Tom Reed’s statement on the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the American Health Care Act

reed ithacaI have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care!–Barack Obama

Tom Reed wrote on facebook:

The CBO’s estimate confirms that a more patient-centered health care system is finally on the way for hard working American families. These reforms will lower premiums and increase access to quality health care while reducing the federal deficit by $337 billion and taxes by $880 billion. As promised, the American Health Care Act will rescue our collapsing health care system, provide tax relief for middle-income families and business owners, and give Americans the opportunity to save more of their hard earned money. I care about ensuring a stable transition as we fulfill our promise to the American people and deliver long awaited access to truly affordable and sustainable health care.”

Here are three points that Tom chose to make:

  • The CBO’s estimate confirms that a more patient-centered health care system is finally on the way for hard working American families.
  • These reforms will lower premiums and increase access to quality health care while reducing the federal deficit by $337 billion and taxes by $880 billion.
  • As promised, the American Health Care Act will rescue our collapsing health care system, provide tax relief for middle-income families and business owners, and give Americans the opportunity to save more of their hard earned money.

Is this believable? Most commenting on facebook don’t think so.

Reed continues:

Importantly, this (CBO) report has not factored into plans by Congress and the President to reinvigorate free market competition which will drive costs down even further and open up additional opportunities for flexibility, benefits, choice, and savings.

The CBO couldn’t factor in future plans:

  • What might be in those plans is unknown.
  • They might never be enacted.

Negative response to AHCA seems overwhelming. This bill can’t be made good by amendment because it is fundamentally flawed. Better, the GOP should give up trying to pass this off on us and live with Obamacare. If they would do something worthwhile, they could stop attacking the Affordable Health Care Act.


Posted in Congress, Constituents, Health Care, Reed's Views, Seniors | Leave a comment

Tom Reed’s obfuscation

reed manchesterAt Manchester Tom Reed stated:

He (Reed) pointed out that misinformation is out there based on previous town hall meetings — including talk about mental health coverage being taken from health care services with the replacement package, which he doesn’t see happening.–Daily Messenger

One might think that the GOP draft bill preserves mental health coverage; it doesn’t after 2019 for Medicaid. According to FactCheck:

The bill keeps the essential health benefits requirement under the ACA. Insurance companies would still have to cover 10 health services, including maternity coverage, prescription drugs and mental health care. State Medicaid plans, however, would not have to meet this requirement after Dec. 31, 2019.

On this specific point, Tom is technically correct–mental health coverage is repealed by the draft “repeal bill” for Medicaid (responsibility is unloaded on the States), although not until 2019. But that isn’t what Tom claimed. Tom claimed that mental health coverage might be retained in the non-existent “replacement bill.” That’s “pie in the sky.” I rate Tom’s statement misleading at best. He promoted the idea that opposition to GOP healthcare proposals is based on “misinformation” by offering misleading information himself.

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Townhall meetings March 11, 2017

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Posted in 2017, Reed's Views, Town Hall Meeting | 1 Comment

Healthcare politicized


My job is not to worry about those people  (the 47 percent of Americans he thought were likely to vote for Barack Obama).  I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.–Mitt Romney

(How people who can’t afford health insurance for their families are to “take personal responsibility for their lives isn’t clear. Why should most everything, safe water and sewage treatment for example, be a personal rather than a public responsibility?)

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Friday he thinks the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace plan would actually drive insurance premiums up. That’s because, he said, the plan as it stands still includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions and doesn’t remove the ObamaCare provision that requires insurance companies offer essential health benefits. “If you take healthy people off and you keep all the mandates that are there, premiums will go up,” Meadows told reporters Friday. 

Obamacare is essentially a financing system to ensure that the insurance companies get paid to provide coverage to individuals who were previously deemed ineligible. The GOP proposal amends Obamacare and maintains its overall structure and general approach. It does not effectively address health care costs.Rep Justin Amash(R-MI) facebook post

The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would bar people from using federal tax credits to buy health insurance plans that cover abortion.–NY Times

For Republican misleaders, it isn’t about healthcare. Healthcare is seen as a political ploy. In particular, Obamacare is seen as an attempt to buy votes from low-income Americans, which explains Republican animosity to it as well as why their draft proposal is in no way “Obamacare lite.” It is the diametric opposite of Obamacare, designed to hurt voters presumed to favor Democrats and help voters presumed to favor Republicans–the well-to-do.

AHCA rewards the Republican constituency:

  • Discards any effort to insure as many as possible.
  • Allows Americans to choose to be uninsured.
  • Does nothing to make insurance affordable.
  • Limits funding for Medicaid while shifting responsibility to the State Government.
  • Defunds CDC–Federal government not even responsible for public health
  • Repeals related taxes
  • Limits protection against abuse
  • Forces insurers to exclude abortion
  • Defunds Planned Parenthood

These points are understandable if healthcare is viewed not as an essential right but as the privilege of the few.

Republicans disparaging the draft proposal as Obamacare lite merely intend to smear it by association with President Obama–it is like Obamacare in their view only in that they say it costs too much. They see no problem in the States of the public bearing the costs.

