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Two well-known acts of the Democratic-majority Congress of 2009-2010 have begun to pay off – literally – for Americans. One is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB sets and enforces standards for bank dealings with customers. Last month, the CFPB issued its first enforcement order, following a probe of Capital One Financial Corporation. Capital One was misleading and pressuring customers to buy "payment protection" or "credit monitoring," when one would call in to activate one's credit card. Under the order, the bank will give each swindled customer a full refund, with interest, automatically – no claim form needed. That adds up to about $140M for about 2 million customers. Also, Capital One will pay $25M in fines to the CFPB, and an additional $45M, including restitution for unfair billing practices, levied by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The other well-known act of Congress that is putting money back in Americans' wallets is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as "Obamacare", which has set standards for medical insurance. One of those standards is that a medical insurance company pay out 80% (85% for large employer plans) of the premiums it gets for actual health care, not administrative costs and profits. Over the past month or two, about 12.8 million customers have been getting $1.1B in rebates, automatically, from insurance companies that had a shortfall in actual health care spending last year. Neither of these acts would have passed without push from President Obama, so these fair payments to Americans add two bullet points to the president's re-election resumé. By contrast, Mitt Romney, Obama's opponent in the presidential race, has said that he would repeal both the CFPB and the PPACA.

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By Quinn Hungeski,, Copyright (CC BY-ND) 2012

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Comment Preferences

  •  this is not getting any play from Dem surrogates (6+ / 0-)

    on the talk shows today they mentioned how the aCA has closed the Medicare donut hole and other savings for seniors but no one mentioned the insurance rebates, which should be a slam dunk

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

    •  I agree. It is as if they believe there is nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungeski, eXtina

      to run on except opposition to Romney. I am still at a loss as to why any Democratic congressperson would have trouble explaining the highlights of the ACA.

      Perhaps if they had done so, the loses in 2010 would not have been so wide. Also, their failure to defend the ACA has left an opening for this silly Romney attack about "cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare".

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 02:40:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dunnk! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Customer rebates -- Dunnk!

      Cutting waste -- Dunnk!

      Giving the CEO's salary a 99% haircut down to just $2M a year --  Dunnk!

      The Paragraph: Terse news, history and science.

      by hungeski on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 10:26:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The ACA is all well and good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's helped a lot of middle class Americans who have insurance, especially those who were able to pay but previously denied, or who were able to afford to put their kids on it.

    Use it to appeal to people like that.

    But it's not going to work with the 60 million or so uninsured, many of whose votes you need. In fact, it's kind of a negative, as in the near future they see themselves shelling out a high percentage of their incomes and getting a token subsidy to buy junk insurance, after which, if they still can afford any medical care beyond guaranteed preventive or diagnostic visits, they will have to pay for most of their health care themselves.

    •  That's not my understanding of it ... (0+ / 0-)

      From what I gather, the ACA will cover 30 million of those uninsured, and those policies would be up to ACA standards. And the remaining uninsured, I think, would be better off with bolstered Medicaid -- though the Supreme Court may have ruled away that advantage.

      The Paragraph: Terse news, history and science.

      by hungeski on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 10:35:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Imo the "paragraph" format doesn't work too well. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's too dense for me & makes me resist reading it.  A little white space breaking it up would make all the difference.

    But I love the content.  Thanks!

    •  I take my license to paragraph from E. B. White: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "As long as it holds together, a paragraph may be of any length — a single, short sentence or a passage of great duration."

      So, I'm sticking with the format, while trying to make it hold together. I use it as a way to keep from trying to say too much.

      But I'm glad you did stick with it and read it through in this case. Thank you for the constructive criticism.

      The Paragraph: Terse news, history and science.

      by hungeski on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 10:20:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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