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I know it's much the same as what's been said here many times, but I thought maybe posting this letter to the editor of our weekly newspaper might spark others to think about doing the same.  We need to keep hammering at the Republican's mendacity in every was we can in every venue we can reach.  Text below.

Charles Knauss did a good job of reporting on reactions to the US Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act, usually referred to as “Obamacare” by Republicans. (KCN 7/5/12)  It goes beyond irony into hypocrisy that  Republicans oppose the mandate.  They came up with the idea in the 1990's as an alternative to the Clinton healthcare proposal.  They were all for it then as a means of encouraging individual responsibility.  Their Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, implemented just such a plan as Governor of Massachusetts; now he says he will act to repeal it on his first day in office!  

Knauss goes on to quote Andy Harris as saying, “Americans have already made up their minds . . . [that the law is not good policy.]”  This is true to the extent that a slight majority of those asked about the act oppose it.  But it is also true that much of such opposition arises from misinformation peddled by the Republicans.  The most recent example is the lie that the mandate is the “largest tax hike in recent history.”  This is wrong on several levels.  First, it is not all that big: roughly speaking, it starts at 1% and rises to 2.5%.  Secondly, it is not a tax, but a tax penalty.  That is, it's like the penalty you pay for filing your tax return late.  If you file on time, you don't pay the penalty.  Similarly, if you have insurance – and over 80% of us do – you do not pay the penalty.  There are other exclusions, plus you can avoid the “tax” by getting insurance.  So very few will be affected.  Thirdly, the cost of providing care to those without insurance gets passed on to those of us who do have insurance, and amounts to a hidden “tax” of about $1000 per year for each of us.

I could go on and on with other examples of misinformation, such as the red herring about  “death panels.”  But given your space limitations, some specifics of the law's provisions might be more helpful.  Knauss's article touched on some of these after the jump, but those who did not read the entire article would have missed important information.

Already in effect:

You can keep your children on your policy until age 26
Children may not be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions
A number of preventive care services are available without co-pays
Insurance companies are required to pay out at least 80% for care
Excess payments over this limit are rebated to customers

Coming into effect shortly:

No denial of coverage because of preexisting conditions for anyone
Coverage cannot be terminated because you are sick
No lifetime limits
Free rider penalty (aka “mandate”)

Most people like these provisions, and as far as I can tell, the Republicans have nothing that would achieve a similar result.   Instead, their approach relies on free market mechanisms which will not work in the far from perfect marketplace that is healthcare.

Originally posted to harryllane on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Letters to the Editor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Keeping mendacity alive . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    . . . one issue at a time. That's the Republican way!

    This looks great! Is it a real LTE (printed in the paper and all) or on the paper's web site? Reson I ask is if it fits under their word limit.

    To these unfortunate citizens aid must be extended by Government--not as a matter of charity but as a matter of social duty. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by rudyblues on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 04:10:33 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, Just the 1st 2 Paragraphs Are 150%-200% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rudyblues

      of the limit for many papers. The whole thing at 495 words seems unlikely to run.

      It's an excellent piece on its own terms but for an LTE probably far too expansive. I second the advice to check the paper's limits.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 04:47:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The newspaper is a weekly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rudyblues

      And their limit is somewhat higher than most dailies.  I have had several letters longer than this one printed.  But the point is valid -- anyone writing LTE's needs to be aware of the paper's policy on length.

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