Posts tagged ‘Obamacare’

Republican Officials Work ‘Under The Radar’ To Implement Obamacare In Their States


Republican Officials Work ‘Under The Radar’ To Implement Obamacare In Their States.

By Tara Culp-Ressler on Sep 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney
Republican lawmakers are continuing to delay setting up the state-run health insurance exchanges required under Obamacare as an act of resistance against President Obama’s health reform law. Even though the federal government will be forced to step in to implement exchanges for the states that don’t turn in their exchange plans for approval by November, some Republican governors are refusing to work on exchanges until after the election in case Mitt Romney wins and repeals Obamacare. However, despite the political battle over health care reform, not all Republican officials are convinced that refusing to set up health exchanges is the best course of action.

Reuters points out that some GOP officials like Mike Chaney, Mississippi’s insurance commissioner, have quietly worked against their party to take steps toward creating state-level insurance exchanges. Although his state’s lawmakers are deeply opposed to Obamacare — Mississippi was one of the 26 states that sued the administration over the health reform law — Chaney explained that resisting Obamacare’s health care exchange will force state officials to scramble after the November election:

Insurance officials like Chaney, however, want a better contingency plan in case the Republicans lose, as the 10-day window between the election and the exchange deadline will not give them enough time to prepare an exchange.

“They can’t just leave this to the will of the wind,” Chaney said in an interview.

“This isn’t about politics. It’s about following the law,” he added. “And I think I’m better equipped to operate an exchange in my state than the federal government.”

Chaney is not the only Republican to take this stance. Reuters interviewed half a dozen other Republican state health officials who agreed they would prefer to plan for state-run exchanges now rather than accept a federally-run exchange when the clock runs out, and some are working to do so. However, the contentious political climates in their states don’t always make this possible. Although Chaney said he worked “under the radar” to prepare for an exchange in Mississippi, mounting pressure from conservatives in the state curbed his work in mid-July, and he has since released a statement promising to hold off on any further work toward establishing an exchange until after the election.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has already urged Republican governors to embrace health care reform and take the necessary steps to set up exchanges in their states. As Frist and Chaney both point out, state-run exchanges are actually consistent with conservative federalist ideals. If Republican legislators continue to block them, they could help prove Chaney’s assertion that “this isn’t about politics” very wrong.

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Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief


Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief.

Of course, if this were true, George W. Bush would not have ever been able to destroy our economy.

But let us not go down that rabbit hole, since we are told by peeved Republicans that we may not blame Bush for what he really did, because it never happened and if it did, it was Obama’s fault.

Justice Johnson took her case to federal court, to ask that her full tenure on the Supreme Court be reaffirmed. No word on whether or not Jindal is requiring her long form birth certificate yet, but double checking the worthiness of black people is always in the cards when those in power are trying to keep their racial discrimination under wraps. It turns out that the federal court agreed that her time served met the state’s constitutional requirements.

If you’ve read your history or even this article, you already know what Jindal’s argument was in his appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of the federal court’s ruling.

Say it with me: State’s rights! “The issue on appeal is not who should serve as the next Chief Justice, but whether the Louisiana Supreme Court should be prohibited by a federal court from interpreting the state’s constitution.”

That’s right, because remember, it was the federal court who ordered them to have a minority on the court in the first place. But who needs the feds telling bigots what to do? Way back in the good old days of the Civil War (where no doubt, Republicans aim to take us again), arguments for “state’s rights” were code for legislating racial discrimination. And nothing much has changed these days.

And it was a federal court that sided with Justice Johnson just six days ago:

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan ruled that Johnson had the seniority to succeed Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball when she retires early next year.

Morgan validated Johnson’s service as counting toward having the longest tenure. Republicans will claim this is not about racism, and yet they have given no valid reason for fighting Johnson’s seniority other than her being forced upon them due to their racial discrimination, and given the reality that they were forced to have her on their court in the first place, it’s getting really hard to avoid the elephant in the room.

Even the mainstream media isn’t avoiding it, noting things like “Morgan sided with Johnson’s bid to become the state’s first black chief justice” and Reuters noting that Jindal is fighting the ruling that would “allow a black state supreme court justice to become the court’s next chief justice”, while noting not only Jindal’s racial make up, but the all white court. Clearly, the racial make up of the players is an issue.

They’re just not coming out and saying that yes, Bobby Jindal is engaging in racism and discrimination. And why? Yes, why would you suppose that Bobby Jindal would care who makes up the courts that will decide on things like whether or not Republican voter ID laws are fair and if their redistricting is fair? Heavens, we can’t have actual representatives of the people making decisions like that.

The Republican thinking goes something like this:

Have we seen Justice Johnson’s long, long form birth certificate? It’s not that we’re racists, it’s just that we don’t believe she’s qualified to do the job because her time serving the court is not as good as the white guy who served less time. It doesn’t count, see? She’s gonna have to prove through many, many courts that she is valid. And in reality, we really, really don’t want to be ruled by black people, because they will not agree with being suppressed by our laws, and that would be a real drag. Things work out so much better when the feds stay out of our business, and let us run things like we want to. Y’all might think black people have rights, but down here, we know how to keep ‘em in their place.