There is no reason to hope that House or the Senate will amend the draft proposal to make it acceptable. Because it stems from the false idea that healthcare should be reserved for those who can afford it, the only hope for near universal health care is that the GOP will be unable to agree and that Obamacare will remain as our healthcare law.


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Reed buys AHCA without looking at the cost

The House Ways and Means Committee, which includes Rep. Tom Reed, voted to approve the American Health Care Act,  before the costs of the proposed ACA replacement has been determined.

Reed, who has constantly complained about the national debt, the deficit, and the debt ceiling, has conveniently had a change of heart when it comes to a bill that would affect hundreds of millions American citizens’ health care and add to the deficit.  It is not a coincidence that the committee whose job is fiscal oversight was one of the first two committees to review the proposed bill. It approved the AHCA by a party line vote.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would like to have the AHCA rushed through the House by their April 7 recess. They will be “working in their district” from April 7 to April 25. If they have not approved the AHCA by then, the constituents will have many opportunities to let their representatives know their feelings.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office still has to review the AHCA and will estimate the cost in real dollars and how it affects real Americans. Business Insider reports “Because of the last-minute changes, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a press conference on Wednesday that he did not expect the CBO score until sometime early next week.”  Thursday, March 16 seems to be a good guestimant of when we will learn of their study.

The GOP has already dismissed the numbers that the CBO will come up with, citing their track record when the scored the ACA. If fact their estimates were lower than what actually happened, which the GOP are hoping will happen to the AHCA.

Although Reed’s constituents have many concerns, saving the ACA has been the cornerstone issue at the rallies at Rep. Reed’s offices and Town Hall meetings. Knowing that he has approved of it without knowing, or caring, about the cost is not going to be forgotten.


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GOP stumbles over healthcare and falls



…, we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.–Nancy Pelosi (see the citation for the context of Pelosi’s oft quoted remark)

I have no problem with people saying Obama cares. I do care!–Barack Obama

You’ve heard a lot about Obamacare, as it’s come to be known.  You heard a lot about it in the six and a half years since I signed it into law.  And some of the things you heard might even be true.–Barack Obama

We care about ensuring access to quality, affordable health care so working families across America will no longer have to deal with the failed health care policies forced upon them. This is a plan that empowers individuals with choice. Having the freedom to choose what type of insurance you are provided is a cornerstone of this plan.–Rep. Tom Reed (for Tom, choice is the right to do without)

The GOP set out to destroy the Affordable Health Care Act as soon as it became law. Their chosen means was ridicule. They attempted to link it to President Obama whom they assumed would be an unpopular President. Obama eventually accepted, even welcomed that name. When to much astonishment Obama was elected to a second term, the effort to link Obamacare to the President collapsed, but the mockery of AHC continued.

The GOP relentlessly portrayed AHC as a failure and to some extent succeeded–many came to believe that the law was somehow flawed. The GOP believed that they could “repeal and replace” AHC with a law that would be popular, but they miscalculated–many of those, including Republicans, who looked at AHC with disfavor, really wanted something better. Now that the GOP has the responsibility and have proposed a replacement, AHCA, many who would lose valuable benefits are outraged.

President Trump may have recognized reality when he promised that his healthcare proposal would be wonderful. That intent ran up against reality, which Trump recognized when he admitted that “healthcare is hard.” One reason healthcare is hard for the GOP is that there is no consensus among them as to what responsibility, if any, the government has for healthcare. Many Republicans favor lassez-faire which assumes health care is a luxury–“you need no more than you can afford.” This doesn’t work for many.

The GOP is unlikely to design a satisfactory healthcare law, because they mostly reject principles (universal coverage, affordable for all) necessary for success. These tenets of Obamacare must be the basis for any satisfactory healthcare plan.

Reportedly, President Trump will use bully pulpit to counter conservative revolt over Obamacare replacement. This might work if only conservative Republicans objected to the Republican draft plan.

Posted in Health Care, Trump | 1 Comment

Is Ryancare designed to fail?

headacheThe American people will pay more and get less or no coverage at all. It ends Medicaid as we know it, it decimates state and family budgets while putting America’s most vulnerable at risk, it puts the government between women and their doctors, and it steals money from Medicare to give a massive tax break to the wealthy.–Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

The GOP healthcare draft pleases few besides lobbyists. Why would the GOP propose a bill that seems destined to fail. Perhaps it is a way out of their dilemma–if it is blocked in the House or Senate or vetoed, Ryan could then say he tried his best, but oh well….

Here is what some are saying:


  • doesn’t strive for universal coverage
  • extra cost for “previous conditions”
  • short-changes the poor
  • tax credits for the wealthy
  • does nothing to reduce the cost of premiums
  • doesn’t provide for purchase of insurance across state lines.
  • doesn’t address the high cost of drugs.
  • no transparency in shopping for healthcare
  • little to placate libertarians
  • absolves government of responsibility for affordability

President Trump says he has learned that healthcare is hard. Rep. Reed favors “patient centered health care,” but this is “lobbyist centered.” Former Speaker Boehner says the GOP will never repeal and replace Obamacare. Is Speaker Ryan clueless, or has he designed this bill to fail?




Posted in Health Care, Reed's Views | 3 Comments