges.

The most recent instance of an Obamacare story that fell apart involves “Bette from Spokane.” Bette was cited by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) last week, when Rodgers delivered the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union Address.  According to Rodgers, Bette’s insurance had been canceled because of Obamacare, and a replacement policy was going to cost $700 more per month.

A Spokane reporter tracked down Bette and learned that her $552 per month catastrophic care policy for herself and her husband had indeed been canceled and that her insurance company had offered her a policy that complied with the Affordable Care Act for $1,052 per month.

There was a problem with that $552 per month policy — it had a $10,000 deductible. Were a serious health problem to arise — as it certainly would eventually — Bette and her husband would have suffered a major financial setback before their policy paid a dime.

We don’t know Bette’s income or what assistance she would have been eligible for under the Affordable Care Act, but if she had gone on the exchange, she could have found comprehensive health insurance with deductibles in the $20 to $50 range at a price she could afford. Misled by Tea Party ideology, however, Bette refused to look.  “I wouldn’t go on that Obama website at all,” Bette told the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

In perpetuating Obamacare scare stories, Rep. Reed is doing a disservice to his constituents. These stories will tend to discourage people in the 23rd who need good insurance from applying. Instead, Rep. Reed should be helping his constituents to understand and explore the excellent opportunities for affordable health care that are now available to them.

Obamacare scare stories are not going to help Rep. Reed win re-election. As time passes and the implementation of Obamacare moves forward, those who already have comprehensive insurance through their employer or through Medicare will understand that their situation hasn’t been affected at all. Parents whose children can now remain on their policies until they are 26 will appreciate  that those they love continue to be insured while they finish their educations and look for jobs. Those who had been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions will be grateful for the coverage they have gained. Previously uninsured middle income constituents will be thankful that they have been able to purchase affordable, comprehensive policies on the exchanges, and those newly eligible for Medicaid will be enjoying a level of health care they never had before.

Constituents who have gained so much from Obamacare are not likely to vote for a candidate who has consistently voted to repeal it — and who still tries to undermine it with “stories.”

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16 Responses to Reed Should Help Constituents With Affordable Care, Not Frighten Them With “Stories”

  1. Anne says:

    When has Reed ever let facts get in the way of what he “knows” to be true?

  2. whungerford says:

    More contributions to Tom’s campaign funds in 2013 came from “Insurance,” than from any other category. Three of the top ten categories were health care related: insurance, health care professionals, and pharmaceuticals.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      and just what did Obama get for this piece of work ? You didn’t mention this did you ?

      Among the many legitimate criticisms of the 2008–09 Wall Street bailout was that it created a situation in which profits are private but losses are public, being borne by taxpayers who extended liberal loans and outright subsidies to various firms in order to head off total paralysis in the credit markets. Critics right and left regarded the combination of private profits and public losses as inherently objectionable — but Barack Obama and congressional Democrats apparently saw in the Wall Street bailout a model for health-insurance reform. And, surprise: Buried deep within the Affordable Care Act are not one but two provisions to provide preemptive bailouts to insurance companies in the event that their finances should be overwhelmed by unanticipated circumstances — for example, a catastrophically incompetent rollout of the program that left them overburdened with high-cost sick and elderly clients. This is one of the many distasteful results of Nancy Pelosi’s pass-it-to-find-out-what’s-in-it style of legislation.

      The bailout provisions of Obamacare are found in Sections 1341 and 1342 of the Affordable Care Act, both of which should be repealed. Doing so will be difficult, but it is not impossible. The first provision bails out insurance companies for costs associated with individual patients when they exceed $45,000. Under this so-called reinsurance program, insurers will be able to push off 80 percent of costs between $45,000 and $250,000 onto a fund financed by a fee of $63 per head on customers of insurance companies and workers covered by self-insuring companies. Given that most of the associated costs will almost certainly be passed on to consumers by insurers, that fee is in effect a tax. And in the event that the fund does not generate revenue sufficient to cover its costs — far from an unlikely scenario — then taxpayers will be explicitly on the hook. This preemptive bailout was included in the law as a deal-sweetener to induce more insurance companies to participate in the program. It is a good deal for

      • whungerford says:

        Bob, it is well known that Obamacare is a good deal for insurers: that was the cost making it law. Many commentators think insurance companies might better have been left out, but that wasn’t politically feasible.

        • BOB McGILL says:

          “but that wasn’t politically feasible.” ?????????? Really ? When has anything that ” IS ” politically feasible been good for the average American ? Obama can’t make his plan work so he makes a ” can’t lose ” deal with the very same corporations you have been bitching about ! Wall Street and Corporate America now run our health care system.

          If you keep going around in circles you will screw yourself right into the ground. 🙂

  3. solodm says:

    Congressman Reed has not only turned a deaf ear, but he has and continues to turn his back on his constituent’s needs for health care insurance. A Facebook friend of mine, ( I am using her story with permission), Deb Schroeder-kivisko, has put her story online. She has a hard fight ahead of her, yet with strong hope, she continues to put word out to others that the ACA can help them as well as herself.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      One question. With ACA being only a couple of months old, how is it a success ? Millions of people have signed up but how many will be able to pay and for how long ? That is like someone getting a new credit card and calling the effort a success. Until the bill comes in the mail that is. Time will tell, but I am going to bet it turns out to be a total failure. The people with no insurance had no money, now people with insurance still have no money, so the tax payer picks up the tab. Why else would there be a bail-out for insurance companies and just who is going to bail them out ?

      • whungerford says:

        Sure it’s too soon to assess the full benefit of ACA, but here are some early successes: medical cost increases slowed down, insurance exchanges, enhanced prescription drug coverage, coverage for preexisting conditions, and coverage for children to age 26.

        • BOB McGILL says:

          It is not a success until you know the full cost after a reasonable time, like a few years. If the system goes broke how much of a success will that be ? I know, it can’t go broke because they will just tax you to death keeping it going

          • whungerford says:

            AHC promises lower out-of-pocket cost for all which benefits everyone. If the cost to the treasury turns out to be too high, we will have to make improvements. But the alternative to AHC is a better law, not to go backwards.

        • solodm says:

          William, the ACA became law March 23, 2010. Although it wasn’t until Oct. 2013 that people could sign up for the exchanges, other parts of the ACA have been helping people for 4 years. Drug benefits come to mind especially.

          • whungerford says:

            I am well aware of the current benefit to those in the Republican “doughnut hole.” Even better, AHC eventually closes the doughnut hole. However, the most important benefit of AHC is the promise to slow the increase in healthcare costs while extending benefits to all.

  4. BOB McGILL says:

    You people are full of bologna ! ” However, the most important benefit of AHC is the promise to slow the increase in healthcare costs while extending benefits to all.” If you believe that you are in for a big surprise. Personally I have witnessed drug and other health care costs increase dramatically over the past 4 years. My sister is in a nursing home, and anyone who tells you costs have slowed is full of crap !!!!!

    • whungerford says:

      Yes, drug and other health care costs have increased dramatically over the past 4 years. AHC has slowed the rate of increase, which is its prime purpose. Without AHC, costs would have doubtless continued to sky rocket.

      • BOB McGILL says:

        No, that is not true. Health care costs sky rocketed at the first mention of a health care plan by the Clintons. There was no reason for the huge increases except the insurance companies padding their pockets and to insure profits when the plan actually got implemented. Year after year there were double digit increases for no real reason except to make sure there was enough of a cushion down the road.

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