And their place is most assuredly not in the White House or as Chief Justice.

Southern strategy? We’re not racists! We love the coloreds. We just don’t want them in charge of anything. Especially after Barack Obama humiliated the white boys with his competency in cleaning up after their mess and then had the audacity to own it, taking even remote, proxy credit for making the decision to get bin Laden. We draw the line at letting the coloreds take credit for their work. They have to know their place. But it’s not about race; it’s about state’s rights to impose racial discrimination. Get it?
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Posted by Sarah Jones on September 8th, 2012. Filed under Bobby Jindal,Commentary,Featured News,Race,Republican Party,Sarah Jones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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Karen Handel, Right Wing VP of Komen Quits Over Planned Parenthood Flap


Here at AlterNet, we’ve been writing extensively about the ties between Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Karen Handel, the organization’s new Senior VP with right wing ties and an anti-abortion vendetta, and its controversial move to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood–a move that they later apologized for and reversed.

After the strong link between Handel’s hiring and the disastrous policy were revealed, many expected her to resign. An ad for a position that looked suspiciously like hers even popped up on Komen’s site (password protected).

She finally left this morning–a long-awaited victory for the forces of sanity, and an indication that at last, Komen may be reckoning with the seriousness of their mistake.

From the AP’s Ray Henry:

ATLANTA (AP) — An executive with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity has resigned after a dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood. The resignation came in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Karen Handel (HAN’-duhl) announced her resignation as vice president for public policy in a letter to Komen officials Tuesday.

Handel said in her letter that she had supported cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.

A link to Karen Handel’s letter is here. She claims the decision to cut off funding was made due to a “a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy”–but of course, as we now know, it did exactly the opposite.

Here’s more on the controversy from AlterNet and our partners:

Busting Through the Media Firestorm: 6 Essential Facts About the Komen Controversy By Sarah Seltzer

5 Important Lessons from the Komen/Planned Parenthood Fiasco (Don’t Mess With Women’s Health), by Lauren Kelley

6 Things You Need To Know About the Komen Foundation/Planned Parenthood Controversy , by Sarah Seltzer

I Will Not Be Pinkwashed: Komen’s Race Is For Money, Not Cure, by Emily Michele, ButterBeliever

Komen Foundation Exploits Breast Cancer Mission to Make War on Planned Parenthood, by Jodi L. Jacobson, RH Reality Check

 Breasts Yes, Vaginas No? How to Fight Back Against Komen “Race for the Cure” Foundation’s Bizarre Capitulation to Right-Wingers, by Amanda Marcotte

By Sarah Seltzer | Sourced from AlterNet

Posted at February 7, 2012, 7:43 am


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Tea-GOP Idiot Watch: Santorum Thinks D-Day Deaths Won Right to Deny Health Care | MyFDL


I know, I jumped all over the media for paying so much attention to the clown car carrying the Tea-GOP Presidential wannabees. But really, when they routinely say things this mind-numblingly stupid, you have to ask, why are these people getting any serious attention? Why aren’t they universally and relentlessly ridiculed?Today, newly announced wannabe, Rick Santorum used June 6, the anniversary of D-Day, in which thousands of people were killed, to explain that the reason the Allies stormed ashore at Normandy was to have the “freedom” not to receive adequate health care when they came home or got old. Here’s Santorum today, via TPM: . . . Santorum said, what he and Paul Ryan want to do is “give peop

Tea-GOP Idiot Watch: Santorum Thinks D-Day Deaths Won Right to Deny Health Care | MyFDL

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Daily Kos: Reports of Medicare’s demise are (still) greatly exaggerated


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), June 2, 2011: “Medicare is going bankrupt,” he said. “I don’t like that. No one likes that. But that’s the truth, and anyone who tells you that Medicare is not going bankrupt is not being truthful with you or the American public.”So you’ve heard that a few thousand times in the past several months, from countless Republicans and more Villagers (those Very Serious People) than you could get in one room for a cocktail party (their natural habitat). And if you’ve been around as long as I have, it should sound very familiar: Chicago Tribune July 2, 1969: The Medicare hospital trust fund faces bankruptcy by 1976 and taxes must either be raised or benefits reduced the senate finance committee was told today. New York Times July 7, 1981: Medicare payroll taxes already imposed by Congress, including two increases scheduled for 1985 and 1986, will only be able to keep the hospital insurance system solvent for eight to 10 more years, three Cabinet officers informed Congress. Even under the Reagan Administration’s highly optimistic economic projections, the fund will be bankrupt before 2000, the three said. Washington Post,March 6, 1983: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici warned the nation’s governors the other day, “Medicare can be bankrupt in 2 1/2 years,” unless some way is found to put the brakes on its burgeoning costs. Chicago Tribune: June 25, 1983: Medicare is in danger of bankruptcy as early as 1986, the system’s trustees declared Friday. Chicago Tribune, March 10 1984: To avert Medicare’s expected insolvency, a federal advisory council proposed Friday raising the eligibility age to 67, taxing employer paid health insurance benefits and boosting the tax on alcohol and tobacco… the Congressional Budget Office said Medicare may be insolvent in 1989 New York Times, January 20, 1985: In the last few years, when it appeared that the Medicare trust fund would run out of money in 1987-89… But the need seemed less urgent after the Congressional Budget Office issued new estimates last September indicating that the Medicare trust fund would not go bankrupt until 1994. Chicago Tribune February 6, 1985: Medicare is still expected to go bankrupt in 1991, and a new flood of red tape is not helping America’s hospitals. New York Times, March 27, 1985: Reagan Administration officials said tonight that new projections showed the Medicare trust fund would not go bankrupt until late in 1990’s. Chicago Tribune, Nov. 17 1985: Last spring, the government estimated that the Medicare trust fund would run out of money by 1998. Given less optimistic assumptions about the economy, it could happen as soon as 1992 Washington Post, April 1, 1986: The Medicare hospital insurance program faces bankruptcy by 1996, two years earlier than projected last year. Chicago Tribune, June 29, 1986: Dr. Jerald Schenken of Omaha, an AMA trustee, said the doctors have worked for more than two years on formulating the plan, because they fear the current Medicare system will go bankrupt by the end of the century. New York Times, May 22, 1988: Reflecting the view of the Reagan Administration, Dr. William L. Roper, the head of the Federal Medicare and Medicaid agency, said, ”With the Medicare Trust Fund expected to go insolvent shortly after 2000, it is hard for us to sign on for a major expansion of the Medicare program beyond the catastrophic care bill.” New York Times, January 22, 1989: The fund that pays all Government reimbursement for hospital care of Medicare patients is projected to become insolvent in the next decade or so. Washington Post May 4, 1990: Control of health costs is considered by many experts to be the number one health problem in the United States. Such costs are expected to bankrupt Medicare by the year 2003. Washington Post December 13, 1994: The trust fund that finances Medicare is projected to become insolvent in the year 2001 Los Angeles Times May 31, 1995: For weeks, Republicans have been talking about a report that warns that Medicare is in danger of going bankrupt in the year 2002. Chicago Tribune April 25, 1997: Medicare trustees said Thursday that the program providing health care to more than 38 million senior citizens is still headed for bankruptcy in 2001. Chicago Tribune, January 7, 1999: [The National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare] was created in 1997 to deal with Medicare’s projected bankruptcy in 2008.Just for a bit of perspective.

Daily Kos: Reports of Medicare’s demise are (still) greatly exaggerated

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GOP govs move ahead on health exchanges


Governors Scott Walker (left), Mitch Daniels (center) and Haley Barbour are shown. | AP Photos
A small but growing number of prominent, Republican governors — including Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour — are taking the lead to shape a key component of the health care overhaul their party fought so hard to kill.It’s a delicate balancing act for Republicans who, on the one hand, oppose federal health reform, even challenging its constitutionality in federal court, and, on the other hand, are pragmatically trying to control as much of the implementation process as they can.
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In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels issued an executive order that allowed the state to become one of just three to receive a multimillion dollar grant to establish a health exchange, the online insurance marketplaces that all states must eventually have if the reform law stands up in court.

Wisconsin, under the leadership of Gov. Scott Walker, is one of six states to win an Early Innovator grant. While the grant was received under Walker’s predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, Walker has continued to use the resource, setting up the Office of Free Market Health Care that has prominently advertised its innovator status.

And in a weird twist of politics in Mississippi, state agencies of Gov. Haley Barbour have relied on little-used statutory authorities to set up an exchange, reviving a Democratic-sponsored effort to do so through the Mississippi State Legislature.

Daniels, Walker and Barbour are a stark contrast to Republican governors who are more stridently opposed to all aspects of health reform. Govs. Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Susana Martinez of New Mexico have come out in fierce opposition of any kind of implementation.

Scott and Jindal have also shunned federal money to plan their exchanges.

“The Rick Scotts of the world are probably going to be in the minority,” says one Republican health policy source, referring to the Florida governor’s halting health reform implementation. “The ones that block it fundamentally have a disagreement or it fits into a broader political calculus.”

Many strategists in D.C. contend that setting up the exchanges undermines Republicans’ constitutional challenges to the health reform law.

But having a handful of prominent Republican governors move forward on the issue — two of whom weighed presidential runs — suggests that the exchanges could emerge as one of the more palatable provisions of the contentious law.

And still other Republican governors, with smaller national profiles, have also endorsed implementing state-run health exchanges.They include Nevada’s Brian Sandoval, who is backing an exchange implementation bill in the Nevada State Legislature, Georgia’s Nathan Deal and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell.

“The big picture is that, while there’s an ideological divide, many governors see the exchange as an empty vessel they can shape in their own image,” says Ian Morrison, an independent health policy consultant in California. “Republican governors like the idea of more commercials insurance.”

Another crucial factor at play: If states don’t set up their own exchanges by 2014, the federal government will come in and do it for them.